7 Ways to Stop Laboring Over Your Writing

Photo courtesy of Abi Ismail via Unsplash

Perhaps you’re a natural-born writer who has never struggled to come up with a topic for your blog or worried about how you’ll ever finish a complete book. If that describes you, congratulations! You’re a rare breed, indeed.

If, however, you’re like most writers — including myself — then you know how labor-intensive writing can become. Sure, there are days when the writing muse grabs hold of you and you’re able to complete an entire chapter of your book in one sitting. But then there are many more days when a deadline looms (or has passed) and you just don’t know where to go with your writing.

The frustrating thing is that it isn’t always the same problem. Sometimes the ideas simply won’t flow because your creativity seems to have been silenced. Sometimes you have so many ideas swirling in your head that you simply can’t get them written fast enough before they float away. And of course, there are those days when technology challenges take up all your time or unforeseen circumstances derail your writing plans.

When setting out to become a dedicated blogger or author, you have to plan for distractions, interruptions and those days when writing itself is simply a challenge. To help you overcome these inevitable road blocks that cause you to labor over your writing, consider the following seven tips:

1. Set a Reasonable Deadline

A rapid deadline will most likely stress you out and cause your writing time to be more arduous than necessary. Alternately, an extended deadline may tend to make you procrastinate or perform extensive research. Both can lead to a sense of overwhelm, which is a leading contributor to laborious writing.

2. Repurpose Content

A book doesn’t have to be comprised of entirely new content. Review your old blog posts and articles to determine if any of that content can be updated and incorporated into your book.

3. Speak Your Thoughts

If you’ve discovered that you tell stories to others much faster than writing them, try speaking your thoughts into a recorder and then transcribe them into a draft.

4. Put Yourself in Your Reader’s Shoes

Sometimes a different perspective is all it takes to get your writing back on track. What would you reader need to know at this point to better understand the concept you’re sharing? Would a different angle, new example or added dialogue help maintain their interest? Is there something you can include that they wouldn’t expect, but which would make them recommend your book to everyone they know?

5. Share Relevant Personal Examples

Readers like to get to know authors and they appreciate when authors legitimately provide a solution to their challenges. If you find yourself at a loss for words, think of a time when you’ve experienced something similar to what you’re writing about and incorporate it into your draft.

6. Write About What You Know…or Want to Learn About

This age-old advice is spot on. If you aren’t interested in the topic, it will be difficult to remain motivated enough to complete your project.

7. Keep Writing

Perhaps it sounds cliché, but the truth is that the more you write, the easier it becomes. You gain confidence in your abilities and you stop overanalyzing every word you pen.

I realize that these aren’t all-inclusive solutions, and yes, they’re oversimplified in a sense, but they are tips that can help you. I know because I’ve personally struggled with labored writing. Believe me — it’s not a once-and-your-done problem; your writing will periodically become labored. But know that every time you fall into a rut or become overwhelmed, you can apply one or more of the above concepts and jump-start your writing. Go ahead! Give them a try and see for yourself.

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