We all have those hair-ripping moments where writing feels impossible. Those moments where you want to reach into your screen and rip out your story to shred it into pixels. Of course, we eventually got over those moments, but only after many tears, sweat and blood. What many don’t realize, however, is that they are much more serious than they think. These so-called “moments” are actually muiltiple serious conditions which shouldn’t be let to go away themselves. But don’t worry, I am here to cure you.
Why you can’t finish your story:
You’re having a writing crisis.
-Symptoms: Sudden thoughts that your writing is bad and everything you do is hopeless. You want to write but you physically can’t, Fatigue and frustration
Causes: Writers Block, Low Esteem, A bad day
Treatment: If you believe you’re experiencing writer’s block (Where you can’t come up with new ideas) then it is suggested you take a break, no more than a week. Take a walk or read a book. Then sit back down and jot down your random, ideas. There’s no such thing as a bad idea when it comes to writing. If you believe it is your low esteem, remind yourself that everything is only a draft, and it will all come together in the end. There is no such thing as the perfect writer, but there is a good writer. And you can’t be a good writer if you don’t write. The point of writing is not to please yourself, it’s to entertain your audience. If you believe it’s because you had a bad day, simply try writing again the next day. Though if your crisis is never-ending, it may be because of other reasons.
- Your a perfectionist
Symptoms: Nonstop cringing at your writing, Never getting past the drafting stage, Being in scrapping and rewriting loop, Over outlining
Causes: Wanting to write a certain way(Like your idol.) You’re a noob thinking there’s a certain way to write “good”
Treatment: Remind yourself how you see your writing is NOT how others see it. Your favorite authors hated their own stories at some point. In the writing world quantity is over quality. Would you rather finish a crappy, cringe story or not write a story at all? The reason why you think your idol is a good writer is that they actually overcame their demons constantly telling them that their writing “could be better” and published it anyway. Do the same.
- Your Procrastinating. (Most likely this one because you’re here.)
Symptoms: Multitasking, Hyperactive mind, You kinda want to write the story but you kinda don’t, Suddenly having oh so many things to do, Stress
Causes: Your on a really boring part of your story that you don’t want to write, You lost motivation, You simply don’t feel like writing
Treatment: This sanity-threatening condition is especially hard to tackle. If you are avoiding your story because your story is boring, try reading your favorite book or finding a new favorite. Remember the parts that thrilled you while reading and try adding a scene like that into your story. You can also try practicing your writing skills with fun prompts like “What would your character do if they were caught doing something bad?” or write a description of a lake or whatever. Personally I love creating new characters with complex personalities just for practice and it helps with motivation.
After that, try forcing yourself to sit back down. Don’t delete anything off your story or start over. Instead, edit it. Start with grammar and spelling. Then dialogue. Then tweak parts of it you don’t like until it doesn’t feel so hopeless anymore. If you simply don’t feel like writing, take a day or two break. If it doesn’t stop, try out the prompts online or write about something you WANT to write. Ps, I suggest setting a word count goal so you don’t go overboard, 500 words is good.
- You don’t know where your story is going
Symptoms: Feeling overwhelmed, wanting to start over, Foggy head, Frustration, Drop-in motivation
Causes: Your not a pantser(Someone who writes on the go, You’re too lazy for an outline, You badly want to finish a story so you rush it which is bad bad bad
This condition is easier to treat when you catch it early. You need to go into depth with your ideas when outlining. If you’re coming up with ideas like “Girl falls in love with a boy. Gets pregnant.” Then that is not enough. You NEED to outline unless you are gifted enough to write full stories on the go. Outlining can be hard, but only if you don’t do it correctly. And by corectly, I mean not finding your comfortable outlining style. Here is one way. Give a character three traits, at least one positive. Give him a backstory on why he has those traits; at least five sentences. Next write a paragraph of the character’s personality including Their positive/negative view of the world (Try relating this to their childhood, A more in-depth explanation of their character traits, 2 quirks that make them special, and the thing that is most important to them.) Continue this for your other main characters. For the plot, think of your character’s everyday life then introduce a problem and how they overcome it. Then insert that into a exposition, rising action, climax, resolution format. I suggest you start with the climax then decide how the climax happened.
That is all. Now that your cured, stop reading and go write that story.