The 5 Stages of ‘I Have Got To Keep Going!’ #SocialSaturday #AmWriting 


There are some creative projects which bring you to your knees, force you to question your motives, present you with obstacles and make you want to run away.

I am trying to tell myself that these are special projects and perhaps I should view them as gifts….that keep on giving! Sigh!

There are 5 stages of progressing through your creative suffering and reaching the magical moment where you whisper to yourself “I have got to keep going!”

  1. Creative suffering. You are up to your eyeballs in creative suffering! This project of yours is giving you nothing but creative pain. You have not made any progress on it for days and smiling seems like a distant memory. This is the stage where chocolate, coffee and cheesecake become your new best friends. Loved ones give you a wide berth and pets cast you an odd look, as you assume the dreaded foetal position, on the floor beside your writing desk, whimpering about how bad your fourth chapter sounds.
  2. Inner Turmoil. If this stage was part of a film, you, the hero / heroine, would be sat in a deserted Jazz bar, wearing a forlorn facial expression and asking the barman for his finest whisky. It’s time for inner conflict! There is no more cheesecake or tissues left in your house, so you start to question your reasons for embarking on this painful creative project. You knew writing a romcom novel was going to be a tall order with your ever changing emotions. In view of your emotional state why didn’t you just opt to write something serious like Sci-Fi?  This inner turmoil inevitably leads onto a general re-evaluation of your creative career so far, which doesn’t end well. During this stage you can expect to take some solitary walks in the rain, long periods of staring into space and some quality time soaking (till you look a prune) in the bath.
  3. Quit Everything. This is the stage where you decide to quit everything including your project! It feels really good to stand and shout “I QUIT!” so this stage can get quite noisy. You then start lie to yourself and create another reality in your head where your creative project meant nothing to you. With a nod you tell yourself that your now 60k word second draft will be easy to ditch! It’s not like you will spend the rest of your life wondering what would have happened if you had worked on it! No! Still smiling at your own fantasy you conclude that creative life ambitions are meant to stay fluid and constantly change…aren’t they? Yes they are!  After convincing yourself that you can walk away from your creative project you do so muttering stuff like  “good-bye and good riddance!” and “I am going to get my life back – hell yea!”
  4. Change your mind about quitting everything. This stage is where you realise that you can’t quit, because your ex-creative project won’t leave you alone. It refuses to get out of your brain and insists on appearing on a random basis throughout your day. This can be an infuriating stage so prepare for some frustrated screams, some frantic bulk buying of more cheesecake and some desperate photos recording your suffering being uploaded onto Instagram. 
  5. Magical moment. This is the stage where you come to the conclusion that you can’t go back to your earlier stages of creative suffering, you can’t eat anymore chocolate or cheesecake, nor can you quit your project, so the only thing left to do is to whisper “I have got to keep going!” It is a magical moment for both you and your creative project.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Regular readers of my blog – I promise not to moan about my second draft anymore.

Photo: StockSnap


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Lucy Mitchell lives in South Wales with her husband, her two teenage daughters, a giant labrador and a gang of unruly cats. Lucy is the author of the award winning blog, BlondeWriteMore and was a Featured Romance Author on Wattpad. When she’s not working or writing, Lucy can be found listening to audiobooks in a muddy field with her dog or sat outside her local pub in the sunshine enjoying a glass of wine. Her debut novel Instructions Falling In Love Again is OUT now and already pulling in some fabulous reviews ❤️

82 thoughts on “The 5 Stages of ‘I Have Got To Keep Going!’ #SocialSaturday #AmWriting 

      1. Haha… No you don’t. It has its own troubles believe me. What would you have, Roxy in a tight leather emporess outfit trying to find love in a star system she doesn’t want to destroy? Hang on… This has legs lol

      2. I thought you would like that… Searching the galaxy for the man to tame her wild lust for power.
        Haha… This is dangerous as this could end up being written. Maybe called the Empire of Roxy Starstrider

  1. Oh, the pain. 😦 o_O Don’t worry. We know the drill.
    “In view of your emotional state why didn’t you just opt to write something serious like Sci-Fi?” I spewed coffee when I read this. Sci-Fi is serious? Yes, I guess it is but comical when compared to RomCom. Sorry. I didn’t get any on your post, did I? 😀 😀 😀

      1. You are welcome! Hope you are better soon! Mercury Retrograde is coming, and you have things to do!

  2. Let me comment again 10 months after my original one! We all have to keep going, be it with our writing or within life! I have recently felt very much like giving up on several things these last few weeks… but I know that’s not the way to go!!!

  3. My favorite parts: coffee, cheesecake, and chocolate and the picture at the end. Sometimes only a handwritten note will do to remind us all that the struggle is real, the words on a page are a labor of love, and with just a match added to the mix it could all go up in flames.

  4. Have you been talking to Mystic Clive about me here? My WIP is up there with four or five chapters left to go and most of this mental maelstrom has visited me over the last few months! Although, in truth I do like the story. In fact you just commented on an excerpt from it and the successor has been given a working title of Black Marsh and may, or may not, be visited in NaNo next month.

    There have also been many moments of quitting this writing game too. All those voices in the head careering about, “Write me next…no.. write write me.” Then there’s the daymares when zoning out over a coffee in a café loses time as a scene decides to get tested deep in the grey matter. I once dropped an entire tray whilst loading it onto the “Please leave your tray here” rack with my paraphernalia (marmalade and toast plate and tea pot) falling in extreme slow motion to shatter on the floor. Why? got side-tracked with an antagonist moment and poof.

    I am convinced writing makes you mad.

    Good words Lucy. 🙂

      1. Thank you Lucy; I need to tell myself that more. I know a lot of my stuff is niche, although the genre is large. My biggest issue recently has been actually getting down to it. All them voices…. 😉

      2. I’m quite looking forward to dropping in actually…I find it quite therapeutic to help Roxy out and give her new ways to consider things…I also need to go to that pub later to think it through 🤔

      3. Dear me is she that distraught? A distraction would be most wise methinks….I shall try and drop in tomorrow. I am certain contemplations through a beer glass will impart some spiritual wisdom 🤔

  5. Oh my goodness – stage number one. You had me laughing. There are not many days where I yell, where I’m crabby, and where I am on a warpath, but when I do, it always surprises me when the lovely members of my household steer clear of me. Does it surprise me? No, because I wouldn’t want to be around me either, ha! Luckily this is usually short-lived, and it doesn’t appear regularly. 🙂 Thanks for a great read!

  6. Thanks for this. Although I’m not a long-form writer I too know how ideas and words and drafts can whisper and shout at you, especially when you should be doing other things. It’s a happy torment.

    When I get stuck I think of a friend, a poet, who told me of a poem he’d written. He was pleased with it, but didn’t like the finish. Then, one day, fifteen years later, the perfect ending came to him, just like that.

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