Stuck, blocked or burned-out?

Published On: 03/05/2024Categories: Writing490 words2.6 min readViews: 298

I started listening to the Quitcast for Writers this week.

For writers feeling stuck, blocked or burned out with their manuscripts – this podcast is for you. I thought I might’ve been in burn-out, but after listening to a couple of episodes, I realise it’s nowhere near as severe as when I burned out last year.

I cannot express how happy it makes me to realise I’m not in the burn-out stage. I’ve been in burn-out a few times and each time, it took weeks and weeks to come out of it. Listening to the Quitcast for Writers made me realise I am more-so in the stuck/blocked stage and the good news is, Becca Syme (the host) gives you actual steps to take so you can overcome these situations. And they’re already working.

Dwight from the office punching his fist in a cheer.

Today, I cleaned up the meet-cute of my characters in my current book.

The meet-cute happens in the first chapter. In the first couple of paragraphs actually. I’m refining how to make it more succinct and snappy, but it’s better than it was. It actually connects now and makes sense for each of the characters. One of my weaknesses with writing is that I often try and explain too much in the beginning when I’m setting the scene – I’m working on making it better.

Despite the victory with my writer’s block, I’m stressing about other elements.

Last night for instance, I lay awake for about an hour spiralling about my deadlines for this book. I’m wondering how and if I’m going to make the deadlines I set. I kind of have to, given I’ve booked my editor in. It caused my heart to race erratically as I played around with dates whilst staring at the ceiling.

I came to the decision this morning to knuckle down and do my best. If for any reason I don’t make the deadlines I set, I’ll deal with that then. I’m hoping that I can push through the self-doubt, the writer’s block and every other goddamn obstacle to get it done, and get it done well.

Shortly, I will be advertising for beta readers for my next book.

For those who don’t know, beta readers are different from ARCs. Beta readers read and provide feedback on manuscripts before they’re published. Beta readers can help identify areas of your book that are working, as well as aspects that are confusing, unclear or incomplete. They spot plot holes and inconsistencies – they’re kind, but honest, in telling you what is and isn’t working.

It’s important to have fresh beta readers as books progress and I generally only work with a small group of people. Keep your eyes peeled if you think this is something you’d be interested in.

That’s it for now.

As a final flourish to this post about my current work-in-progress, below is a photo of the inspiration for the male main character. You’re welcome.

Hannah x

Black and white photo of a man in a suit jacket, shirtless underneath.