Writing Niggles by Allison Symes

Image Credit:  Images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos.

What are your writing niggles? We all have them. I’ve found recognising the pests for what they are in itself is a good way to tackle them head on. Here I list some of mine and my ways for tackling them.

  1. Knowing my story or blog post (or both) isn’t quite right. But I don’t know why… arrgh! (I know enough to trust my gut instinct here though, there is something not right).
  2. Getting off to a slow start and by the time I must pack up for the night, my head is buzzing and I can’t jot notes fast enough for tomorrow’s writing session. This irritates. (I aim for a consistent writing pace but it isn’t always possible. A lot depends on what kind of day I’ve had. I also must have a certain amount of sleep so can’t stay up especially late. I don’t write better when I have tried that. If anything I slow further).
  3. Having loads of ideas at once, all with potential, and not knowing which to tackle first.
  4. Running out of reading time due to tiredness. Reading well is crucial to writing well.



  1. Accepting I can correct the story or blog post (or both later). I just write something else. I can’t tell you how often I’ve resolved my earlier problem while working on something else. It is almost as if your brain needs something else to occupy it before it throws up an answer for you. Best of all, you have another piece to submit somewhere once you’ve rested, edited, and submitted that problematic one.
  2. Accepting slow starts will happen, especially after an exhausting day. I go with the flow and am kind to myself. What matters is getting something written. That makes me feel better. I’d far rather write 500 words than nothing. I try to make the most of those times when I don’t get off to a slow start and the ideas are flowing. It pays to have a notebook to hand even in our technological age. I cheer myself up knowing I can use this when I have got off to a slow start as I have ideas to refer to and usually one of those gives me the spark to get cracking with my next draft.
  3. Write all those ideas down! Never rely on your memory. As mentioned above, having a glut of ideas is something you can return to later when the flow of ideas has slowed. We all have ebbs and flows here.
  4. Reading anything helps. I now read at lunchtime (usually a magazine) so I know that, daily, I am reading something. Also I try to get to bed earlier the next night (a) to catch up with sleep and (b)  my reading.

So over to you then. What are your writing niggles and how do you overcome them or learn to live with them?

Post a Comment