IWSG: When the Going Gets Tough

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Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Join Here!


The awesome co-hosts for the June 1 posting of the IWSG are SE White, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguire, Joylene Nowell Butler, and Jacqui Murray!

It’s another last-minute post for me this week. The first Wednesday of the month seems to come so quickly, sometimes!

I’ve been busy–with life, mostly–and well, anyway… that whoosh? It was time getting away from me. I’m working on a revision, and on a new first draft. As usual, I’m fighting to write scenes in a chronological order, and get a cleaner first draft. And as usual, it’s not really working for me. Don’t get me wrong… I have words. I have a story, even. It’s just not exactly what I had in mind when I started. So, I’ll have to get it back on track, and figure out where the story I wanted to write went to.

The 52 Week Challenge is kicking my butt. I should be up to twenty-six short stories by now, and I’m not, but I keep plugging along. I’m getting more than my money’s worth out of it, at the very least.

June 1 question – When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? 

When I’m not sure where the story is going to go, I take a little time to outline the parts that I’ve already written. Sometimes, seeing the scenes in miniature and close together helps me to see the things I missed, when I was writing. The scenes you write a week apart aren’t as easy to compare as they should be, sometimes. Seeing them in outline form makes it easier to pick up the threads I dropped, and find my place.

It doesn’t always work.

Sometimes, I find problems with the story that aren’t something I want to fix, and I start over with something new, or just salvage the parts that I can fix.

And in other news…

I finally threw away my old folding keyboard. I could deal with it while it was just the… uhm… held together with tape thing. I could even deal with some of the less-popular keys not working. But it had reached the point that it didn’t reliably do w, s, or space-bar. And I’m a little bit sad about it. Strange how attached you can get to a tool.

The new keyboard should arrive sometime, today. It doesn’t fold, but it does have a built-in rechargeable battery, and I’m pretty sure they promised the space bar would work.

Do you have a super-secret writing tool I should look into? Something quirky that just works for you? Let me know.


  1. Reply

    I really wish I could outline. I write in chronological order but during the editing process, things get switched around. All writers have differing ways. I say write what works for you.

    • Reply

      Outlining after the thing’s already been written makes it much easier. I’m not all that great about outlining as I go… and I’m not even capable of outlining in advance.

  2. Diane Burton


    I read that Diana Gabaldon writes scenes out of order then lays a descriptive page for each scene on the floor and switches them around until she finds the right order. I found that fascinating because I’m so linear I can’t write out of order.

    • Reply

      Time travel books scare me. They’re a whole other level of non-linear. Then again, that might be a good reason to try writing one.

    • Reply

      I find her process fascinating, because her books are so huge and complex. I can’t imagine pantsing a book like that, let alone an entire series, but it sure works for her.

  3. Reply

    Sorry you had to give up your old keyboard. Sounds like you had it for a long time and used it well. My favorite writing tool is my Roget’s thesaurus. I used the first copy I had so much that pages were falling out and the spine ripped down the middle. When the time came to replace it, I bought a few extra copies to ensure that I’d always have one available when I needed it.

    P.S.: Also sorry if you end up with duplicate comments from me. Something weird happened the first time, so I had to write this comment again.

  4. Loni Townsend


    I tend to get stuck if I don’t have all the little tiny details hammered out as I’m going along. It’s like, why is this character freaking out? I don’t know. I should be able to move past it, but alas, I get stuck. I’ve found outlining helps me too. That or just drinking a Red Bull and staring off into space. Someday it’ll come to me.

    Hope your new keyboard works out well!

  5. Reply

    I just read a post about the Hollywood outline–https://www.editorialdepartment.com/revise-your-book-hollywood-style/–which seems like an interesting approach for keeping track of everything and getting unstuck. I may try that.

  6. Reply

    I don’t like having to give up the tried and true, either. I once had a computer that lasted for ten years and I loved it. I was sad when it finally died and I had to get a new one. I’ve never been good with outlining beforehand. My characters tend to ignore anything planned out in advance and just go off in whatever direction they choose. Outlining what I’ve already written, though, might be a good way to keep track of where they’ve already gone. I hope you find the story you wanted to write. Good luck!

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