Practicing Patience in Writing

brattylittledongsaeng asked: Any tips for patience? I find that half my problem with not being able to write is because I don’t have that patience to let my mind unravel. I guess I’m so eager to get to the point that I get frustrated and leaves the piece unfinished.

Patience is a huge part of writing. The act of actually finishing something is, in my experience, relatively rare. One becomes frustrated with the writing, the characters, the plot, the amount yet to be done. There are so many factors working against you, against every writer, that the task can seem impossible. It isn’t.

Here are a few tips for patience:

  • Identify what’s making you impatient. What about your writing process has your mind wandering and your feet anxiously tapping? Sometimes just knowing which aspects of writing make you feel impatient can go a long way in giving you patience. Try to address why you are impatient. Is it because you don’t feel that your writing is good enough? Because there is so much to do? Because you feel under-prepared to write whatever you’re writing? These issues can be addressed, but not until you identify them for yourself. 
  • Give yourself a checklist and do one thing at a time. Starting a project can sometimes feel like standing on a hill and staring off into the distance at the miles and miles of road yet to be traveled. That feeling can be overwhelming, exhausting even, and can persuade the impatient writer into hopelessness. But not you! If you make yourself a checklist of tasks to be done for the project, you’ll actually feel like you’re getting something done instead of tackling the whole thing at once. Accomplishing these small goals is much more manageable and allows for small celebrations along the way, something that can be crucial to keeping your confidence and attention levels high.
  • Impatience may be a sign of boredom. If you’re bored with your writing, odds are that your readers are going to be just as bored. Your impatience may be your cue to up the ante for your characters or change up your style. Try something new. That may be just what the doctor ordered.
  • Keep track of the things that make you impatient. Remember that checklist from two bullet points ago? We’re going to put a different kind of check on it. As you complete tasks on your checklist, mark how often you felt frustrated or bored or otherwise impatient while completing that task. Make the checks proportional to your impatience, large for very impatient and small for a little impatient.
    Sometimes our minds can inflate our frustrations, making us feel like one instance of impatience is more invasive that many smaller instances of impatience. It can help to keep score, to have a physical illustration of when and to what degree you feel impatient. Lots of checks or even just one really big check could mean that it’s time to reexamine that particular aspect of your writing. Something about that is pretty clearly rubbing you the wrong way. 
  • Breathe. I know, I know, but do it for me. Walk away from your writing and take five very long, deep breaths. Go sit someplace quiet and just hum inside of your head and breath. It sounds too simple, but nice, deep breaths can help calm your impatient jitters. I promise.
  • Focus on the bigger picture. Yes, you’re taking little steps (remember the checklist) to get to the end of your project, but throwing up your hands over an imperfect word choice or a repeated spelling error will not help you achieve your goals. Work on saying, “I can tackle that later.” Underline it or make a note of it and move on. Grammar and word choice are important, but finishing is the larger goal.
  • Forgive yourself. You’re not perfect, so stop beating yourself up over it. Try not to compare the volume of your work or your level of success to other writers. Likewise, try not to compare your first draft to other authors’ finished, published projects. You’ll get there, but one hard-won step at a time, my friend. It’s a long road, and you’ve got to give yourself permission to stumble along the way. The key is to keep going

Here are some more resources on patience:

Thank you for your question! If you have any comments on this post or other questions about writing, you can message us here!


How to Finish What You Start: A Five-Step Plan for Writers

by Ali Luke

Do you have a bunch of first chapters tucked away in a drawer – for seven different novels?

Is there a folder full of abandoned short stories on your computer?

Have you left a trail of abandoned blogs around the internet?

Did your ebook fizzle out after a few pages?

Most writers have been there … again, and again, and again. When I began writing, I spent plenty of time starting stories. The problem was, I pretty much never finished them.

Maybe it’s the same for you. You’ve got plenty of great ideas, and you just can’t resist throwing yourself into them. Unfortunately, your motivation seems to vanish … and you’re left with a bunch of notes, outlines and first drafts that aren’t going anywhere.

No-one’s going to buy a half-written novel. No-one’s going to read a blog post that stops short after two paragraphs. So whether your writing aspirations involve hitting the New York Times bestseller list or living from the passive income from your ebooks, you need to finish what you start.

Here’s how:

Read More

by B. McKenzie

WriteWorld Note: This article is geared toward writing superhero comics, short stories, and novels.


  1. The author is working on too many projects to finish one.
  2. The author is unwilling and/or unable to set time aside for writing.
  3. The author gives up on the manuscript and starts another.
  4. The writer constantly rewrites chapters before the first draft is complete.
  5. The author sends it out for beta-reviews too early and gets discouraged.
  6. The author loses track of where the story is going and allows that to discourage him/her.
  7. The author writes out of sequence and gets horribly discouraged when the story fragments turn into an incoherent wreck.
  8. There are too few goals, obstacles, character growth and/or consequences to propel the story past writer’s block.

Read More

anonymous asked:

every time I try to write something I end up getting distracted or just not finishing. Any tips to keep going/trying to be more creative?

Here’s our tag on finishing.

Writing is learning. You learn from yourself every time you put pen to paper. The more you write, the more you grow. 

How do you keep from distraction? Write. Put yourself in front of that empty page every day and fill it. Commit to your work, and recommit every day. You build habits over time; you can build a habit of avoiding the work, or you can build a habit of confronting it head-on despite your self-doubt—even if you sometimes fail. 

It might take you years to grow into a writer who finishes the projects you start. And that’s okay. Keep working. Keep writing.

Thanks for your question!


Inserting Zippers into Knitted Garments

little-creepy-bird asked:

Do you have any advice for a serious case of I-can't-seem-to-finish-anything-in-life, particularly novels I start? For years I've tried to write a novel, but something always stops me: from the pc dying and losing all my progress, to finding points where my story would stop making sense, or I'd just lose interest in the story's plot, and I didn't have enough power of will to continue. It happens even with my fanfictions. Am I just not writer material? Can I change that?

  1. Back up your files.
  2. Plan out your story.
  3. Keep writing even if it’s slowing down. You can always go back and change it.
  4. Write out of order.
  5. Go back to your inspiration.
  6. Your first draft is not your final draft.

Getting Started - some of this may apply

How to Finish What You Start

How to Finish Your Novel

Why You’ll Never Finish Your Novel