Let me apologize as I’m having the allergy attack from hell and can’t seem to wrap myself around the written word today.
Which leads me right into my topic…what’s a writer to do when they can’t write?
I’ve been recently asked that question by many writers and I’ll tell you exactly like I tell them: It depends what you’re writing and what the problem is.
First, if you’re ill, you just do the best you can. Since I have allergy days quite frequently in both the spring and the fall, I make sure my daily word count is exceeded so that I can make up for those days of the pounding head.
Now, if it’s because I can’t get my Muse going, that in itself is a completely different thing. There are a few techniques I use to try and get things flowing again. Here’s my list:
1. Listen to music – when nothing comes, I will sit down and listen to music as I attempt to write. Again, the type of music depends upon what I’m writing. Something classical just won’t do if I’m writing a battle scene so I make the music appropriate to what I’m doing.
2. Write anything – the day doesn’t always start good and I don’t always start on my story right away. Sometimes, the best I can do has nothing to do with what I’m writing. So I just write. Usually by the end of the second hour, I’m back on track for the story.
3. Plot a new story – I have a lot of series going and sometimes the best thing for me is to move away from the story I’m working on and start plotting the next one. For many of my stories, I am a pantser which means I just work it out in my head and sit down to write. However, when I’m working on a series I have to make sure that I don’t violate something I’ve previously done in the series. This also allows me to plan new and different things for the books.
4. Read – I can’t say this enough, read the genre that you write. If you’re doing urban fantasy, read urban fantasy, if you’re doing futuristic, read futuristic. You must know your market and you will never gain that knowledge unless you read the genre.
5. Take care of yourself – What I mean by this is get a massage, take a walk, talk to your kids, make love with your husband or significant other. It can’t all be about the writing because without you there would be no writing.
That’s’ about all I have tonight. Hope you get something from my ramblings.
See you all next week.