How Do You Cope With Frustrations When Writing?

Writing FrustrationsHow often do you experience frustrations in the middle of your writing?

Me? Quite a lot.

For many years I’ve been writing articles of different categories. Most of my works depends upon the condition of my mood.

If my face looks shallow, my chin drops with indescribable eyes and looks, then it is a perfect time to write about sad stories or aggressive opinions.

A gleeful expression of my face is an indication of a positive writing. I can write happy stories and lightheartedย  articles. The funny thing is, I wear a smiling face the entire writing period. And if you happen to see me in that particular moment, you will probably laugh at me.

I will say it again, I love writing and I write a lot. But not every single day as I wish.

Here’s the thing why?

I do really have a lot of flowing ideas inside my head, down into my nerves. Writing established positive energy and brought me beautiful and wild ideas.

Now here is the problem.

At the very first hour of my writing, everything is fine as the blue sky. A gradual delivery of thoughts seems so endless, so fine and superb.

BOOM! For no reason the system of my brain shuts down.

Struggle begins.

My eyebrows pulled down together. With wide opened and glaring eyes glommed in front of the computer totally shocked.

The cursor of the mouse kept blinking for awhile. Then, I helplessly stood up and took a break for an hour. Silently sip a cup of coffee and started to reconstruct my ideas. I wanted to shout but I kept my poise to regain motivation of my current thoughts.

If I’m lucky, It will take me 30 minutes to reboot the system inside my brain, but most of the time it took me an hour.

โ€œLet your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.โ€
~Sun Tzu, The Art of War~

Enough is enough!

War against writing.

I need to plan ahead before going to the battlefield, I said to myself.

I know exactly the location of my enemy and when it will strike. I have a big advantage of winning the battle. So, I must be smart.

The Strategies:

  • Create a layout before you start writing.

I made a series of layouts before starting my project. I knew somewhere between my writing time, a destruction could sneak my thought and steal a fraction of my time causing me to hang up.

  • Plan a day or a night before writing.

Again, I am familiar with my enemy’s move. I have to do some research and resourcing before hitting my computer’s keyboard and start writing. It is important to gather the necessary information in order for me to win the battle. When hang up times arise, I am ready to reinforce my ideas and continue writing.

All of the basic strategies I made, gave me a peace of mind every time I write an article.

I know you too have your own strategies in coping with frustrations when writing.

You may share some of your thoughts about the topic, it might help us improve our writing habits.

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37 thoughts on “How Do You Cope With Frustrations When Writing?”

  1. I’m in the same boat. Once I get past the initial rush, where the words flow easily, I struggle. The easiest comparison is a deer in headlights. I’ve been sitting at my laptop now for more than an hour, chasing every shiny bauble to avoid starting a rewrite. You’ve got a much better plan than I do to get unstuck, though…

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  2. Thanks for your insight Dave.

    I’ve been struggling before. But I don’t have choice rather than finding ways to escape from the irritable rewrite after the long pause in the middle of my writing. I really hate it.

    Thank God that I’ve found solution to my problem.

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  3. The best way, I find, to deal with this, is to go and do something else. That lets your sub-conscious mull over things and you come back what ever you’re writing somewhat refreshed. You know, some of my posts have 5 to 10 revisions. And when I sit down to write, I do have a plan, even if it’s a rough one. Sometimes the plans don’t work, and the piece gets completely re-engineered. My most recent post is a case in point….

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  4. I follow a writer on Twitter who is a drafting machine. Something like 5 days in a row, she posted that she was hitting word counts of 10K. She never seems to get stuck. On my BEST day, I’ve hit 5K. I absolutely get the frustration of getting stuck once I’m past the initial excitement frenzy, and it’s so hard for me to believe that there are writers out there that don’t.

    I don’t know that I’ve found the best way to deal with this yet, but I just make myself keep going. Period. If I hate what I’m writing, I just get past it. I don’t use extensive outlines, but I have different phases of the manuscript in mind beforehand. If I’m really struggling, I just remind myself of the next big thing I have to hit and muddle through until I get there.

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  5. I created a storyboard for my novel when things started becoming incredibly confusing. I needed to see it all laid out in front of me. Very helpful and it is on a bulletin board above my bed so I’m forced to see it everyday

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  6. I completely understand where you are coming from. What I like to do when I get frustrated is just walk away. When something seems so difficult, it only means one thing – there’s an easier way that you just may not see at the time. I have found that music is also a great solution. When I am down, I like to turn on a song that speaks to my soul. You should try even picking a song for your muse. That way when you get frustrated, you can turn on that song to get back into the flow of things.

