Have you used any of these excuses before while writing…
- I’ll write later or I’ll write when the kids are older
- I’ll write when my house is perfectly clean
- I can’t concentrate until all of my projects are done
- I love my characters, but they’re not doing what I want…and now my draft is messy
- I’m waiting on inspiration to find my ending
Listen, writing The End is scary – trust me, I know, I’ve done it multiple times, but the truth is you cannot edit a blank page. You need to finish your draft. So, now that we’ve established that fact, let me make it a little easier for you.
You need to have a plan of attack
How’s your outline looking? Is it fleshed out? Are you completely off track? First, let’s take a moment and see where we are and where we’re trying to go. (Note, I have blog posts coming very, very soon about outlining so be on the lookout – or subscribe to my YouTube channel and not miss anything!)
Next, let’s get those characters cooperating. Figure out what they’re trying to tell you by interviewing them, journaling as if you are them, and get them back on your side.
You are thinking too far ahead
Writing The End is really scary, because you are thinking too much about what happens next. Your brain is five steps ahead thinking about the editing process or hiring an editor, finding beta readers, marketing on Instagram or joining TikTok. STOP!!
You need to stay in the phase that you’re in right now – the discovery stage, the learning about your characters and their story stage, the beautiful messy first draft stage. If you have ideas about things for the future, write them down somewhere, but don’t get stuck in too much future planning especially since social media platforms are always changing – ideas for excellent Reels might not even make sense in six months or a year if Instagram decides to change something…again!
Try to relax and enjoy the first draft – it’s supposed to be FUN!! Revisions are fun in a different way and when you get there, I’ll tell you the same thing – stay in your lane and enjoy where you are.
Schedule your writing time
Here’s some honest truth, if you need your house completely clean before you write, it’s never going to happen – this is just an excuse. So may I make a small suggestion? Clean the room or area you’ll be working in. I get it, I know people like this – I mean, I’m not like this – but usually having them clean their desk, or their bedroom, before writing helps them feel a bit more grounded and ready to rock. Or write.
Ok, so excuse number one down, let’s look at the excuse of having kids around. Can you get up before them? Got babies or toddlers who are early risers, can you write during nap time? Can you write when your partner gets home? Can you swap writing time/work time with a friend who has a baby? There are ways to do this, but you have to communicate your needs with the people you live with and schedule your writing in a way that works for YOU.
My son is ten so this looks very different now than when he was a baby, but I had to do some interesting things – write during baby gym classes, write at night or in the morning, have my husband take him to baby music classes on the weekend so I could write every other weekend – it’s tricky, I’m not going to lie, but it can be done.
You may not be able to write every day, and that’s okay, but figure out what’s realistic for you and your family or situation and schedule that time. I’d rather you be consistent with one day a week than never write because you are waiting for that “perfect” time to appear out of thin air – it’s not going to happen.
And finally, writing should be fun – I’ve said that before and I’ll keep saying because it’s true – you should be enjoying at least a little bit of the writing process, or why do it?!? If writing is starting to feel like a chore can you do something to make it more fun? I like to add music to my writing sessions, but you could add in a reward, a writing snack, a fun new place to write in, or stickers on a calendar!
I know writing is hard, I know getting to that ending is scary, but these things can help you get over the writing slump and get back into the groove so you can type The End, all with a smile on your face.
And if you found this helpful, I would love for you to check out my Muddy Middle to Manuscript coaching package where I will walk you through a process of getting very clear on your Big Why, becoming friends with your characters, and we will fix your outline so you can type The End all with a smile on your face.