Friday, May 10, 2013

Did Your Project Stall?

It happens to most of us at some point. The book (quilt/scrapbook/you-fill-in-the-blank) we were so excited about stalls. It doesn't happen gradually--it feels as if it does, but it doesn't. No, one day you're working on it, and the're not.

You might love the project. You can imagine the end product. You know it will be wonderful.


You have no desire to work on it. You may even dread it.

Why does this happen?

1. We hit a point in the project where we're uncertain what to do next.

2. We look at the unfinished project through disdainful eyes, only seeing the flaws, forgetting it's the finishing touches that bring it together.

3. The busy-ness of life crowds out the time we reserved to work on it.

4. We get discouraged.

5. We wonder if continuing the project is worth it, and we fail to continue working on it.

6. Someone else completes a similar project with huge success and we compare our project to theirs. Insecurity ensues.

7. It hits us how much work is left. We become overwhelmed.

8. We wait for the mood to strike, but that's like waiting until we "feel" like exercising--it never happens!

What can we do about it?

1. We can take ten minutes to jot down possible next steps.

2. We train ourselves to ignore the flaws and press forward.

3. Do not allow anything to crowd out our project time.

4. When discouraged, give ourselves a pep talk.

5. The project IS worth it.  Finishing a project is its own reward.

6. Never compare!

7. Stop looking at the big picture and focus on what we can do today.

8. There is no muse. Commit. Persevere. Just. Do. It.

What project lurks unfinished in your life? What can you do to get it back on track?

 Have a wonderful weekend!!


  1. Great post. I think every book I've ever written has a point where everything stalls. These are great tips on getting back on track!

    1. Hear, hear! I always reach a point where I just feel overwhelmed. It's vital to push through. It's just a phase!

  2. Excellent post, Jill! I just stalled in one of my WIPs--you know! It was overwhelming and needed so much work. But I'm excited to jump back in as soon as a couple projects are off the table and I can get to her. ;)

    1. I've rewritten two books. It's extremely overwhelming. There are so many details affected by every change, and I worried that I was going to lose the overall theme of the book. But the experiences helped me grow as a writer--and both books were MUCH better after! Good luck!!

  3. Jill, I loved this. My next book is temporarily stalled out. I thought I had it figured out. But then I realized it needs more thought. I'm at a praying point and focused on revising my first one for now. Waiting for God to show me how to make this story all He wants it to be. I am copying this post. Your ideas are great.

    1. It happens often, Jeanne. Not to worry! You've got the right idea--pray it through! :)

  4. God must have led me to this post today, Jill. The first project I tackled when I decided to pursue a career in writing was a women's fiction novel. It's completed and awaiting edits. There are a variety of reason it stalled, but it mostly came down to the fact that my co-author had to abandon the project because of other responsibilities. Since our contract stated we couldn't move forward with it separately, it's pretty much sat in my desk drawer since then.

    Today, I finally dropped the author a line to see what she would like to do with it.

    Thanks for the motivation.

  5. Good for you, Cheryl! Whatever happens with the author, you'll now have closure and can move forward--even if it's with another project. *cheering*

  6. Perfect timing, Jill. I've been stalled on finishing my first novel. Solution--this weekend I'm holed up at a hotel with a writer friend of mine who's in the same boat, and we are writing!

    Thanks for sharing this post with its very specific, very practical suggestions.

  7. Great suggestions for overcoming those inevitable stalls we all experience, Jill. I'd hit one in my WIP and used some of your techniques to get back on track.


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