Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting Stuck

We're in the midst of a terrific snowstorm. It's been snowing since last night and we're forecasted to get several inches more. My daughter and my hubby (who is going to college) both got a snow day, but I had to go to work. Boo. I would have much rather enjoyed watching the big, fat flakes fall silently to the ground while sitting in my comfy apartment next to my fireplace instead of at work.

Ah well. Here's hoping I don't get stuck on the way home.

Which brings me to the topic of today's oh-so-informative blog post: getting stuck in your writing.

I am very near the end of my novel, but the last two days, the writing has been akin to pulling teeth (speaking of, I just went to the dentist today and I need three crowns...three!). I managed to rattle off 2,000 words or so, but I wasn't confident in them. The thing is, I know how my story ends - I just have to tie everything together. Am I worried that I can't do it? Possibly. Am I worried that I'll destroy the entire novel by writing a terrible ending? Probably.

My husband asked me why I was in a foul mood and I said, "I can't write." For a writer, there's really nothing worse - especially when the end of the novel is in sight. Everything around me turns a shade of grey and I mope around the house, eat too much chocolate, and spend too much time thinking about why I can't write.

In short, I'm stuck.

I don't know if what I'm doing is the answer to this - I've just forced myself to write, hoping that if I at least get stuff down, I can fix it later. Maybe I shouldn't force it, give my brain a rest from thinking about it, and return to it a few days later.

But a few days may lead to a few weeks and so on. I don't want that.

I plan to try and write some more tonight. My strategy? Don't think. Just write.

We'll see if it works.

What do you do when you're stuck?


  1. Keep writing the crappy stuff until the magic happens. And it will:)

    Oh, and keep the chocolate in good supply!

  2. I approach the scene from a completely different angle, one I'd never think would work. Seriously change it up. It's amazing how it always does the trick, and what I was trying to work out gets to the page effectively this way.

  3. Good strategy! Sometimes it helps to do another creative thing. While I'm drawing/painting/coloring in a coloring book/knitting/or puzzling I usually find my way out of the stuck.

    Good luck getting home and with your writing!

  4. It makes me a little jealous to think of being stuck home in the snow (but NOT the thought of having to go OUT in the snow!)

    A change of scenery or routine helps me sometimes - I get ideas from new perspectives.

  5. Oh Melissa, I wish I had some good advice for you-but I don't. I do know that you deserve three crowns-but NOT the kind you have to get:( (I'm thinking diamonds...)

    Good luck-and don't get discouraged. I believe the writing will come.

  6. I find the most effective thing is for me to put it aside and let it rest for a few days. That said, what I usually end up doing is obsessing, writing, and rewriting until I am beyond frustrated and remember that I need to put it aside to rest for a few days.

    Hang in there, breakthrough will come.

  7. Tamika - That's what I did - just kept writing and it worked!

    Joanne - Excellent ideas. :-)

    Colene - I need to get out my creative stuff again and "play." I really think that does help. I used to do a lot of stamping and made cards, but haven't done that in years.

    Wendy - I agree. A change of scenery can do wonders!

    Valerie - Aww, thanks, Valerie. I'll take some diamond crowns! (then promptly sell them for the money so I don't have to work and can write full time!).

    Linda - This happens to me, too. I think too much and just frustrate myself more.

  8. I get away from the computer and start writing notes in my notebook. This always manages to get me unstuck...although it may take a while!

    Jealous of your snow. We were supposed to get 6 inches and instead got only a trace that iced up then melted. *sigh*

  9. I'm finally catching up on blogs here...

    I tend to just write. Yep, I write any old rubbish in the knowledge that I can play around with words but I can't do anything with a blank page. It usually works. Another thing I do is try the scene from another character's viewpoint. Sometimes, I find it was their scene all along.

    Keep going!

  10. Christine - I will do the note-taking thing, too. It really worked for me last time. I was able to finish plotting the ending. Sometimes paper and pen is all you need.

    Shirley - You can't fix nothing, right? ;-)


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