Five Ways to Keep Your Writing Moving Forward

move forward with writing

Despite the huge number of people who would like to write a book, few realize that dream. The reason is simple: Writing and publishing a book is not easy. In fact, it can be extremely difficult, and the thoughts and emotions that arise as we pursue the goals of becoming an author can stop us in our tracks. In this guest post, W. Terry Whalin (@TerryWhalin) provides tips on how to keep moving forward with your writing project even when you feel like quitting.

Whether you are a brand-new writer or a much-published author, I find the writing life filled with opportunities and challenges. As writers, our work gets rejected. I’ve poured huge amounts of energy into writing that gets published in a book then does not sell. Our bills pile up, and we wonder how we will be able to make the money we need. 

While I’ve written books that have sold over 100,000 copies, I also have experience the range of emotional ups and downs that accompany the scenarios described in the opening paragraph. Writers have to actively look for the right place for their writing to get published—whether in a magazine or a book. Your material has to find a connection with an editor or literary agent, so you find a champion to guide you through the process. The writers who succeed take action when they face feelings of discouragement and rejection. They keep moving forward with their writing projects.

5 Ways to Keep Moving Forward When Writing Feels Hard

Here are five action steps for the times when you feel frustrated, overwhelmed, scared, or upset:

1. Adjust your mindset. 

Your mindset is reflected in your actions, and I encourage you to take a different course of action by changing your thoughts and beliefs. When writers get rejected once or twice, many of them decide, “No one wants this book.” In contrast, authors who get published decide they have not knocked on the right door yet and move to the next publisher. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen were rejected over 144 times with Chicken Soup for the Soul. When rejected, they looked at each other and said, “Next.” This single word is hopeful and a tool you can use when you experience rejection.

2. Create a new product(online or in print).

If you are looking for some insights, listen to this free interview with marketing expert Bob Bly, then actively take action in a new direction.

3. Approach a new audience.

I’ve got a number of marketing books on my shelf. One of the most thorough is 1001 Ways to Market Your Book by John Kremer. It’s always wise to open this book and read a few of the ideas, then take steps to implement one of them. It will propel you forward.

4. Write something different. 

If you are writing books, take a break to write a magazine article, post to your blog, or beef up your social media. Moving—or writing—in a different direction helps you keep moving ahead with your major projects.

5. Get some fresh air.

Walk around the block or take an exercise break. Just changing your physical stance will help. Stand up. Sit down.

Write No Matter What Life Throws Your Way

From my years in publishing, here is a simple truth: Everyone has issues in their life. Children get ill or worse. Cars break down. Parents grow old and ill and need our care. Any number of other issues can get in the way of writing. What is the distinction between those people who get their work into print and the market and those who do not? The people who succeed act. They keep moving forward in spite of what else is happening in their lives.

Here’s the key: Don’t mope around, get discouraged, stop writing, or stagnate. Move forward. Read some of my Pro-Active Author columns on The Wordsmith Journal or some other inspiring blog about writing. Lean into your situation and move forward.

About the Author

W Terry Whalin headshot x160W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor, lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo courtesy of Sergejs Rahunoks/

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