5 Things to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Your Writing | Got Questions?

by - May 17, 2019




Hey everyone! Today, we have a question from Heidi!

Heidi writes,


"What are the best things to do when you hit a writing block and you feel like giving up?"


Last week, I answered the first part of Heidi's question: 5 Things to Do When Writer's Block Hits.

I know that a lot of writers, myself included, sometimes feel like giving up on their writing.


Today, I’m going to answer the second part of your question, Heidi! I hope you will all find it helpful!


I’M NOT GONNA LIE

Being a writer is hard, exhausting, brain-draining, and wonderful.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but in January 2018, I joined The Young Writer’s Workshop, an online, ongoing mentoring for young writers. It’s seriously the best workshop ever, and the community is amazing! I just recently became a Community Assistant who helps the Community Manager keep the Community running smoothly. I've been getting so much writing and blogging done since I joined this amazing workshop!

But sometimes, you simply can’t get those words onto paper. Yes, it’s frustrating. I've been there, so I completely understand.

Here are 5 things to do when you feel like giving up on your writing.

1. STOP, TAKE A BREAK, AND BREATHE.
Often writers are so concerned with getting words written every time they sit down to write, that they end up stressing themselves, making the matter worse.


When you can't figure out the next part of your book or article, push yourself, but don’t kill yourself. When you know you simply can’t write, stop and walk away from your writing. Take a break. Do something relaxing. Give your brain some time to refuel.


Maybe try a couple of these ideas:

  • Hang out with friends
  • Watch a movie or listen to an audiobook
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Go for a walk
  • Play a game
  • Do a fun craft or something with your hands
  • Play music, sing, and/or listen to music


Afterward (or the next day), come back to your writing and try again.


Note: Don’t make this a habit. There are times when you must discipline yourself to sit down and writeeven if it’s just a few sentences. But there are also times when you must take care of your mental health.


2. READ A BOOK.

One way to get inspired to write is to read what others have written. Before you start writing, maybe take a few minutes and read a chapter or two of your favorite book by an author that inspires you.

From reading my favorite books or series, I know what piece of writing can do. It captivates me, whisking me away to another world or time period, and I can’t put the book down!


Going back to my own writing, I know I can’t give it up. I know I must persevere through the tough scenes because one day, it will all be worth it. I must push myself to be the best writer I can be.

If you need motivation and/or a challenge, make yourself write 100 words before reading the next chapter of your favorite bookyes, even if there's a cliffhanger! This will make you sit down and write because you really want to see what happens in your book!

3. OUTLINE YOUR BOOK.

Yes, you read that correctly. Outline.


Some of you might be cringing right now. Are you serious? I hate outlining!


But when digging deeper into outlining, I’ve discovered how important it is for your story. The nice thing about outlining is that you don’t have to write a thousand words in order to write a scene. You can simply write a few hundred words, which come so much more freely in an outline than in your rough draft.


Whenever you’re having a bad writing day, click out of your book’s document, open another, and start outlining. It’s best to outline your whole book before writing it, but if you’ve already started writing, you can simply outline a few scenes at a time.


To learn more about outlining and find out whether or not you should outline your book, click here.


4. CREATE DEADLINES AND GOALS.

By deadlines, I don’t mean crazy, out-of-this-world deadlines. I mean create realistic deadlines and goals. Maybe even tell your family or friends about them so they can keep you accountable.


Maybe your goal will be to write five hundred words within the next week. That is your goal, and the end of the week is your deadline to reach that goal.


Of course, if you don’t make your goal, don’t be so hard on yourself, but try to reach your goaldon’t be lazy!


If you do reach your goal, then celebrate! Give yourself a reward. You’ve completed your goal by or on the deadline. That’s great! Now you will feel so much more accomplished.

Need accountability? Every month, join the accountability "group" here on the blog! (Here's last month's accountability "group" post.)


5. REMEMBER WHY YOU WRITE.

This is important. If you don’t remember why you’re writing your book, then you won’t feel inspired to keep writing it.


This is also where outlining comes in. With an outline, you know just where your book needs to go next. There’s no guesswork or brainstorming. All you have to do is what your outline tells you.


If you don’t have an outline, at least you hopefully have an idea of how your story ought to end. That should encourage you to meet that exciting, wonderful ending!


You used to be so excited about your bookthen what happened? Somehow you got discouraged.

Well, it’s time to bring that energy and excitement back. Remember why you’re writing your bookremember why you’re writing at alland that will encourage you to keep going.


IN CONCLUSION



Writing is hard.


Writing is frustrating.


Writing is wonderful.


Writing consists of so many different “personalities” that wethe writershave to make sure we keep writing’s “wonderful personality” nearby all the time. We can’t let writing discourage us.


There are times when we must keep pushing. There are times when we must stop and come back later, and that’s okay.


So keep writing. Push through the hard scenes because one day, they will be worth all the trouble and pain they caused.

I hope this has given you some insight, Heidi! Thank you for submitting your question!

To submit a question of your own and potentially get an answer right here on the blog, click here. I read every single question and LOVE receiving them, so be sure to stop by!

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what about you?
Do you ever feel like giving up on your writing? What helps you get over that "writing slump"? Which of these tips surprised you? Which do you find the most helpful? Tell me about it below!!

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6 comments

  1. This was really good, Julia! Outlining is definitely something I need to work on, lol. Thanks for the tips =)

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Evelyn! Glad it was helpful! :D

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  2. Hey, thanks so much for addressing my questions-- I apologize for not seeing either posts, Gmail is being a pain at not showing me stuff. :( Thank you for the tips...setting realistic short-term goals is not really something that had come to mind. Well, it had, but hadn't really "clicked" until now. Are you still doing the accountability group thing that you mentioned a couple posts back?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Heidi! You're very welcome! Aw, not a problem, girl!

      Yes, I am still doing the accountability group on my blog! Here's last month's accountability post: https://www.julianelsonauthor.com/2019/04/my-writing-journey-april-2019-update.html
      (You will probably have to copy and paste into your search bar.)

      If you have any questions about how it works, just let me know! :D

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  3. Great tips, Julia! I enjoyed reading this post! :)

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