Authors should be celebrated and applauded at any given opportunity. Behind the structured, coloured and inspiring book is a person who fought off the forces of depression, confusion, discouragement and uncertainty to make the pen write. The writer’s pen is not fuelled with the ink but by sweat and blood. Should writers be celebrated?
Considering the strenuous requirement to get a book out, several writers have become ‘silos’ of book titles and outlines, eternally hoping to feed pages and earnestly waiting readers with the words. Those fortunate enough to start the project often fall by the wayside, stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Even dedicated writers find it hard to keep at it when the going gets rough on a story that just isn’t cooperating, for any number of reasons. However, If the most important thing a writer can do is also one of the hardest – finish your book – then don’t you think it’s time you tackled some of the major obstacles standing between you and the finish line?
Let’s consider some of the major obstacles and tips to overcome them.
Keep Writing despite discouragements
Faced with discouragements from your thoughts, editors or critiques, you may find yourself tempted to throw in the towel. If you’re never going to be any good – if this story isn’t ever going to be any good – if it’s going to take the rest of your life to make it any good – then what’s the point?
Is your book rubbish? Maybe. Is your critique partner right? Probably. But guess what? There is good news: knowing the problem is halfway to solving the problem. Just in recognizing the issues, you’re already a better writer than you were yesterday. So just take the corrections and keep writing, because it’s only through writing that you get to fix the blunders. Stop beating yourself up over nothing and get back to work.
Set Priorities to avoid distractions
Life is more distracting than ever these days. Real-world jobs, family demands, Twitter notifications, you name it. Our attention is dangerously cluttered pretty much all the time. With just a flip, these distractions shove our writing into the back corner of our lives.
Hence, you have to make sure your priorities are organized. There is a parable about priorities. Your life is a big gallon jar. All the stuff in your life are rocks. The big stones are the big stuff: family, job, writing. The little rocks are everything else: Netflix, checking email, going out for dinner. If you dump all the pebbles into the jar first thing, there’s no room for the big rocks. But if you put the big rocks in first, turns out you can still pour some of those fun pebbles into the cracks.
Set your priorities right. Determine to devote some hours daily only to writing and be disciplined with it.
Confused? Identify the Problem
What do you do when you are halfway through the book, but it isn’t just working? You probably give up, find a new idea and start over again. This sounds like the easy way out. Howver, you’ve only but put the player on repeat. Again, you will get halfway and quit.
K.M. Weiland believes there are two possible reasons for confusion in your writing. She says it’s either the story is broken, but you are conscientiously trying to it work, or there is a logical problem with your plot or your characters.
However, these problems are fixable; you just have to understand first what the problems are. Knowing what’s wrong with your story isn’t a bad thing. Knowing the problem means blowing away the confusion.
You need an outline
Have you chosen your topic? Have you generated the ideas through brainstorming and free-writing, and you think there is a working thesis? The next step is to create an outline.
An outline allows you to class the main points, organize the chapter/subchapters into an order that makes sense, and make sure that each paragraph/idea can be fully developed. Essentially, an outline helps prevent a writer from getting stuck when performing the actual writing of the essay.
An outline provides a map of where to go with the book. A well-developed outline will show what the story is, what the main idea of each chapter is, and the evidence/support that will be offered in those chapters to substantiate the main points of the book.
Outlining empowers you to move forward in creating a story you completely understand from the outset.
Lost your passion? Give it some space
Sometimes it seems the magic is gone, and that faraway finish line looks like a trek through the Sahara desert with no water. Then just stop.
The first thing to do is to identify what sapped the passion. Could it be because the book is irrevocably broken or that you just don’t care about it anymore? Or you are just worked out that you need some break?
Then, simply take a step back from the manuscript. Put it on the back burner for a while. Go write or do something that ignites your passion, and energy.
Are you still stuck in the middle of nowhere, struggling to complete your book? Contact us at Sons of Issachar Concepts to guide you step by step through the murky terrain of writing to the finish lines.