Sticking With It

Have you noticed the "You Know You're a Writer" motifs on the Internet?

found on Pinterest
I have to admit I have more ideas floating around my head in any given time than I have people I talk with on a regular basis. Ideas tend to foster ideas, and any number of them might suddenly break forth with the right amount of information to create a story.

Add into the mix all the novels, stories or plays I've started and haven't finished then I have even more items. Fortunately, most of these items sit patiently in the background content to be ignored until their moment has arrived.

One element of writing I find difficult is knowing when to stick with the story, or when to back off. In fact, I recently had this problem with the second novel in the Shamrocks series with Orfhlait. I wrote one book, which I was planning on having as the second book, but turned out I needed the intermediary novel (planned on being released later as 1.5 novel). As I started writing the novel, I also realized it was much too bright for the storyline - everything was going perfectly for her with little struggle. Eventually, I set the novel aside to give it time to process, and am now in the process of re-evaluating the storyline (again).

On the other hand, sometimes, you just need to punch through the writer's block. The blocks come from a variety of reasons - not enough story developed (Book Two in the Shamrocks), fear and pressure are the three biggest ones.

To overcome the first, you need to actually develop the story - focus on the characters, POV (point of view), setting, even the genre. All of these elements can help or hinder the story's development. If you're stuck, try changing something. Sometimes this involves setting the novel aside, and sometimes it requires the discipline to pursue the novel.

Fear and pressure can be harder to combat partly because (1) we don't know the why behind them, and (2) they can be subversive in their attacks. It might be lack of desire to write; not knowing what to write next or any number of things that may style themselves as story problems. In this case, I tend to journal by freewriting - nothing interesting, just writing about what's going on. For me, I rarely can put into words exactly what I'm feeling, but on paper I can be as confused as I want to be, and sound completely idiotic, but that's fine since paper doesn't condemn me.

Another way to overcome the fear and pressure is to surround yourself with encouragements (or kicks in the butt depending on your style). Motivational quotes by famous authors or artists, songs to write by or even realizing that if you don't write something, you will never be interviewed on a late night show can all be excellent motivators.

The three things to remember:

  1. Recognize what the problem is (fear, pressure, lack of story development or some other reason)
  2. Decide the best way to handle the problem 
  3. Act upon the decision

It might take some process, and it may not happen over night, but to accomplish anything you need to act on your plan.

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