author, creative writing, writing

How to Handle a Stubborn First Draft

Writing isn’t easy. My current work in progress is being really stubborn. By that, I mean it’s taking a long time to write, and constantly filling me with doubt. Recently, however, I’ve started making some progress. So I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned that are helping to keep me on track.

One of the things that’s helped the most, has been taking away the need to get words down. It can be daunting staring at a blank page, trying to find the words. I’ve found daydreaming about the story helps unravel the plot holes and banish the writer’s block. Do something else; take a walk, sit down with a cup of coffee or stare out of a window. Allow yourself to think of your story, without any of the pressure. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to write!
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Allow yourself a break
It’s okay to take a break if you need it. Writing is supposed to be enjoyable, so don’t let it feel like a chore. Take some time off, watch a movie or work on a mini side project, or simply spend time with friends and family. Taking a break means you’ll return to your work with fresh eyes, and and a renewed energy.
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Move onto a different scene
It can feel essential to finish each scene in order, but you can writer however suits you best. Rather than staying stuck in the same place for a while, why not move onto the next scene instead? Not only does it keep the story flowing, but it may help you work out what you were stuck on in the first place.
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Stick with it
This is the biggest one of all. You’ll learn more about your writing process by finishing. Don’t give up, no matter how stubborn the draft is being. Sometimes the words won’t come, or you’ll feel uninspired. But those feelings aren’t forever. Stick with it. You’ll be glad you did.
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What do you do when your first draft is being stubborn? Share your thoughts below.

Until then,
Keep writing,

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23 thoughts on “How to Handle a Stubborn First Draft”

  1. Nice post. 🙂 The biggest block I had on my first book was when I was trying to come up with a way to save the protagonist from a consequence. When I just let him take the fall everything fit into place. So not trying to cut against the grain of your own story.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post! It motivated me to continue to make progress on my current work in progress. When my first draft is being stubborn (which seems to be always) normally I’ll read articles or watch videos with writing advice, or I’ll read a book, and it reminds me why I started in the first place.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve long since found that just getting up from my desk makes ideas flow. Many times I’ve turned off the computer for the day and suddenly inspiration overflows for what has to happen next. Scribbling furious notes helps keep those bursts of creativity from escaping.

    Water definitely does it. Washing dishes, taking a shower, even brushing my teeth. Anything involving water brings on that reverie where story plot points lurk.

    Liked by 2 people

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