Writers get stuck while writing novels. This is true for ALL of us. The trick is to identify why you’re stuck so that you can take intentional steps to fix the problem and move forward with your writing. In this episode, we talk about some strategies to get yourself going again and finally finish your novel.


Stephanie (00:06):
Hello writers. In the prior episode, which I’ll link to in the description, I shared with you some common reasons why writers get stuck while writing a novel. Just a recap, it could be a number of things: motivation, you’re not sure where you’re going, you realize that you have a plot problem, maybe you’re in a hurry, or your inner critic is talking at full volume <laugh>. It could also be a combination of some or all of these things. Once you know why you are stuck, you can start to play with different strategies to see if they’ll push you out of the mud and back onto the road. So in this episode, I’m going to share a few strategies. As always, use what makes sense for you and leave the rest. But first, listen, if you’re stuck, I want you to schedule a free intro call with me right now, and let’s talk about how to finally get your novel written.

Stephanie (01:01):
I really know how frustrating it is to not be able to see the forest for the trees while writing a novel, and that’s where I come in. I wanna help you, so the link is below in the description. Okay, so one thing you might try if you’re stuck is just walking away from it for a short stretch of time. Sometimes we just need a bit of breathing room to recalibrate, right? Especially if our emotions are running high. I know that if I’ve gotten to the point of frustration with my writing, or anything else for that matter, walking away from it has really served me well. But here is the one condition to trying this: you have to set a date by which you will come back to it, because the longer you’re away from it, the easier it’ll be to stay away. So before you walk away, say, “I’m going to not work on this for one day or one week,” and put the return date in your calendar, or wherever you put your reminders.

Stephanie (02:00):
Another strategy for getting unstuck is to free write about the project. Set a timer for 10, 15, 20 minutes, however long you want, and just write, preferably by hand about your vision for the story, what you wanna say, why you wanna write it, and where you want it to go. Write about that troublesome spot where you got stuck, and brainstorm all of the possible options for moving forward in the story. Do this free write exercise as many times as you need to until you’re ready to return to the story itself. Free writing is also a great strategy for dealing with your inner critic. Before you start writing, dump out all of the negative things that your inner critic is saying to you. Then decide if you want to believe them or not. If the reason you are stuck is that you recognize that there is a plot problem, or you don’t know where the story is going from where you are, again, back away from your manuscript, but this time, do some big picture planning.

Stephanie (03:02):
I like to use post-its, chart paper, markers, stickers – be creative. Get all of the office supplies out and just have some fun with it. Remember, though, that each plot event needs to be intentional, because your entire goal with the novel is to get the main character and others to a new perspective. So make sure you have a good handle on that as well. Okay, I hope one or more of these strategies helps you get unstuck and back to writing your novel. If you have another strategy you’d like to share that’s worked for you, please drop it in the comments so that the rest of us can benefit. If you like this content and you know someone who might enjoy it, please subscribe and share. Thanks. Happy writing.