Do you feel stalled out with your writing project?

It’s easy enough to get stuck, especially when we feel we don’t have enough time to write, can’t see the way forward, or just feel generally overwhelmed.

So we hesitate. And our creative spark languishes.

Meanwhile, we daydream about what we want to achieve and envision the final outcome:  the published book, the acclaim, the readers, the book signings! We wonder, How do I get from here to there?

In that push-pull moment of feeling excited about writing but also feeling afraid to start writing again, what do we do?

I’m always tempted to organize my writing space, read emails, or do research online, but these distractions never jumpstart my creative flow.

Instead, I take some easy steps that get me centered and focused. It doesn’t have to be a big action, but just one that pushes me forward. Once I’m feeling optimistic that I’m making progress, I always get more writing done.

Here are three easy, powerful steps to help you get unstuck:

1. Break your writing project into the smallest first steps.

Get unstuck!

And I mean the smallest, simplest step you can take.  If that means creating a file, labeling it with your book’s working title, and moving all those bits and pieces of writing into it, then do that.

It’s the easy first step that will make you feel comfortable and organized. You’ll also feel super productive and ready to face the next step, which will keep you moving forward. Each day, take another and then another small step.

  • Create an outline or write a summary for your book, starting with the chapters you’ve already written.
  • Flesh out a profile, or describe a memory or scene. Don’t worry how it’s going to fit into the overall book.  The idea is to catch the creative flow.
  • Choose one task that intrigues you.  Focus on the part that’s already going well, and do more of it. You’ll find yourself caught up in the task at hand and the rest will follow.

2.  Proclaim yourself a writer! Make it a priority to write for 30 minutes a day.

Get the routine going and keep at it for a month.  You’ll be surprised at how much writing you produce in 30 days. At first, write about anything that calls to you–the idea is to get unstuck and start writing again. Bridge the gap by blocking out equal chunks of time for free writing and for your writing project. You’ll start looking forward to your creative time and will find ways to write for longer periods of time.

The more days you write, the more focused and clear you’ll be about your book project, and the daily writing will keep you inspired and enthusiastic.

And when you look back at the end of 30 days, you’ll feel quite resourceful that you accomplished so much.

3. Take action and get support.

If you find yourself sidelining your writing project and are frustrated by the lack of progress, then this is a great opportunity to get encouragement from an accountability partner, such as a friend, a writing buddy, a coach, or an online writing community.

Reach out!  You’ll be amazed by how willing others are to support your intentions. And the combination of writing and a supportive community will help your project take off.

Taking small steps helps us get beyond our worries and doubts.  We get more done and feel  more encouraged about our projects. And the more action we take, the closer we’ll be to a finished first draft.

What’s the one thing that helps you move forward with your writing? Share in the comments below!