It’s been a while since I have posted on here and there are numerous reasons but the storm has faded.
Some days writing is hard.
Maybe the words aren’t flowing, or the writing time is interrupted by an unexpected emergency, or you don’t feel well. Any number of things can interfere with your productivity. A weakness for me is heat summer. I gaze out the window, I see the sun shining and my dog panting.
So, what do we do when we’re just off our game? Deadlines don’t go away and projects need to be finished.
Here are a few top tricks to help you write through the bad days:
Treat writing like a job.
If you treat your writing like a job, even if another job pays the bills, you’ll hold yourself accountable in a different way than if you feel it’s only a hobby. To that end, make sure you have a set schedule and do your best to stick to it. Whether you write for an hour before the house wakes up, or lock yourself in your office after dinner, protect your writing time.
Set goals and stick to them.
Whether you prefer a goal of writing for two hours per day, or writing two-thousand words per day, it’s the habit of setting and achieving a regular goal that matters.
On the other hand, as with a day job, you can take a sick day if you’re sick or a personal day if you have appointments scheduled.
Lower your expectations.
Sometimes we really can’t function at full capacity. Maybe we’re recovering from illness, or we’re in the middle of a cross country move, or someone in our family needs us more than usual.
Rather than put writing aside completely, consider lowering your expectations.
Perhaps your only goal each day is to write a paragraph. Perhaps its only to read the last chapter you wrote to keep your head in the story. Or maybe you’ll just scribble a few plot related notes before you go to bed at night.
If you can keep your head in the story, even just a little bit, it will be easier to dive back in and ramp up your productivity when circumstances change.
Take care of yourself.
This is important, and can often help to speed along our downtime. During summer, I tend to care for myself too much as I spend a lot of the time walking the dog, outside yoga, taking the dog to the beach, having coffee with friends and their dogs etc…
Sometimes I limit these pleasures and I try to incorporate them in a healthy, balanced way so I can have a balanced writing life as well. Here are some things I try to do:
- If it’s too hot inside, I take my laptop out the back in the shade and do some of my writing there.
- Schedule outdoor time. Allocating outside time sets when I can weave my writing schedule around it.
How can you take care of yourself during the times you feel like it the least?
All writing days won’t be good ones, and that’s okay. You aren’t alone if you feel like your energy is low, your creativity stalled, or you’re just having a plain old bad day.
Take care of yourself, adjust your expectations, and keep moving forward.
Post your questions, comments or/ and answers below. If you think someone has an interesting point of view, questions or an answer, please invite them or share this post with them.