Do you know the feeling when you’re halfway through writing your story and you’re struggling for focus because the initial excitement that you have for the story you’re writing is wearing off? We call this the writer’s halfway hump, and it is not an uncommon thing for writers to experience.
Close your eyes and imagine this. Your blood is pumping, your keyboard is clicking, and you are in the zone. You have just come up with an exciting story that you cannot wait to share with the world. Everything has fallen into place. Your characters are lively, the plot is exciting, and your writing is phenomenal. It’s that new story high, and it’s the best feeling in the world.
Fast forward a few weeks, or months, and a few dozen pages. You are left with a partially finished project and absolutely no motivation to continue working on it. But you’ve come all this way. You can’t stop now. What can you do to get over the halfway hump?
Remember your why
For every story you tell, it is important to develop the why. This is the purpose of telling your story. Why are you the one to tell this story? What inspired you to write it in the first place? Remembering the why behind your story can relight the passion you initially had for your project and help when your motivation runs dry. Figuring out why you started the story in the first place may be the best way to see it through.
Your why can be anything as long as it helps you get motivated to put effort into your project. Does the world need this story? Will it help people in some way? Do you owe it to your characters? Do you owe it to yourself? Find your why and you find your way.
Pivot your idea through the halfway hump
If you are getting stuck with the halfway hump and losing motivation while writing a piece, it may be time for a pivot. Maybe your original idea was super exciting when you began writing and that excitement pushed you through a huge chunk of writing, but that idea just isn’t that exciting anymore. This may be the perfect time to pivot your idea in a new direction.
Departing from your original idea may be terrifying at first, but a new direction may bring new motivation. Finding a way to shift the story that gets you excited to write it will ensure that it is interesting to read for your audience. Try some new things. If you don’t like where you’re headed, don’t be afraid to pivot again.
Do the Work
Sometimes you just have to do the work despite the halfway hump. Writing is hard because it is a skill. Like the old adage says, “iron sharpens iron,” Working through this troublesome part in your project will only sharpen your writing skills for future projects. Pushing through the dull process may be the best way to increase your ability level. However, doing the work for a project doesn’t always mean putting your fingers to the keys. Doing the work also includes research and development. Find some interesting information on your topic. Read other work for continued inspiration. Meditate on the direction of your story. Even when you are not getting words down, you are still doing the work that will push you through to the end.
Very informative article! Most of the time I find myself losing interest while am halfway a piece and start thinking I choose a hard topic. Pivoting is the crucial thing here.
I think this is a very relevant issue and I have faced it as well. I tried to overcome it by discussing the story with my family and close friends so that I would be motivated to finish it. It was a sort of positive pressure and when those people asked me how was the story progressing or probed about the further development of characters, I had no other option but to write more and finish the story.
Great article! My situation is a bit different, I’m a blog owner, but it’s pretty similar. I often lose my motivation and don’t know how to start writing again. But the main point is not to give up, even if it takes 2-3 weeks to get back to the writing routine. That’s the way I look at it. Thanks for some great advice 🙂