This discussion stemmed from a cartoon created by Tom Gauld (listed below). This cartoon inspired me and made me start thinking. How many projects does the everyday writer have on their plate? Do you spend time working on three different projects throughout the week or do you write one consecutive novel throughout a three month process. Do you abandon a project to start another when said project gets to tough? Do you stop writing completely?
In some ways, every writer is The Dithering Novelist. There is always that “thing” in the back of your mind urging you, caressing you, into a new project. You either start a new one or stop writing for several days. I, personally, am the latter. If I get stuck, bored with the story, or plain fed up, I stop going to my computer. I stop using social media, I regrettably stop reading my new How To Book, I even stop planning my next project. This isn’t normal for me. I. Am. A. Planner. I can always find time to pencil something in, get my latest planning technique down to a T, or to write a new outline for a book that won’t be written till WAY later.
Let’s take a look at the meaning of the word Dithering
gerund or present participle: dithering
1. Be indecisive.
“he was dithering about the election date”
synonyms: hesitate, falter, waver, vacillate, change one’s mind, be of two minds, be indecisive, be undecided; More
2.Add white noise to (a digital recording) to reduce distortion of low-amplitude signals.
Courtesy of Google
Basically a fancy word for “can’t make up your darn mind.” (Jordan’s Definition) This is one of those things that all writers go through. Either published or unpublished. Traditionally or Indie. Every writer wants to get their project done to say they completed a novel. Every writer has the will power to finish if they actually want to! So, I have to ask. Do you really want this? Do you really want to write a novel, edit said novel, and submit it for publication? You have to want it, you have to have determination. You need to stop being indecisive and make it happen! No one can put a pen in your hand and make you write. No one can hold a gun to your head and tell you to write the next New York Times bestseller. You have to be determined, you have to have a desire to write and finish your novel. There is no fast/cheap way out. It’s a long haul. Are you prepared?
I have three sure fire ways to make sure you stay with one project. Three tips and tricks I have used to write multiple novels NEVER starting a second project while in the middle of the first!
- Exercise Your Ability to Meet Deadlines :: There will be a post later on about this, but a brief description should do for now. In school you always made sure to turn your assignments in on time or ask for an extension, right? You always had the time because it was your education. It was your future. Basically, it was the law. You have to go to school in America. (If you don’t live in America, now you know.) In most countries you must go to school. It. Is. The. Law. An easy way to make sure you are writing something everyday? Make it part of your household. Whether you are forty or fourteen you can make it part of your everyday routine. You have school? Write at night, two hundred words before you go to bed. You have a job? Write on your lunch break and through the night. (Just be sure to get a little sleep!) Find fifteen minutes here or there in your everyday routine. Not everyone has the opportunity to write eight hours a day!
- Outline Like Crazy :: When sitting at your computer, if you are trying to come up with something to write, you won’d get anything done. You need to have a plan. If you are not the type of writer to think before you write, write a one sentence idea of what you want the chapter to look like. Write it on a post it! note and then stick it above your desk. This way you will have some idea of how you want the story to go.
- Throw In A Curve Ball :: If you don’t like the way your story is going, add something. Don’t stop writing because you can’t figure out what should happen next. Add something, that will most likely be taken out during the editing process, to get you through that scene. If you are bored with it make it interesting!
Those are my three quick tips to help you get through your novel. I know it might seem difficult sticking to one project, but try. These tips might not work for everyone, but maybe they will work for you!!