Today I want to share a simple tip if ever you’re feeling stuck. This little strategy saved my bacon when I recently hit a stumbling block during a rewrite. So if you too need to get unstuck with your writing —
Try making a very small change.
I’m not talking about a massive block here, something you’ve been struggling with for months or longer. I’m talking more about a minor block that’s preventing you from moving forward – it’s perhaps making you procrastinate, and that in turn makes you feel guilty. But for whatever reason, something’s preventing you from getting on with your writing.
What happened to me…
I recently embarked on a rewrite of a feature film outline. I’d got feedback, I had a sense of what to change, and I really wanted to do it – it’s a story I love.
But I just kept procrastinating. I couldn’t get started, but I didn’t know why. It was so frustrating. I tried typing new bits directly onto my outline, but this made me feel confused and want to procrastinate even more.
Finally, in a moment of desperation, after wasting a considerable amount of time, I decided to simply print out my old outline and use a pen and a highlighter to hand write notes directly onto the page. And suddenly Eureka! I was able to move forward!
I just needed to make a small change to my process.
Once I saw my work in a different format – on paper rather than on screen – it helped me overcome my small block – I could see my work more clearly. I started to delete big chunks that I knew needed to go, and this left space for the new sections I had to create. And from then on the whole process flowed much more smoothly.
What can you do?
So if you too are feeling stuck, why not try making a small change?
Perhaps you could print out your work, or you could try writing a new scene in long hand in a notebook (if you usually use a computer), and see if that frees you up.
Try writing in a different room, sit on the floor or the sofa or the bed (if you normally sit at a desk), or outside, or in a café.
Or try writing at a different time of day, first thing in the morning or last thing at night, changing your normal routine.
If none of that works, try doing a writing exercise to loosen yourself up – perhaps you could write a monologue for one of your characters.
Whatever you do, try making a small change to your writing process and see if it helps you get unstuck. I’d love to hear how you get on! You can share your thoughts in the Comments below.
Have you got any tips you’d like to share? If so, do get in touch.
By the way, if there’s anything in your writing that you’re struggling with, drop me a line as I might be able to address your issue in a future newsletter.
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