During these weeks of wallowing in a directionless haze, I have come up with some things that are helping me get the writing train back on track. Hopefully, if you are in one of these dismal spots of the writerly life, this post can help you out.
- Make a List: Sometimes, we are the only thing keeping us from writing. Well, us and all the other things we think are more important or require our time instead. While sitting at my desk thinking about how I haven't done any writing lately, I made a list of things keeping me from writing, and of course, a lot of the priority tasks in my life came up: job responsibilities, house chores and errands, getting ready for the new little one that will enter my life in three months! (So this might be me very soon...)
However, the farther down I got on the list, the more I started to come up with things that DO take up my time, but I could move down on the priority list if needed. That is when you have to decide -- what priority does writing have in your life? Decide and apply your time to the new list of priorities accordingly.
- Purge Your Writing Space: My personal writing space had gotten a bit...cramped lately (aka a giant mess of coffee cups, papers, books, and mail). Every time I sat down to write, I felt like the walls (of junk) were closing in on me. I finally determined that the space needed an overhaul. I'm usually a "write first, clean later" kind of girl, but when it comes to your writing space, you might want to organize some things if it is getting a bit cluttered. It was a constant distraction to me, and I felt much better about focusing on my work once I could actually move around my space without tripping over something.
- Read an Amazing Book: There is nothing more motivating than reading a book that does everything you want YOUR book to do. Incite feelings, wonder, and adoration. I read a recent release from one of my favorite authors, and I couldn't put it down. In one day, I had devoured the whole thing, and I'm not sorry one bit. The story buzzed in my veins, and it made me so eager to put my own words down on paper with the hope to incite those same feelings in someone else with my work.
- Read Craft Books: Another thing that subconsciously has been holding me back is that I'm still not sure I have this process down. Therefore, I picked up a few other craft books to study. The few that I looked into lately were Save the Cat by Blake Snyder and The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson. I'm not a total newbie, so I don't need to re-learn ALL the tips these books sometimes throw out. However, it never fails that I find a few gems to use in my process of writing going forward. These always get the blood flowing for my ideas and help me map out where I'm trying to take the next project.
- Just Do It: I know this is usually the advice that you see on EVERY writing blog about writer's block, but I really believe it's true. No matter what, you have to just put in the time and sit yourself in front of that computer (or paper if you write longhand). I spend A LOT more time thinking, "I should write sometime this morning/afternoon/night" than actually allowing myself to GET to the writing. Make it a point to set aside time for the writing and actually do it. Sitting down and starting is, honestly, half the battle.