What Do You Do When You're Stuck?

I don’t know how many people who read this write on a regular basis or have specific writing goals. I can say that because I do have a production schedule I don’t always feel inspired when I write. Oh, sometimes I do, and it’s glorious. I love it. Those moments are genuinely the reason why I write because it’s so very good. Nothing is good always and all the time. Sometimes, I get stuck. These are things I do when I’m feeling uninspired.

  • Just 100 more words
    I have a writing goal of 1,000 words a day. Sometimes, this goal comes in 100 word bits. If I write 100 words more into the story, I’ll permit myself a sip of coffee, or a break to check my email or something else. This is useful when I’m mentally tired.
  • Writing in public
    Somehow, it’s easier for me to be committed to my word count if I’m out writing in public. There are fewer distractions around the house — no kitchen, no excuse to go get a book for awhile, usually no wireless connection to the Internet. For extra points, I’ll just write in public on my Palm Pilot and little keyboard, which has no Internet connection at all, so no temptation.
  • Theme song!
    Sometimes a scene has a particular song that “fits”. I’ll put that on repeat until I’m done with the scene.
  • Candy Bar Scene
    This is actually a tip from Holly Lisle, and it works well. When you’ve plotted your novel, there are going to be scenes you’re looking forward to writing. My own writing method involves keeping a list of scenes I’m to write in the order I’m putting them in the novel at the bottom of my word processing document. I can count down to the scenes I’m looking forward to. This can be a motivator!

What sorts of things do you find useful to keep you motivated on your projects?

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