Overcoming writer’s block by chunking

Getting started can feel like the hardest part of any task. Getting out of bed on a cold morning to go for a walk seems daunting – but once you’re out the door you’re fine; writing a novel seems impossible, but once you’ve started a chapter, there’s really no stopping.

Gosh, even writing a blog post can feel hard some days!

My current work in progress is the final book in The Caretaker Trilogy: Beyond the End of the World. It brings back the pirate couple Jess and Simon from The Caretaker of Imagination who go off on a baking adventure with Lucy. This book has been really difficult to write. In retrospect, it’s probably because I was trying to do too many things at once (what, me? never!) and drafting while planning a book launch should never, ever coincide.

#amwriting

#amwriting

So anyway, over the past week (now that launch stuff is over) I’ve been doing wordsprints and taking myself out for a date with my draft to get it done. Most of the time, I get about 300-word chunks written, but they’ve added up pretty quickly. This method of chunking – breaking up a big task (finishing the draft) into bite-sized chunks (writing for 20 mins) – has got the momentum going. I’ve found that as time goes on, I can write for longer periods of time more easily.

Part of chunking is not giving yourself hell when you don’t meet expectations. Baby steps are fine, and any progress is still progress, so even if I haven’t done any writing in a day I look back over the week and realise that I made a damn good effort.

Incidentally, a friend of mine has just started a blog and recently wrote about a similar topic. Read it here. (and while you’re there, give her a comment and a follow!)

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