I’m stuck!

I’ve started writing my book, but I’m stuck.

Most writers experience “writer’s block,” or some other barrier that makes them feel stuck. Feeling stuck can be demoralizing and can derail our efforts at being self-disciplined.

Here are some tips to follow when you find yourself feeling stuck:

Try to figure out what has you stuck

  • Are you lacking some research that you need to conduct before moving on? Sometimes we’re so anxious to begin writing that we’ve failed to conduct all the research necessary to write our book. So after a while, we realize that we’ve run out of material and that can derail us.
  • Perhaps you’re not satisfied with the way your book is developing. This happens to the best of us. Your book is a work in progress. How might you organize it differently? Play with various arrangements of the material. Engage a friend or a coach to help you. Or, determine what it is about its development that you don’t care for and simply change it.
  • Has the story itself got you down? Depending on the book, writing can be a deeply emotional experience.  Are you writing about issues that discourage or depress you? If so, you may want to work with a writing coach or personal confidant to get you through this period.
  • Have you simply lost the urge to write? Perhaps something else is going on in your life that has you discouraged or has taken precedence over writing. If need be, set your manuscript aside for a season, but tell yourself that you’ll come back to it. A writing coach can help in this regard as well.
  • Read other writers’ works. You don’t want to copy someone else’s writing, but often reading a good book will spark an idea with you and get you moving again.
  • Give yourself a break! When I get stuck on a writing project, I often go out for a hike, or do something totally other. For a limited period of time, I remove myself and my thoughts from my writing. Invariably, I find that ideas and strategies come to mind that I would not have otherwise thought of. Suddenly, all is clear and I’m back in the game, writing to my heart’s content.
  • Engage a writing coach. A good writing coach will draw solutions to your dilemma out of the depths of your mind. A coach can help you achieve what was not possible with him/her.