Articles / On Writing

Quick Tips: Writing Achilles’ Heel


Most of the articles the Divas write draw from personal experience, and this one is not any different. I’ve been struggling with my first novel for a while now. Really, I’ve been struggling with many first novels. I have about four or five WIPs that can’t seem to get past chapter four. My intentions are great when I start them. I have this brilliant idea, and I’m so fired up that the words pour out of my fingers line after magnificent line. I feel pretty good about myself and even pat my back with an attagirl. These are the best times for me as an author. The creativity, the inspiration, the want and need to write. It’s a thrilling feeling or a writing drug, if you will. I get high off the new story and the new idea.  But when I’m done for the day, like any “addict,” I crash and come down off the high.

I have officially found my writing Achilles’ heel, and my brilliant story has fizzled by day two.

Why is that? Well, I know that in my case I let my life priorities get in the way, and I make excuses. I can’t write today because I have to clean house. Or, there isn’t any time for writing because I have to shuttle kids to soccer, make dinner, do bath time, bedtime, and then catch up on my hundreds of hours of backlogged shows on my DVR (which isn’t a priority but I make it one and that’s not very good for a future writing career). When I do go back to my brilliant story, I ended up reading it over again and again (not writing, mind you) and ripping it to pieces because it’s a big pile of crap (even though it’s the first draft, but whatever). I’m then left spinning my wheels and my novel hasn’t gotten past chapter four. Again. Ugh!

So how do you make writing a priority and not your Achilles’ heel? Heck if I know. I wouldn’t be in this writing pit if I did. But what I do know is that I can’t give up. In all honesty, it’s about balance and not beating yourself up. It’s a mantra that I remind myself of all the time. Don’t give up. You’re a good writer. You have it in you to be great. This is the same tip I’m giving all of you that are struggling like me. Your writing Achilles’ heel doesn’t have to be permanent. All you have to do is remind yourself why you started writing in the first place—because you love it. Writing is in your soul. To stop writing is the same as breathing underwater. We have all felt that suffocation. But that doesn’t have to be that way forever.

This tip is really a pep talk because I know I need it some days and I know you need it too. Life happens and it gets in the way of what we love to do the most, but it’s not a roadblock. It’s only a detour. All you have to do is find your way again. And that thrill of the first four chapters will come back. I’m on my mission to find it again. I will finish my novel this year. It’s a need, not a want, and I’m determined. If you are in the same situation, let’s encourage each other. Share your writing Achilles’ heel with us. Together we can overcome our own barriers and become better writers.

Now stop whatever you’re doing and write!


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