Pushing Through - When the Writing Gets Tough

This week’s blog topic is pushing through – which I take to mean, “How do you keep writing forward when it’s not easy?”

Generally, these are my strategies:

Throw it in reverse – Usually when the writing is slow (or stagnant) for me, it’s because I’ve 1) made a misstep somewhere along the process and landed in a plot dead end, or 2) haven’t done enough research or planning ahead of time, and have fallen into a rut.

To get out of the first situation, I return to earlier chapters and back the story up to the point where things began to feel wobbly. One of the benefits of having had to rewrite my novels over and over, and having thrown out hundreds of pages in the revision process, is that I’m not afraid of tossing material. Really, I’m pretty fearless about it most of the time. All I need is a plan of action--and identifying that wrong turn is the first step in moving in the right direction again.

To deal with the second instance, the story rut, which is different than the dead-end because it's motivational, not executional, I look at early sources of inspiration, which can be reinvigorating and give me just the boost I need in order to keep pushing ahead. Sometimes you have to go backward before you can go forward.

Throw it in neutral – There are times that a story will stall because I’m just plain burned out. When that happens, it’s time to fill up the creative tank by getting away from the computer and doing something fun. Going to movie, having lunch with a friend—you name it. As long as it’s a diversion, it's good.The idea being that sometimes writing is the worst thing you can do for your writing. Makes sense, right? Trust me, there are times it's the truth.
This e-novella, BROOKE will be released on 11/26.
It was written by me.
(And I love it.)

That said, stepping away from the work shouldn’t be an avoidance tactic. Writing is hard work and there’s no getting around that. But, if you spend 8+ hours a day at the computer like I do, a personal health outing here and there is beneficial and necessary.

Throw it in 4WD – My favorite gear. The one I use most often, too. This is just good old fashioned grit, my friends. How do you push through? Well, you tuck your chin and you push through.

Writing is hard work—that deserves stating twice. If you want to become a published writer, it’s not only about maximum effort, it’s about stamina. Tenacity. Passion. It’s about wanting it so badly that all the crazy setbacks and highs and lows in the journey won’t stop you.

For specific tools to help motivate you, take a look here, or under our inspiration tab.

In closing, a small reminder: push through, yes, but more importantly, enjoy the journey.


I love this, Veronica. And I'm a big fan of one step forward and two steps back when I'm stuck. I'm impressed with the fact you throw things away. I think that can be so liberating if you're in a rut. Find another way to say something, another road to travel. Thanks for the advice.

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