Welcome to How to Keep Writing Wednesdays, where you'll find a boost of encouragement to help you keep the words flowing.

Dead Ends

Dead end streets. Dead end jobs. Dead end relationships. 

Dead ends refer to anything where there is no perceived exit. In writing, dead ends are when you’ve gone as far as you can go, only to hit a wall. You’ve done everything you can, but this is it. The end of the road.

Maybe there’s another way out. It’s a test, right? A challenge? Maybe this isn’t what it seems. Maybe there’s something else going on here.

It boils down to this: at what point will you ask yourself, “What am I doing here?” Or, if you’ve been pacing for a while, “What am I still doing here?” We can spend hours, days, months, years analyzing this, or we can do the simple act of turning around and walking out.

Yes, we’re going back the way we came, but our intention is different now. We recognize that where we were wasn’t providing an outlet, so we’re looking for a new one. What we aren’t doing is staying in the same spot, expecting change when it’s clear no change is coming. 

Writing a novel (or any book, paper or report) is akin to walking down a street, thinking that you know where you’re going, only to turn a corner and hit a dead end. If every writer gave up when they hit this moment, very few books would be written, much less published. Instead of giving up when you run into a dead end, see it as an opportunity to pivot. Sometimes, what you need is just a change in direction.