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  7. It always helps to have a layout before you begin. What I do is, I try to rid my mind of everything else and just keep playing the script of what I am about to write in my mind over and over again. And then, in a flash, it comes to me.

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  8. When I struggle to write an idea into words, I play a game, plants vs. zombies 2. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am still a little kid at heart.

    Kidding aside, I don’t stop till I found the right word. If not the exact word, at least something that is similar or close to what I want to put in words. And then, I leave writing behind for a few minutes and do other things. Then, I go back to writing.

    It also helps if you could ask someone in your household and describe about it. You may not know when these people can give you the right advice or words.

    As per writing strategies, writing a synopsis (currently I am trying to write a fantasy novel, my childhood dream ๐Ÿ˜‰ or lay out as you described it, helped a lot. Whenever I don’t know what to write I always go back to that synopsis. When it comes to article, I do brainstorming: one general topic then I create branches with specific one word that is related to it. Lastly, I must be a voracious reader to become a quality writer. Read and read and read then write.

    I have other quirky things that I do just to rack up my brain but these are the things I do most of the time.

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  9. Hi Loryfell,

    I believe almost every writer that I knew experienced the same thing. In my case my frustration is on how to start writing. Most of the time I’m pre-occupied by so many thoughts and distractions. To begin is a challenge, to continue is another story. My ego and fear of mistakes was overwhelming.

    So I just try to make things simple. I told myself that just need to write 500 words a day. Just 500 words. It can even be in Filipino. If I did that then I considered myself a writer for that day. I admit though I don’t block a specific time to write which I think I should have.

    I still have the blurry system when it comes to writing.

    But for now, I just need to be better today that I was yesterday.

    Hope that helps somehow. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Always enjoy reading about how other writers approach problems. When you write you can’t hide who you are, it comes out on the page whether we want it or not. Likewise during the process we can’t back away from who we are either. We must confront it and overcome or submit.

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  11. Hey thanks for the follow to faithsighanddiy. I never have a problem deciding what to write. Life is just busy. I don’t post every day to my blog but I probably am writing everyday. Anyway, thanks for the good insights.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. For me I usually need to take a mental break or a few days off. I usually don’t get stuck too much as I just go with it. I have written nearly a 100 short stories over the past three months and looking to continue on with my goals. I’m only 2 stories away from 400 and it’s a big accomplishment for me doing this in three years. I write almost every day and some days I can write up to 6 short stories per day. Creativity and Mental Illness are linked together. I have Bipolar Disorder and I think that is a huge factor in me being prolific and not having difficulty getting stuck. When I get manic the stories keep coming. I love writing and for me its just a lot of fun and I have a great passion for it as it is very important to me. For me it’s fun and comes easy. My best advice I can give when you get stuck is remember this is fun.

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  13. I’m not sure what I do but for my humor blog, which I try to update daily, I’ve found over practice that the ‘initial flush’ of an idea I get works out more often naturally to the kinds of sizes I want. Of course helping that is I want for most pieces only two to three hundred words, with one long (seven to eight hundred word) piece per week, so I’m not taxing things too badly.

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  14. I really like your plan to get unstuck! Especially thinking/planning ahead of what to write. If I just brainstorm a few minutes the night before I know I have time to write, I have an easier time starting off.

    Also, if I finish a section of my writing (which for me might be a scene in my novel, but for you perhaps the end of an article, or topic) I try to either start the next one – even a few lines is enough – or even write some notes about what I want to write next so I’m not starting out with a blank page.

    Happy to have found your blog! Keep writing ๐Ÿ™‚

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  15. We all benefit from reading the experiences of others as they write. Any tips and suggestions are always welcome.
    In the end we have to set our own goals and styles. We have to understand ourselves and what it is we want to achieve. Writing must make me happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  16. Thank you for sharing your writing experiences with us.

    I think it is important to differentiate between two important processes that serve different functions in the writing process. The first is the intitial inspiration and the second is the drafting stage. Most people utilise the first one, and then they feel frustrated when that first drive dries up. I personally find the second process to be superior to the first because it allows a critical distance to be established that enriches a person’s writing in the long run..

    Now for a few, the initial inspiration to put it on paper is so strong and their writing skill-set so tuned that everything they put down is excellent.

    For the rest of us, ordinary writers, that level of sophistication can be reached through drafring.

    Myself, I push myself past the intial inspiration and try to get to the end of an idea as quickly as possible. Then, when I come back to the work, because the writing is “out there” (no longer part of me) I can approach it critically through drafting.

    It is amazing the level of sophistication this process can lead to as connections you never conceived in the first stage now come into view.

    Thank you for listening…

    Toni at MJO-Learning to think

    Liked by 1 person

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