When You're Feeling Stuck

I’m stuck. At a dead end. At my wits’ end! I do not know how to handle this new writing challenge.

This challenge is writing code for a new web page design that has become an obsession. I am determined to make it work, though it is beyond what I currently know how to do. I’ve got the basic structure in place, and just discovered one fatal design flaw. I know it can be done. I’ve seen the concept elsewhere.

Right now I’m exploring my options for forging ahead and see that they are not much different for writing code than they would be if I were stuck writing a story that was mired down. As I see it the options  include:

  • Continue by trial-and-error. I know a lot already, and sooner or later I’m bound to stumble on a solution.
  • Keep surfing the net in search of solutions. That’s how I learned most of what I know.
  • Find a book. I can learn nearly anything by reading about it, and the library is full of books.
  • Take a class. I love classes. I learn from the questions other people ask as well as from the teacher’s presentations.
  • Find a support group. This could be anything from a friend who knows more about this than I do to an on-line forum.
  • Find a coach. This could be the fastest way to get exactly the information I need, presented in a way that next time I’ll know how to do it myself. This is a tempting option, and in some cases the best one.
If I were writing a story, the options would be the same: keep writing, read books, take classes, find a support group (writing group), find a coach, or pay a pro.

In my case now I’m going to keep surfing, work through a couple of online tutorials, and post my questions on a couple of support forums. I’m in a hurry. But I’ll also look for a class to broaden my base of knowledge, and look for  a book on Cascading Style Sheets. 

If you are feeling stuck with a writing project, please join us at the Life Writers Forum by entering your name in the form in the left sidebar or visiting the group’s signup page. Check out the list of NAMW writing classes and teleseminars. Or send me an e-mail for some free advice on your own options.

Write now:
make a list of writing skills you’d like to strengthen, then list your options for learning what you need to know to keep your writing growing and thriving.


Shaddy said...

Good luck with your project. You'll get it, I know you will.

Livvy U. said...

Some time ago you left me a most lovely supportive comment and I've just surfaced from the sadness that was and thought I'd come and visit you.
I do hope you break the code and win through!
Autumnal light from England, Livvy

Sharon Lippincott said...


Thanks. I did manage to untangle that knot. Only a few more remain. I can't wait to unveil this project!

Sharon Lippincott said...


How lovely to hear that your sadness is lessening. Thanks for popping in for a visit. Even in sadness your writing is sublime. I hope your words flow forth again.

Karen Walker said...

Glad you're finding the solutions you need. There are some amazing technie-type people I've met through BBT - if you're still stuck, let me know what program you're trying to learn and I can see if anyone there is familiar with it.

Sharon Lippincott said...

Thanks for the offer Karen. The good news is that the light at the end of the tunnel is big enough now that I can see detail in the scene beyond.

Maybe you have to have spent lots of time in Pittsburgh, where you have to go through at least one tunnel to get nearly anywhere, to fully appreciate that metaphor. ;o)