Going nowhere fast – the frustrations of writing

My writing is going nowhere fast.

So fast, my current WIP (work in progress) has come to a standstill. Sigh.

I’ve had some frustrating times lately with family and community responsibilities interrupting my writing time. It happens every now and then and I know I should just accept these times and not get too frustrated with them.

Going nowhere fast

Trouble is, I’ve allowed the recent events to grind my WIP  to a complete halt. It’s going nowhere fast. I haven’t looked at it for nearly a fortnight. One thing I’ve found in recent years is that momentum can often be a very great friend. Once I get on a roll with a particular writing project – be it a novel, short story, article, whatever – the momentum created tends to be self generating. Momentum creates more momentum and I get to the point where it is like an unstoppable train, steaming along seemingly under its own power, carrying me along for one exhilarating ride. When that happens I can be very productive, sometimes writing 3000+ words in a day. About 700 words is  my normal average.

Slow and steady wins the race

Sadly, the opposite is also true. When  I don’t have any momentum because of illness, distractions, family or other responsibilities etc, getting up a head of steam to get moving again takes so much effort. Starting all over almost seems too hard and I can easily give up. The secret is to not stop. It is easier to keep a train moving slowly than to start from a stopped position. It is easier to keep going with a story every day – even if it is only a few words or for twenty minutes or so – than to leave it completely for weeks and then have to start all over again.

I should stop this now and get back to that novel.

It’s not going to finish itself.

Good writing.


2 Responses to “Going nowhere fast – the frustrations of writing”

  1. Natalie says:

    Hi Trevor,
    I find if I am really stuck, sometimes it is good to just write a little back-story or explore something with your characters outside of the novel. You might never use it, but it can kick-start you back into that flow. And sometimes you actually end up with a stand alone short story! Good luck, I hope you get out of the standstill soon!

  2. Trevor says:

    Hi there Natalie,

    Thanks for visiting and for leaving your comments. Your suggestion about writing the back story is a very sound one, and something many writers do as a valuable part of their writing, especially in the planning stage. I’ve not done it often but know that it is a useful strategy.

    One of my writer friends was stuck in the midst of writing her first novel so she stopped and interviewed the main character! It worked – she had a much better understanding of the motives of the character after that. All she has to do now is find a publisher!