Monday, September 10, 2012

Getting Stuck! And What to Do About It.

Okay, so I received my manuscript back from my editor after a three hour meeting. Not only do I need to cut many words, but I also need to add new scenes. 

No problem.

Except that I was in the middle of writing a new book and now I stare at both manuscripts beckoning me to finish them.

Now I am stuck!


I once had the problem of staring at the blank screen with nothing to write. Ah the good ol' days. 

I miss those days.

Now I have three stories to complete. I thought for sure I'd have one finished by the ACFW conference, but no. It just sits there waiting patiently for me.

It stalled. I had to walk away from it. I needed to start something new, so I dove into a new story. Yes!  I easily wrote 20,000 words in one week. BINGO! This story is HOT. I can't wait to finish this one...but it, too,  will have to wait. 

I set it aside to began working on the edits in my Dragon Forest 2 manuscript fresh from the editor. 

Stuck again. 

The changes are so massive that I am paralyzed every time I start to work on it. 

I freeze. I panic. The task is too daunting.

Now What Do I Do?

So, I closed my lap top and walked away. I didn't write one word. 

Getting stuck can do that to a writer. Too many projects...or too many BIG projects...can frustrate you to the point of quitting. 

And that's what I did. 

Now what do I do?

I made a plan:

I will work on the HOT story until I write "The End" and then return to the edits in my Dragon Forest 2 manuscript and work on that until it is complete. 


At least I have a plan now and I wrote a few pages last night. Yes!

Will I have an awesome manuscript to pitch at ACFW like I thought I would?


And that's okay. Life goes on. At ACFW this year I will meet new people, talk about my story, ask a lot of questions, and learn a lot about writing. 

And HAVE FUN!  I deserve this time to get away from work, grading papers, bills, and just relax with other writers. 

The End

To summarize, when you get stuck...and you will get stuck...the best thing to do is step back and regroup. Spend some time prioritizing your activities and projects. Set realistic goals for yourself. Breathe in and exhale. Remember why you love to write and why you started the story in the first place. 

Now you're ready to dive back in! 

Your turn:  How do you handle it when you get stuck and frustrated with writing?


To purchase my book and many other wonderful books, visit


  1. Good stuff, Ruth!

    Yeah, when I get stuck, I generally have to walk away for awhile...even if it's just 10 minutes. :) If I'm just stuck on something little, usually 15 minutes of Gilmore Girls (something about the fast and witty dialogue always jump-starts my brain--crazy, I know!) or a bubble bath or reading a book usually gets me going. If it's a bigger thing, then I tend to purposely take a few days, maybe a week, maybe two, to refocus...rejuvenate...and hopefully eventually return with a creative boost. :)

    1. It sure helps me to walk away. But, like you, I get inspiration from a good book or movie.

      Thanks for the input!

  2. I'm so glad you've found and established a plan for yourself! And I think ACFW will be so good for you to just recharge your writer's batteries and get excited about writing again! God's got you going for a reason...

    When I get stuck, I walk away too. I don't think it does any good to sit there and stare at the screen. I go for a walk, read a book, watch TV, whatever it takes to stimulate my brain.

    1. Thanks!! I am excited again. I'm looking forward to meeting other writers and hearing from the experts. We'll have fun!!