Writing Wednesdays: Settle Down


I can’t settle on one story.

This isn’t anything new. Whenever I run into problems with a story, or run out of steam, I tend to let a project hibernate while I work on something new. Usually I’m running 7 or 8 projects in various stages at once.

But since my surgery, it’s gotten to be a really noticable problem. For awhile I had what  I called “swiss cheese brain”–nothing was sticking in there. And while that’s gotten a lot better over the past few months, I’m still having trouble focusing, and more importantly, settling.

I’ll write a paragraph in one story. Delete half of it and write it over again. Go to another story and write two lines of dialogue. Write a random paragraph for story 3 without having a concrete scene to attach it to. Go back to story 1. Stare at the blinking cursor for awhile. Suddenly remember and reboot an idea I had 10 years ago. Stare at the blinking cursor some more. It’s not block, really. I don’t much believe in writer’s block. I think it comes down to a lack of patience, and a lack of discipline.

So, how to deal with it? Do I pick just one project and force myself through it in one or two sittings? Do I continue to word vomit until each separate story finally takes shape? Get a change of scenery, or a change of writing habits? Writers, how do you put all of your focus behind one project at a time? (Or do you at all?)


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