How can you get past a writing impasse? Jeanne San Pascual, today’s guest, shares four ways you can win against inaction and make progress with your writing. Over to you, Jeanne.
Every writer out there knows that there’s nothing more frustrating than being stuck with a task and not knowing how to progress from there. This often happens because many writers are able to lull themselves into inaction by mainly focusing on fear and doubt. If these are the same attributes that are crippling you, then do know that you don’t always have to be ready to act.
Like with all forms of action in life, every movement is set to have its own corresponding consequence and the risks and costs associated with an individual’s professional direction are all part of what makes a career fulfilling in the end.
At one point or another, you have to face uncertainty and unpredictability because if you don’t, then you’re likely not writing or living using your full potential. Like the water that becomes impure after a period of stagnation, so will inaction only serve to compromise your writing outcome.
Below are some helpful tips on how to keep moving forward in your writing:
Make the best out of failures
If the fear of failure is the one holding you back, the most certain way get past an impasse is to try just one more time. Don't let rejection hold you back from submitting your finished works or sending it for critique.
Making the best out of failures doesn’t mean you have to try the same things again, but the key in succeeding is to try at least one more time. As long as you don’t let defeat beat you down, mistakes will only serve as opportunities for learning how to be better in your craft.
In terms of your professional challenges, what matters is establishing a way to get back up after each refusal. No matter how many countless of losses you’ve experienced in the past, it’s up to you to use it as fuel to spur yourself into action.
Aim to change for the better
For the most part, inaction inadvertently affects a person’s decision-making process—the more you wait, the more you hesitate. In some way or another, inaction brings about a feeling of safety, but in return, builds nothing in the process and this is certainly true for writing. The bane of being stuck actually lies in continual development and adjustment.
You’ll never be stuck in an unfavorable position as long as you put in the effort to grow and adapt with life’s circumstances. If you don’t know how to continue a plot or if you’re stumped on how to flesh out an idea, don’t be reluctant to reach out and ask others in the field of what they did in similar circumstances.
Have a proactive approach
You cannot always sit back passively and hope that a particular story or poem will wrap itself up. Doing something that’s necessary but tedious requires much courage and determination. In essence, you don’t have to have a particular inherent interest in something in order to do well in it. Success is not based predominantly in liking a certain thing, but in doing it.
As long as you learn to make yourself available to the various opportunities around you, then you’ll be able to see different ways on how to face different ordeals in your career.
Create the right standards for yourself
Establishing the right standards for ourselves is one way to prevent from reaching an impasse. These standards need not be one measured from another author’s yardstick since it should inherently be your own.
People have this common misconception that putting higher standards can only result in more frustrations, but on the contrary, placing a benchmark of excellence as your guide can only precipitate better results.
Why, you may ask? Because higher standards spur you to expend more effort and energy to reach the level you have set for yourself. However, the key difference is to not hold others to the same standards since it will only serve to disappoint you in more than one occasion.
Basically, you should expect a lot of yourself because that’s something you have control of. If you plan on finishing a book or achieving best seller status then go for it, reticence will only serve to stall your current position all the more.
It’s definitely a downhill slope for any person who chooses to lower their standards—not only are they settling for mediocrity, but they are intrinsically sabotaging their own future since it is in forging your personal distinctive merit that you will know the full breadth of your writing potential.