Literature – Writing Roadblocks – I Can’t Finish Anything!


Writing Roadblocks

Hello Readers, Writers, Teachers, and Children! Do you ever have trouble finishing projects? Do you have several good ideas but don’t know which to work on? If you are a writer, or any type of artist, you’ve most likely had these issues. I know I do, regularly!

Here are a few common complaints and some tips that have helped me. If you have some ideas, leave them in the comments below, and I’ll feature your tips in a future post.

I’ve been working on this story forever and it’s lagging.

Work on something else! No, not another lengthy project. Something short; something quick. This helps get those extra ideas out of your head so you can focus on your project. It’s kind of like weeding a garden. Once those pesky weeds are out of the way, your vegetables can grow. Try a word prompt or other writing exercise.

Here are a few that I use:

Go Dog Go Cafe – Writing prompt every Tuesday

Carrot Ranch Literary Community – Flash Fiction prompt every Thursday

Warmup Pages – Photo prompt every other Saturday

I also publish writing prompts daily:

5 Words – Writing prompt every day

The Nature of Writing – Photo prompt every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday


I’ve tried writing short works, but I always feel like they need to be developed more. So, I never really finish those either!

Hey, it happens. After all, nobody wants to let go of a good idea! But consider this: when you tell a friend about something that happened to you today, do you develop the story from the time you woke up to the time you started talking to your friend? Of course not!

So, don’t feel like your work has to include the character’s life story. It can just be what happened to them in a 10-minute period. No, you didn’t tell the whole story, but you did tell an interesting one, and you can always build on it later!

Practice writing flash fiction using 1000 words or less. I usually write only 200-250. That’s about half a page! You can find some examples here: Zippy Flash Fiction

You could also try your hand at some quick poetry:

This brief verse from

Pen doth spawn.

I looked away,

and now it’s gone.

Or, you could try the famous 6-word story:

Here lies Jack. The cat attacked.

I can’t show other people my work unless it’s perfect!

This is a biggie. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Now, cut it out! Nobody has ever made anything perfect… ever! But you can make something that’s pretty good. Failure IS an option! In fact, you MUST fail so you can learn from your mistakes.

Stop second guessing yourself. If you have an idea, don’t think about it too long. Write it down or else you’ll start to think that it’s a dumb idea, and you’ll never create anything. Write spontaneous poems and silly flash fiction, goodness knows there’s enough of them on this site. It will help you get your ideas out, to feel more confident in sharing, and, believe it or not, some of those ideas will turn out to be pretty awesome!

Here’s to finishing something for once in my life! If you have any helpful tips, please share them in the comments below!


6 thoughts on “Literature – Writing Roadblocks – I Can’t Finish Anything!”

    1. Absolutely! In fact, I wrote a short story about 15 years ago that I still tend to measure everything else against. And, to be honest, I still think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. Actually, it’s one of the things that got my wife interested in me before we started dating!

      For a long time, I tried to recapture that story in my writing, but it was always a little off. Then, I stopped writing for several years.

      One day, I was reading that story, and trying to remember what I was thinking when I wrote it. Why I wrote it. And I realized that I didn’t start writing with some grand plan for this to be my masterpiece. No, I was writing it because I loved to create stories and characters.

      So I started writing again. I put that story out of my mind, and I wrote for the sheer enjoyment of it. And guess what, people really liked some of those stories too.

      It’s okay if you never write anything as good as that one story. That doesn’t make you a failure. Just keep creating and find your happiness in bringing all of those worlds into life.

      Thank you for your question! I hope this helped. I’ll add this question to my list of discussion points for a future post.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I think we can get a little attached to certain stories, and, at least for me, afraid that that’s all we’ve got to give, that it’s who we are. But I hope we always have more to give.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can understand those feelings. I believe that we are defined not by “what” we create, but “why” we create. If you have the desire to give, then you will always have something to give.

        With an open hand, we can freely give, and with an open hand, we can freely receive inspiration. That way, we never run dry.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is so relatable. I’ve recently found myself realizing just how many creative efforts I am juggling and how dividing my focus is NOT helping the situation. You hit the nail on the head with the lies we buy into as writers: that our work has to be perfect or that we can’t break the vicious cycle of frustration. There is something priceless and rewarding about accomplishing even the smallest of goals, so if we can just focus on something doable for the short term, it can actually build our motivation and give us the drive to tackle those longer projects next.
    Thank you for these reminders!

    Liked by 1 person

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