I think every writer who has ever attempted to write something seriously, whether it’s a short story or novel or something in-between, has struggled with that leaden feeling you get sometimes. Your story is dragging. You can’t quite figure it out—maybe you plotted that sucker out to the second, and it all hangs together elegantly, and yet it’s dead in the water. Or maybe you wrote the first third in a sweat of feverish inspiration, and now you simply can’t believe it’s all abandoned you.
Either way, you find yourself struggling to move forward, and you’re sweating those word count goals you set for yourself back in happier days. Because we all know that the only way to make any progress as a writer is to be able to post a word count goal on Facebook at the end of the day (ahem). So you grind away, uninspired and clayfooted, but comforted by the number of words you’re logging every day.
Here’s the thing, though: You’re writing this story. If you’re bored, what makes you think a reader won’t be?
The Delete Key is Your Friend
This is tough, especially if you’ve been grinding for weeks and now you’re looking at tens of thousands of words—but you should delete them.
It’s that simple. If you find your own mind wandering when you’re writing a scene, a chapter, an entire book (you poor bastard) there is a very good chance your readers’ minds will wander as well, which, you know, is not the goal. If you’re not enjoying what you’re writing, stop, save, delete, save as—and start over.
I wish there was a nifty acronym for that, but SSDSASO doesn’t mean anything.
Don’t kid yourself; writing is a talent that requires skill to develop properly, but there is no amount of skill in this universe—or talent—that can mask an author’s boredom with their own material. Take the night off, have a few drinks, and start over with a new idea that does excite you.