Posted in writing advice

Pep-talk: Encouragement to Keep Writing

Sometimes we stop writing. That’s natural and part of the creative process. Sometimes we abandon projects for new ones, or take a break from creating because of comparison, life circumstances, mental health, or some harsh criticism. 

One killer of creativity is comparison. If you compare yourself to others, then you will surely struggle to create anything because you’ll be too busy analyzing every word you write to see if it measures up.

If you must compare, compare yourself to your own writing, six months to a year ago. See how far you’ve come? If you continue to write regularly, you will only get better and better. Practice makes perfect and all of that, though no one is ever perfect. Anything worthwhile is worth putting the work in. They say it takes 10,000 hours to be good at something, so don’t should on yourself for how you think you should be doing. Have you put your 10,000 hours in yet?

Life circumstances, whether it be work, kids, a death in the family, chronic illness, or another such instance, impede writing. It’s okay to take some time off, but writing can be a great way for processing your emotions, especially when grieving over a loss of a relationship, person, situation, or what-have-you. Writing will always be there for you. And the more you learn to write despite these things, the faster you’ll finish your projects. But don’t push yourself too hard. You don’t want to break in the pursuit of writing. You come first, always. Know your limits. 

Mental health is a huge factor when writing. Some days we just aren’t up to it. And that’s okay. It’s better to keep yourself healthy than have a breakdown because you forced yourself to do something you weren’t ready to do. But again, writing can act as a feelings processor and might help with your mental health. Try to figure out what works for you.

Harsh criticism is another creativity killer. But everyone receives this sort of thing. Harry Potter, one of the most world renowned book series ever, was rejected many times over. In the midst of harsh criticism, let yourself feel the feels, take a deep breath, and move on. Try to see if somewhere within the criticism there was a grain of something that could be improved. The more you write, work at, and practice your craft, the less likely you are to get harsh criticism. Just another reason to keep writing!

Writing is an important part of your life. If it weren’t, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Keep at it, keep working at it, keep reading craft books and learning about the industry, keep practicing, and you’ll get better. But you have to put in the work. Don’t expect to be good from the start, no matter how talented you are. 

Posted in writing advice

Getting Through A Writing Block

Hello family, friends, and fans! 

Can you tell that’s gonna be my new catchphrase? Anyway, on to the article. 

You’ve been writing consistently for a while now when suddenly, you open up your chosen writing tool and the words stare back at you laughing because your mind is blank. 

Where did the words go? How do you get them back? 

FIGURE OUT THE PROBLEM

First of all, you have to figure out what the problem is. Are the words hitting a little too close to home? Has something in your life taken over and drained you? Are you heading in the right direction, so resistance is trying to thwart you? Are you burnt out and need a recharge? It could be any of these and more. Figure out what is stalling the words and tackle that. 

WHAT TO DO?

If the words are hitting a little too close to home, you’ll have to do some soul searching and personal reflection to work through the block. Working on yourself will not only make you a better, stronger person, but it will also strengthen your writing. If you aren’t ready to face whatever it is, either work on something else or rewrite the story so you won’t have to face whatever it is.

If something in your life has taken over and drained you or you are experiencing burn out, it’s time to take a break from writing and do some self care. You can get some ideas from my article “How To Get Your Creativity Back On Track.”

If you’re getting resistance because your on the right track, it’s time to push through. Brainstorm, make promises to yourself, and keep yourself accountable. If it helps, ask friends or family to check in with you to make sure you were writing on the days you said you would. 

Whatever it is, you can keep yourself writing by journaling about your day and thoughts. It’s a good practice to have, even if it’s just a couple of lines like, I went to the grocery store today. Got chicken to make orange chicken for dinner and other assorted sale items. Grandma and I went out to lunch and had a great time. It felt good to get out of the house, but as soon as I was back it was back to reality and mental health issues. Even if it’s that short, or shorter, just recording the events of your day can be a good practice that can help you get through blocks in the future.