Recently, I've had some things happen which has made me question my life as a writer and I've run the gamut of emotions from weepy to out and out mad. These times also skew my world view and make me wonder about the big picture. During these times, I look at what I've done to get my motivation back. I look at old blogs, various other notes I've written to myself and other methods to get my groove back.
I was happy to run across this blog which I had written for someone else as it helped me a lot. Hopefully, it will say something to you as well.
What’s a writer to do when they can’t write?
I have experienced this many times and most of them have been around the time when I have just finished a deadline of some sort. However, recently I have found I’m not up to my usual 5K per day and I’ve had to go back to some interesting stratedies I’ve developed years ago to get me back on track.
More importantly, I’ve been recently asked that question by many writers and I’ll tell you exactly what I tell them: It depends what you’re writing and what the problem is. And this is very true. You must be able to figure out just why you aren’t writing. It can be a variety of things which keep you from your goals.
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 on some days so that I can make up for those days of the pounding head. Illnesses of any kind aren’t good and you must heal yourself before you can heal your writing.
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. And it also just gets me back into writing.
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.
If none of these techniques work, then try to remember why you became a writer. Grasp that same joy and use it to elevate yourself to feel the creativeness rise in you. Embrace it when it arrives and make sure you nurture your muse as much as you can.
Being creative can be a finicky business and as a writer, you may need to do a variety of things before you can again create the stories you love. Just never give up on your dream to bring those stories to life because if you don’t, they will never get written!
Good luck in all your writing endeavors!
Have a great week everyone...and I should have some wonderful news next week!