Losing steam

by juliusmsanz

This is something that tends to happen. I’m sure every single writer out there sometimes just loses steam, the ability to continue at the pace one has set. It tends to be a problem because when one takes a break it means that the flow of the story is going to be broken at some point.

I remember one time I was trying to write a novel and after taking some time off I gave up on the project. I have countless started manuscripts that I know I’ll never finish. It’s not a matter of people saying: Oh I know you’ll pick it up again. It just doesn’t happen that way for me. I prefer to write at a fast pace because I know otherwise I’ll just never finish the damned thing. It’s frustrating and it happens to me very often.

I want to have an open discussion about this topic, as I believe mutual aid is going to help us all overcome this issue.

Is it about motivation?

That can be true. It is always exciting to start something new, but a book is a long, long, tedious process that drains us writers more than people realize. In this case it helps to have very clear goals and have a proper structure in place. I don’t advise you to start something like saying you’ll write a thousand words everyday if you don’t know where your story is going. I made that mistake and found myself at a crossroads because I didn’t know what to put in or what to leave out, I didn’t know if I wanted another character suddenly join the story or not. Writing without a little plan is wasting time and effort. I would also say that it helps to have certain points in a story written, but do not forget to read what you wrote. You don’t want to start one chapter with a particular style and write another in a different style. Unless that is your goal in the story. The more goals you achieve and the more you see your work, the more drive you’ll have to continue. You can even think of your chapters as a chain or as closed mini-stories if that helps.

Is it about life?

Also true. As much as I want to write, sometimes I just can’t because my schedule gets heavier. You come home from work and you want to relax, you don’t want to stress over a particular point in the story. It has been happening recently to yours truly. Coming home more tired as each day goes by, makes me think twice about writing anything. Can this be solved? Absolutely. As much as I prefer to write daily, I can also advise writers to just take one day off per week to just write to their heart’s content. Maybe I’ll have to resort to that.

What else makes us lose steam? How can we fix that?