One of the hardest things about writing isn’t the process, but making time for the process. Whether you’re writing full-time or part-time, it seems to make little difference. I’ve thought on this topic a lot lately as I’ve struggled to reach my goals of finishing my final edit of the Extoria Rewrite. There will always be things in life that take priority, make it more challenging, or require you to stop writing for a while. I can’t say exactly what those will be, or how to handle each situation, but know you’re not alone. So I wanted to go over some things that may help you if you’re feeling like the world is overwhelming you.
It’s okay to take a break:
Contrary to what I’ve said, what famous authors have said, or any advice from your favorite writers, taking a break from writing is OK. I know it sounds crazy. Our world lives by a grind ‘til you die attitude. And if you’re not waking up at 4 A.M. to work on your craft for twelve straight hours, you’re wrong. Well, I’ll heartily disagree with that approach.
If you’re feeling drained by life lately, for whatever reasons, then take the break.
One thing that writers get to do is share their experiences, or imagined experiences, through stories. Go enjoy life. Watch those movies you’ve been wanting to see, read the guilty pleasure books, go on a hike (when it’s warm enough), or enjoy a night out with your friends. Don’t forget to live your life. I’ll admit, when my mind’s overwhelmed, I play my Pokémon games, or do some card hunting. So, if you’ve been staring at a blank screen for hours, take some time to do something you enjoy.
Step away from your story:
Maybe you’re struggling to make it through one part in your book that won’t give. I’ve been there, and I’ve tried working on other story-lines, to completion and not, so I could give my mind some freshness it needed. Sometimes this means stepping away from the manuscripts for days, weeks, months, or however long you need.
You may end up abandoning the manuscript. (Not a pleasant thought, but an honest one.) You may find that the space gives you a different perspective that helps you passed that trouble spot. Or you may realize a complete revision is required.
Sometimes the problem is that you’re not making time as you need to. There comes a point when you need to check in with yourself in that “accountability mirror” (Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins) and call a stone a stone. Are you making excuses to not write because you’re afraid? Do you doubt your abilities? Do you worry about what others will think if you write that story?
Be honest with yourself. Only you know the right answers, but if you need to trim some entertainment, then do so. If you’re hiding because of fear, find someone to confide in and seek support in the #writingcommunity on social media. Writers want other writers to succeed, and we all support each other.
Whatever you choose to do, respect yourself and your story. As always, stay fresh, my nugs!
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