5 Steps to Shaking Writing Doldrums

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00004]I promise, writing muse, I shall never write another book series.  I just don’t have it in me.  In the beginning, I started out writing this Five Rims series with vim and vigor.  I spent 6 months on the backstory and on the various planets and races encountered within the pages, but now that the final novel is nearing an end I’m hearing the voices of new characters and seeing the stories of new adventures for entirely different books.

Not only that…school begins in less than a week.

I’m an English teacher, but I also direct an alternative education program, an online schooling supplement and sponsor the junior class.  Something has to give, most times, and unfortunately writing is one of those things I do now when I have time.  But I also have 4 teenage kids.

I will find time.

However, I am finding that this current series is dragging its feet even though I have the outline done and know where it’s going.  The problem is that I also have three other books I’d like to write waiting in the wings.

(They aren’t waiting.  Actually I’m working on them most of the time when I should be writing the final chapter of Five Rims.)

But, I figured out how to finish the project even though I’m in the doldrums about it.  I don’t want the quality to suffer because I want to move on to other projects.  So how do I do that?

  1. Re-ignite the Excitement – I pour over the original notes every time I get stuck on a scene or just grow tired of writing in that world.  I try to figure out what made the original idea so exciting for me and try to dwell there.  I try to talk to someone about the ideas I have, mainly to get myself rolling on the task of finishing the book.
  2. Write No Matter What – I set aside a time each day to write at least a certain quota of word count even though my heart isn’t in it.  I push through and get it done and then reward myself by working on the other projects I have planned for the future.
  3. Set a Finish Goal – I have a deadline in October to finish the rough draft.  I will get it done if I keep with #2, and then I can go through and edit and revise so that it will make more sense and will be more pleasing to a reader’s eye.
  4. Get the Cover Designer Cracking – I have a cover designer, and I’ve already sent scenes and an outline to him for perusal.  I’m sure he’ll give me some proofs in a few months, and then I’ll be on my way to finishing the thing.
  5. The Long Weekend – I’m off on Fridays as we only have a 4 day school week.  This allows me to grade papers on Friday, but it also gives me a solid afternoon to work on the book, and I will devote that to the book entirely.  I’ll go to the library, find a quiet place, and get done.  Marathon the thing.

Do you have some tried and true ways to get yourself moving toward a finish line with your current project?  Please comment or post them below.  I’d love to share ideas with you.

Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

4 thoughts on “5 Steps to Shaking Writing Doldrums

  1. Having just started a second job my motivation has been somewhat lacking, and I too can’t stop thinking about the next book. I’m so close to being done it’s ridiculous but the adjustment period to my new schedule has been a bear to get used to. Still, I cling to positive thoughts that each day I’m closer than I was yesterday and I reflect on advice you gave me long ago via the Fanboys podcast which was, “reward yourself with time for the next novel by finishing the first.” I’m paraphrasing but that was the gist of it. Hang in there Roger, I can’t wait to read the conclusion of the Five Rims series!

  2. I often had a tough time finishing anything during the school year, now that I’m retired, after 42 years of teaching high school social studies and English, I still find summer the most difficult time to write. Too many distractions. Of your five tips to get writing, I have used both number one and two. Nice post.

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