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Avoiding Disenchantment

On How To Stick With The Stories You've Started

Learn how to do more and enjoy it with these simple tips

Today I was sent an anonymous ask over on theinkstainsblog Tumblr page asking the question: how can I stick with a story even when I lose interest with it, and how can I know this is the right story for me if I'm getting bored? Now, sticking with our stories is something I bet an awful lot of us struggle with at times (god knows I do) so I think this is something that’s important for us to focus on. I’m going to split the answer into three main parts in order to give proper focus to the question - how to stick with a story during writing, how to keep your excitement for a story, and how to know if this is the right story for you so keep an eye out for parts two and three!

How To Stick With Your Story:

I’m sure plenty of us know this feeling: you get a new idea and its just the most wonderful exciting idea ever. It practically writes itself! Except of course, it doesn’t. And so slowly we begin to lose interest. Until a new oh so exciting idea pops into our heads and off we run with that one. But how can we avoid throwing the old story away?

Plan, plan, plan.

In our enthusiasm, we often sit down to write before we really know where this thing is headed or what we’re doing with it - so remember to sit down and work out the beginning, ending and all the wobbly bits that happen in the middle.

Don’t be afraid to write multiple things at once.

I know, I know it seems like a recipe for disaster and it will certainly take longer to get any one project finished, but hear me out. Sometimes, you’re going to want to follow through on a new idea even when you really shouldn’t give up on the old one so it can help to keep focused on both just so long as you make sure not to neglect one of them or let it fester. 

Stop worrying so much.

Remember that there is plenty of time to fix any problems in later drafts, you have all the time in the world. For now, just keep slogging on with the book in all it's imperfect glory. Love it for it's flaws.

Don't over research before you get started.

Yes, I know I said that planning was super important. But there's a big difference between outlining the basic plot so you know where you're going and researching every tiny minute detail. Nothing will turn you off a story faster than micromanaging yourself.

If you're the kind of person that hates to let others down then tell as many friends and family as possible that you're going to write a book. Get them hyped up for it. When you begin to lose interest, let them push you to keep going.

Take care of yourself while you're writing.

It's important to take breaks - have a snack, a drink, maybe go for a short walk or have a stretch. If you don't take care of yourself during your writing time, you'll begin to look on that as the time that makes you uncomfortable and nothing will discourage you faster.

Break the rules.

Here is probably the most important piece of advice I can give for any writer: just say fuck it and break the rules. Part of the reason why you might be getting bored with your story, is you're not focusing on what you're passionate about but getting bogged down in other people's expectations of you / what you think the reader might want. It's time to just say, screw all of that and write what you actually want to write. Break the genre conventions, do things no one else has, write what makes you happy, write what scares you. Write the things that only you can write. I promise that your writing will be all the better for it.

Finally, there's something that you might not want to hear but is just plain true: sometimes you just have to force yourself to get your butt in your seat and start writing. If this is something you want to do for a career then it's like any other job - you show up and put the hours in even when you don't want to. It's a battle of wills but sometimes you really do just have to be stern with yourself and write something that isn't as exciting as it was when you started.

If this post helped you, consider supporting my work on Patreon for more writing advice, book reviews, and stories.

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Avoiding Disenchantment
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