Monday, December 10, 2018

Writing When You're Running Out of Steam

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
One of the hardest things to do as an author is to write when I don't feel like it. It happens more often than you think. Putting my behind in the chair and my hands on the keys despite not really having any idea how to move forward is so important. I believe it is a major skill in writing professionally.  Not quitting just because its hard is something we all struggle with so I thought I'd share a few ways I encourage myself to tough it out. Hopefully these tips can get you through the holidays without pulling your hair out.
Write or Die is an online program designed to get you through writer's block by providing and timer and stimulus as an incentive during word sprints. There are a few modes...alarms if you fall behind your wordcount, flashing lights, or the softer more pleasant reward mode that gives you pictures of puppies for achieving your goal.  That one is my favorite. You can even get an app for your phone or computer.
Do something creative that has a side connection to writing. For instance, I like to bullet journal. So I find doodling while listening to my book's soundtrack or a writing podcast helps me to think about my story in another way. I almost always works.
Last, but not least, I saw this on Twitter during NaNoWriMo. A woman wrapped some fun gifts for herself in nice paper and labeled them with word counts. So at 5K she got a box of chocolates, at 10K she got a new coffee mug, etc.  I am not above this at all. I can totally be bribed and cheaply, too.
Finally, know yourself and when you write best. Optimize your success by choosing times that work best for you.  Are you a night owl like me? Then set time aside and guard it like a dragon with their horde of coins.  Don't slip something else in you 'should' be doing instead. Your writing time is important and for others to treat it that way you need to as well.

Hopefully you will find one or more of these suggestions helpful. If you have any tried and true tricks to get back on track then feel free to share them in the comments.  Until next time...happy writing!