Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers


How to overcome writing roadblocks!

elephant copyI’m in the last stages of reworking my new novel for publication by Pen-L Publishing, due out in November 2021. Its working title is Tillie’s Lust for Life: A Girl’s Quest. An older Tillie, the main character, was featured in my last published novel: Freefall: A Divine Comedy. I need to submit the final draft to the publishers by the end of May 1, 2021, or soon after, so the they can go through it again and make other recommended revisions.

The last part of the process will include copyediting, as well as fine tuning grammar and punctuation. The manuscript needs to be complete and ready to go to press in November so advanced review copies (ARCs) will be available six months before the novel is released. The ARCs are sent out to publications like Library Journal and others who might be willing to do early reviews.

The problem with trying to revise work that I’ve already been through numerous times is that I don’t want to change it! While the editor’s comments may convince me that I need to add new material or rethink certain sections, it’s very difficult to make those changes in the document that I now think of as final. It’s hard to generate and insert new material into a narrative that feels complete.

What to do?

Open a new MW doc and forget about the other one. Free write for as long as it takes to make the required changes. And remember this process the next time I have to revise a manuscript that seems finished. Until I run into a roadblock again and have to improvise a way over it!

Any other ideas?


2 thoughts on “How to overcome writing roadblocks!

  1. Lily, I’m busy rewriting and loving the process. I can see how all your suggestions and other beta readers’ ideas are making the story immensely better. The difference probably is: I had hammered out the first go in the couple of months I had been in lock down, and didn’t think of it as finished. You thought, and I thought, having read your manuscript, that yours was already well polished. I would be interested in knowing what you are changing. I love the title, Tillie’s Lust for Life. I knew the word, lust, had to get in there, someplace–perfect SE word. Good luck, Lily. Marlene.

    1. Thanks, Marlene. The revisions aren’t major, but I’ve made a lot. And thanks for prompting me on the title. I’m not sure that I’ve settled on one yet, but it’s in process of being discovered. Happy revisioning!

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