This is an Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. Once a month, authors from all over come together and post in a hop where it’s safe to admit that this writing job has its bad days. There will be listicles, support, and digital shoulders to lean on.
To sign up for the hop yourself go here. And don’t forget to stop by and show some love to the co-hosts: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood and Tamara Narayan. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is also on Twitter and Instagram, in case you were wondering.
Whoever from IWSG is tuning into my brainwaves, if you could tune right back out that would be a lot more comfortable for all of us. I have been feeling a bit rainy lately, and then along comes the IWSG asking: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?
It started me wondering whether writers typically suffer an end-of-winter slump? I know I am feeling particularly slumpy.
I don’t know about “dig down and keep on”. That sounds much more staunch and gritty than I really am. I do have a few steps that I follow to get myself out of the blue periods. Sometimes the first step works, and I’m off again. Sometimes I have to use several steps, or all of them. If they sound helpful, feel free to steal them for your own dark times. We’re all in this together.
Step one: Accept that rainy times happen. No really, they do. No matter how mature or well adjusted I think I am. Life happens. Perhaps for no reason, other than that it’s been a while and my hormones feel like slapping me upside the heart. It’s okay for there not to be a reason. I don’t have to pretend I need one.
Step two: take a break. No writing for a little while. If the voice inside won’t stop telling me how awful everything I’m trying to write is, it’s time for a break. Fifth rejection in a row, or a manuscript that didn’t even make it to the final round of a RWA contest . . . time for a cooling-off period from the doubtful voice that sings the same old tune over and over.
Step three: Deliberately look up all of the things I’ve done right. Dig out that old critique feedback that was so nice. Look up my name in the one RWA contest that I did place in. Reject the idea that the good things are few and far between. There’s that little voice again, and I’m going to ignore it AGGRESSIVELY.
Step four: Read something funny. My poison of choice is Terry Pratchett. Watch something sweet, or inspiring. Enchanted (from the gif above) is a fantastic choice for this. Take a walk. Sunshine preferred, but I’ll take what I can get.
Step five: repeat as needed.
If all else fails, there’s always chocolate.
Chocolate makes the world go round!
Sometimes, looking back at some of my older chapters and being surprised by how much better they were than I expected can give me a boost. And I like Terry Pratchett too.
I could tell you had excellent taste by your blog address!
Yeah, re-reading positive feedback helps a lot, when you’re in the funk. Terry Pratchett is also a big help. I’m doing a re-read of his City Watch series right now. It pushes me to write my own stuff.
If I could be HALF as inventive as Sir Terry. Sigh.
I kind of wish I had been tracking all the good feedback somewhere so I could refer to it. Great post with actionable ideas! 🙂
Thank you! Good to hear they’re actionable.
Giving yourself a break and looking back on past accomplishments are great ways to soothe the soul–and writer souls can need a lot of soothing!
Some days that’s all it takes 🙂
Hope the rain clouds pass you by soon. Looks like you have a good plan in place to cope with it. 😀
I hope so!