The Process is Stuck

The Process is Stuck
Image provided by Wouter de Bruijn

The progress of my WiP is at a standstill. I knew something like this would happen eventually, but I was hoping it wouldn’t. The despondence that has taken over my being is increasingly maddening.

I sit here with my yWriter software open, peering at where I left off. I don’t know what to write next. It isn’t that I don’t know where the story is going because the whole thing is etched in my brain. The individual sentences refuse to travel from my head, through my fingers, onto the keyboard, therefore, showing up on the screen.

This is not writer’s block. Everything is there, right in my head. In fact, I even have some thoughts rolling around up there for future stories as well.

I don’t think it’s a case of losing my motivation either. I still want to sit in this chair and type away on what I hope will be a story of worth someday. I don’t find myself at a media site going through my streamline. TV isn’t of any interest to me. The only time I’m away from this writing is in the early morning when I go through the updates of the blogs I’m subscribed to along with other emails, when I just have to use the bathroom before I split open, and when I refill my mug or get something to eat. No, I think my motivation is still intact.

Still, all confidence concerning this stupid project of mine has vanished into oblivion. No, I’m not asking for warm fuzzys. In fact, I’d rather not have them. Anything like that would just make me feel more inept.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been working on my skills with general narrative and narrative descriptive writing. I thought that would boost my morale. The point had been to bring back to the forefront what I used to write so freely. It isn’t working out as well I hoped for. Could it be that I’m working on the wrong thing—just for right now?

Maybe I should be working on getting the characters into the story more effectively. Despite how I’ve tried to show my characters as whole people using body language, dialogue, and a little description here and there, I’m sure they’re still wooden, unfinished somehow.

Earlier today I found my way to the website, wiki How to do anything, where there was an article about developing characters. I have oodles of sites bookmarked or stashed at PearlTrees telling all about this subject. Yet, this one had the steps in a different order and the entire piece was written more like an instructor talking to students in a classroom. I found myself making mental notes so I could get started on this concept of building up and deepening my characters. Why this would have such as impact on me is a mystery.

I’m still a little in the dumps about this setback. My hopes to be writing a query letter about this time next year isn’t going to pan out, I’m afraid. I’ll be lucky if my work will be ready for professional editing by then. I’ll get over this though, just as soon as I’m back to working on the actual manuscript.


Have you ever be stuck?

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler


19 thoughts on “The Process is Stuck

  1. I hear you, Glynis. Sure. I’ve been stuck–a lot. Usually I throw stuff and scare my cats. Then I read till I think I can start again. Sometimes I just can’t finish a project because I don’t know how to fix it. What I’ve heard a lot about is maybe it’s the POV. Maybe the wrong person is telling the story. That doesn’t always solve it for me. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was thinking it might be the POV, at least until I get to a later draft. The first draft(the one that lost forever now) I did in 1st person, present tense. I decided to try 3rd person, past tense on this one. My only problem with 1st person is the scenes where the protagonist isn’t involved. Switch to 3rd person limited maybe?

      While I figure all of this out, I’ll just keep on working on the different parts behind the story.


  2. I simply move to another section of the story. No one says I must write “in order.”
    Another thing to try is brainstorming – write words that will fit in the troubling section. They’ll eventually come together as sentences and paragraphs.
    Get out of your chair and go for a walk or work in your garden. You’ll generate ideas and need to dash inside to write.
    Find a pretty journal and write long hand. For some reason this inspires me in ways the computer doesn’t.
    Read part of your WIP out loud.
    Assuming that cat is not standing on a crocodile’s back, go pet her for a while. Genuine pet therapy brings calmness. Now you can focus.

    I bet you started back with the WIP as soon as you posted this article.
    You’ll get there, Glynis.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sharon, thank you for these suggestions. I should try writing longhand. I have a few spirals that are full of blank pages. If nothing else, it should spark new story ideas.

      The picture of the cat: He isn’t my cat. However, I know I can always pet Miya, my old lady cat. 😛


  3. I’ve experienced that too. An odd version of writer’s block that isn’t really writer’s block at all. I had this most recently with the final re-write for the book that follow The Royal Gift. It took me two weeks to get out of the issue. How I “cured” it was by writing something else in a different world. I’m usually writing two projects at a time for two different series, but in this instance, I dropped the other project back onto the backburner and switched it over for a book that was written in first person instead of third (all my other books are in third), which is also a standalone. Perhaps you could try writing something different and seeing if that unlocks your primary project? Once I switched the secondary project, I was back on the primary project within a day, able to write again. You have my email – you’re very welcome to reach out to me whenever you’re having difficulty. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned along the way with you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the offer of support. Even just knowing you’re out there and have gone through this yourself helps. I don’t feel alone or quite as inept. The character sketch/profile/whatever I’m working on just may be the start of a new project because I’ve changed the name of the protagonist and some of the psychological traits. It could go either way at this point. O_o

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like Shari’s suggestions. One I’ve tried is just writing whatever awful words end up on the page. Write them, get the story down, and leave to fix for editing. I definitely have good and bad days. Sometimes, I feel like a journalist; others, like an impostor. I’m surprised how often the Impostor stuff just needs a few fixes.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes, Glynis we all go though and I keep going through periodically…I agree these may not be the same as defined by writer’s block but I see these as opportunity to do something different, I break away from writing get into reading and go for a venture into nature and try my hands in my amateur photography, see some good old movies that have been pending in my agenda…the result is different, invariable this takes me into a different zone and into a higher orbit of thinking and writing. I would say you have a great opportunity to move into the next orbit, so these are good signs and do something you have never done…great times are ahead.
    Any more new thoughts that can catalyze our these state of inexplicable stalemate, I am there…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I knew all along that it would happen. Writers are human and this makes for disenchantment, frustration, self-doubt, and the list goes on. Still, I was hoping that I could bypass it somehow. While I wait for my brain to focus in the right direction for the WiP again, I’m bringing out other projects to dabble in.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, writers are human and are equally prone to error and flaws, the downs keep coming along the ups of the life. The biggest challenge the self-belief which keeps questioning our confidence and our competency…but hope is biggest force of life and the moment we get the little inspiration in place, rest flows…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Do anything but allow this stuck-ness to be used as some indicator of failure. You have been given lots of good suggestions to let go of it in the comments. My personal favorite is to go outside to play. For as many days as necessary.

    “A Writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than for most people.” – Thomas Merton.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that quote! ❤

      Although that one project is still stuck, I'm not anymore. I started another one, attacking it the way I want and ignoring all advice on how to go about writing a story/novel. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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