I’ve been on a roller coaster with my writing over the last few weeks. Life has taken over at times and like all writers, I’ve had a few setbacks. (Not just the ‘thanks but no thanks’ emails)

I’ve been working on my YA trilogy which is a complex maze of characters, plot and foreshadowing. I tried a series of different plotting devices, but what I realised this week is the thing I need most is to take a break – to stop forcing the issue and allow my subconscious to do its work.

I find that the more pressure I put on myself, the harder it is for my brain to relax…for my thoughts to flow freely…to find the creative solutions I need.

Part of my difficulty has been the discovery that what I thought was book one in the trilogy is actually book two and now I have to basically start from scratch – which is okay, but these characters and their conflicts have been in my head for so long that I feel like I need to put some distance between us.

It’s like spending 24/7 with a bossy friend and feeling that you just need time out to breathe…to be yourself.

Basically, I got to 12,000 words and hit the brick wall. Even though I know what’s going to happen, I need to do more character development and plotting…and thinking. Like a freshly made pot of tea, I need to leave this story to let it brew.┬áSo, hard as it has been, I’ve walked away from the manuscript for the time being.

I’m taking a break and loving it…and I know that when I get back to this story I’m going to love it a whole lot more too.

Sometimes you need to walk away from a manuscript. It doesn’t have to be permanent, but it’s okay to let it go for the time being and move on to something else.

Here’s what to I’ve been doing and these are some things that might help you if you feel like your manuscript is managing you:

  1. I’m reading a lot…and loving it. Reading great books reminds you of what you love about being a writer.
  2. Taking lots of long walks with my dog (and sometimes the cat). They think this is a fabulous idea.
  3. Revisiting an old manuscript in a completely different genre. (I’m really enjoying this).
  4. Taking a short writing course.

I’d love to hear your suggestions and tips about what you do when you feel like you are getting bogged down with a manuscript. What do you do to get back the spark?

Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section of this post.

Happy writing:)