J.A. Stinger

Words Can Inspire The World

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

I don’t know about you, but when I’m working on long stories, such as a novel, I often find my interest and enthusiasm waxing and waning as I progress. The ideas still come fast and furious but my inner child often tugs at my mental sleeves wanting to play, calling it “homework”. Well, it IS homework, but it’s the fun kind that may lead to nowhere or it may lead to fame and fortune. Who’s to say?

I consider myself fairly self-disciplined and don’t like to waste time when I know things need to be done, so I forge ahead. That’s not to say that I don’t take breaks and play. Heck, games like The Movies, Dangerous Waters, Empire Earth, Evil Genius, and Star Trek: Armada II have found their way onto my writing laptop’s hard drive, despite my best efforts to the contrary.

Let’s face it, when you do something day in and day out, it can get a little stale. Sure, I could write other kinds of stories and I often do exclusively for the blog, but contrary to popular opinion Writing isn’t the only thing that occupies my time. It just happens to be the most accessible and a skill that I try very hard to improve through constant practice.

The only technique that’s worked for me to battle this situation is Plug and Chug. Keep going, even if what you’re putting down is gibberish and makes you cringe. You can always edit out later. Taking breaks may help but it only delays the inevitable. I couldn’t do breaks because then my stories sit there, mocking me, and I can’t have that. Better to dredge up those untapped energy reserves and put them to use. You’d be surprised how much is sitting down at the bottom of the tank waiting to be used.

Never give up.