Hello everyone! I know it’s been a while since we talked, and recently I’ve been thinking about one particular problem of mine that I thought might be an interesting topic to discuss with you all, especially my writer peeps. And that would be the dreaded curse of the unfinished manuscript. I know, I get chills just thinking about it. For me, it’s one of the worst things to deal with as an author. You get all excited about this idea you suddenly come up with for a story, you start writing it down, and then halfway through, it comes out of nowhere: writer’s block. Normally this wouldn’t be too bad. Most of the time you’re able to work through it and continue after copious amounts of caffeine and pep talks by your loved ones, reminding you that YOU are the one that decided to go down this crazy road of being a writer. But on some occasions, you just can’t shake the block, and that’s when you develop DNRM: Do Not Resuscitate Manuscript.
If you suffer from this condition, remember that you are not alone. I myself have around six to seven unfinished manuscripts sitting in my documents on my computer right now, just waiting for my lazy behind to get around to them. And ironically, all of these unfinished projects are the ones I had the greatest ambition for. And by ambition, I mean I actually sat down and outlined most of them, giving all these great details so that when I went and wrote the book, I wouldn’t be typing blind. But alas, they fell under DNRM, and they continue to weigh me down with guilt every time I see their titles.
But there is a cure to this disease, believe it or not. I only discovered this after I did some research to see how others tackle this feat. And I found that the solution can come in one of two ways. One, you can take time off from the manuscript and try to find inspiration elsewhere to spur you on, or maybe even work on another project for a while. The only issue to this cure is that if you’re working under a deadline, you better find that inspiration quick, or else you’re going to be living on Ramen noodles and becoming the real live version of the term “starving artist”. But don’t forget, I said there’s a second way.
The second cure is much more influenced by a drill sergeant. And honestly, it’s the one I’m currently trying to survive by. It’s the old, Get off your high artistic horse, sit down in front of the screen, and make your fingers type something, even if it sucks. Harsh, I know. But you’d be surprised by the result. If you tell yourself you can’t move on to your next anticipated project until you finish this one, you’ll find that your motivation is elevated, and by gosh you actually start to put words on the page.
Keep in mind that everyone is different. What might work for me might not work for you, but if you’re in the same place as myself right now, and your documents is full of unfinished manuscripts, then maybe give these two solutions a try. I’d love to know if they end up working for you 🙂