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Staying Focused: How to Finish a Project

Carrie Rasak

Posted on September 26, 2018 09:10

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Pushing through writer’s block to finally finish a story longer than 10 pages

I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a ton of story ideas. I write them down in a slapdash fashion, promising myself I’ll get back to them eventually. Often, I’ll begin with one story and write for some time, spending several weekends working on it, until it falls by the wayside and I have writer’s block…until I pick up a new story, that is.

Why is that? It’s not as though I don't have time. I have the privilege of long weekends and even a few hours devoted to my story isn't a big time suck. For example: I shelved a mystery novel, and I began working on a dystopian story again that I’m quickly feeling “stuck” with.

I worked on the mystery novel for several weeks, even when I was on vacation, and I now feel as though I've written myself into a corner. I can picture the ending, but I don't know how to get there. The same is true for my dystopian story, I can visualize a part of the story far off into the future, but I'm not sure how to get from point A to point B.

I've heard various suggestions, including joining a writer's group to have others keep you accountable--that does help to a point--but it's definitely not a perfect solution. I also enjoy writing exercises, where you dash off a quick story or poem from a prompt, but that's usually a more in the moment thing vs a long term goal.

I have no trouble finishing short stories which are less than 5,000 words. It's the lengthy almost-novels I can't quite complete.

I am sure there are many creative types here who may struggle finishing a project, whether that be a story, or a series of paintings, or maybe a type of craft project, what are some ways you stay focused and make sure you get it done? How do you escape the slump of indecision?

Carrie Rasak

Posted on September 26, 2018 09:10

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The world offers a lot of ways to become a writer. You can go to school for journalism or creative writing, get a Ph.D....

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