“If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.”
You finally got a hit of inspiration. After hours of brainstorming and countless post-it-notes, you finally came up with the perfect scenario for your inspiring characters. You write a few lines but find your mind is not in the right place.
You had gusto! You had momentum!
All that seems to be gone now, and you still haven’t moved past “Chapter One”. You quickly fall out of it, abandoning your masterpiece for other projects, but your idea is still tugging at the side of your brain. Your inspiration was one-of-a-kind, and you were sure that this was the one.
How can you get it back?
Well, we understand that it is hard enough to write a sentence, let alone a mind-blowing novel. However, the daunting churn in your stomach that you feel is normal for most writers. The initial rush of excited-ness faded, leaving you at a loss of how you should proceed with your manuscript.
So how should you keep your writing momentum going all while avoiding the creative slum? Here are some quick suggestions!
- Expand your story
Take your sentence of inspiration and expand on it. Think what are your character’s favourite or nasty habits? Figure out what adjectives or verbs can be associated with your character’s temperament. Researching a certain topic can provide a clear understanding of what your topic might be, and from there you will be able to define the challenges and solutions that you need to resolve. Once you have a mind-map surrounding the main details of your idea, it can be easier to write the little details in.
- Set some time aside to write
Believe us when we say we know how hard it could be to set aside time to write. Amongst the crazy schedules and never-ending chore list, it is hard to find some quiet alone time for us to focus on our writing. But you will have to be firm about it and make some time to write. Take an hour everyday to sit down and only think about your story. Let your chores and stress worry themselves after the hour. During that time, shut out all distractions and resist the urge to nit-pick at small details like a pen out of place or the wrong drink in your hand. Once you find yourself concentrating on your words, you will notice the momentum slowly come back to you.
- Don’t be afraid of mistakes
Nobody writes a bestselling novel on the first draft. Even the most accomplished writers have had to go through endless corrections and re-drafts before their story is finally complete. Therefore, don’t aim for perfection on the first try, instead be brave and write your words boldly. Get your editor or an honest friend to read your drafts. Listen closely and fix those mistakes. Through writing and correcting, your story may end up in an even better place than it was before.
Still want more tips? Boil yourself a cup of tea, grab a notepad and head down to our workshop “Writing Your Way Through: Narrative Structure and Momentum” by Kathryn Heyman on the 9th of March 2019 for more solutions on how to maintain your creative momentum till the final word.