Writing a novel in a post-college creative workshop context is both stressful and liberating. I’ve been trying to actively combat my writer’s block and wanted to take some time to reflect on how that’s going.
My main challenges with writing:
- I can’t seem to find the right words to convey a scene
- I don’t know how to get to the next part of my novel
- I keep wanting edit as I write, which slows me down
- I feel anxious about self-imposed deadlines
- I often get distracted and prioritize other tasks
What’s actually been helping:
- Talking through the content and process of writing with writer friends, my sister, and therapist. You never know what fresh angle people can give you
- Logging what I accomplish every day to see how my progress is going and also push myself to write more than the previous day
- Putting away distractions while I write or read to build my attention span and writing stamina. This such a tough one! Not checking social media right when I wake up has helped me center my own creativity
- Free-writing about a scene or struggle I’m having in my writing journal
- Listening to the 88 Cups of Tea podcast and getting genuine insight and affirmation on what I’m experiencing as a writer
- Reading both craft books and fun YA books because both are so important
- Letting go of preconceived notions about my book to explore any and all ideas
- Giving myself the ability to experiment and write scenes that may not even make it into actual book—and recognizing that it’s not a waste of time!
- Researching time period, cultures, and topics related to my novel. There are tons of free books at b-ok.org. It’s also a great resource for college textbooks
- Coming to my own realizations about writing and actively implementing what I learn
- Understanding that my first draft is going to be sh*tty and that’s perfectly okay!!
- Trying my best to center joy while writing instead of anxiety because writing a novel is a long and difficult process
- Learning how to be patient and persistent because that’s the only way I can get better at writing and/or get closer toward my goals
- Developing a routine and striking a balance between holding myself accountable and giving myself grace
- Making space for interesting life experiences because that can help inspire content
It’s a work in progress! –S.A.
“If you want to write, just believe you can, because it’s about perseverance.”– TOMI ADEYEMI