Current Issues – Writing and the Summer

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imagesCAWTNYTO I spent a lot of time in the garden today reading articles and thinking about what was happening to me and my writing life. I scribbled some notes for a blog post in the boarders of the magazine before coming indoors to get my writers notebook!

Now I have spent a few hours processing my thoughts and what was originally a ‘woe is me’ type of post became a positive one about how to get over hurdles.

FOR ANY WRITER WHO IS STRUGGLING… or for any reader who may be interested in my writing life. (Or lack of it!)

*It’s important to represent a writer’s life honestly, it isn’t always a story told by words alone.*

© N.A Lewis 2013

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Part 1

NOT WRITING

I have struggled to produce any work or do any writing for a while. Maybe this is burn out fatigue post – Camp NaNoWriMo, which although I won I am still disappointed in myself for reducing my word count from 35000 to 20000. (Time restraints and summer visitors/ socialising/ moving house… my list of excuses could be longer!)

The truth is I haven’t written ANYTHING except blog posts and comments for the whole of August so far. I forced myself to spend some time researching and looking for new opportunities. I had to force myself to complete a writing schedule for August (they haven’t been completed since June!)

I started to put this into perspective the only person pushing me is myself – but I think freelancers have to drive their own workload – there aren’t many options for delegation -although, as I have learnt in my working life – BALANCE is also important!

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FORGIVE YOURSELF and find INNER BALANCE

There is a reason that I am not writing. It could be;

overload

fatigue

lack of energy

they are all the same thing really!

All I know is that a lack of energy coupled with the act of NOT WRITING has left me feeling deflated and depressed. I cannot allow the happiness writing gives me and my passion for creating it slip. I know negative emotions will eat away at any energy I can muster. My writing spirit is under attack from the gremlins that exist in all writer’s heads!

I have considered a write away day – especially in the light of the fact that our new home is still in boxes and a bit upside down and I do not have a designated writing space organised yet. I have considered visiting the library for a 2 hour slot on a public access PC. I have lots of ideas about this and will link up with a specific blog post soon. <LINK TO COME>

All I have managed to do so far to combat this WALL I have hit is to dive into research and reading. I question whether this act is another way of avoiding the writing altogether. I am frustrated that I am no longer producing writing. I have as yet no income from the writing and progress is slow.

THIS IS THE POINT WHERE I STARTED SHOUTING AT MYSELF (not literally) for being so hard on myself!

I could list all the changes that I have experienced this year, but you have probably read all the posts and have a good idea what’s going on! I should be grateful that I have found any time at all to write so far this year!

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BANISH NEGATIVITY

There is no place for you here!

Keep on going. Stay at the desk and write or take your writing elsewhere and get it done and MOST IMPORTANTLY … enjoy it! Acknowledge that this is part of all our stories – we all know writer’s block exists. It is part of the creative process. It is not the end of the world. Keep on. Keep on.

There are plenty of failures well known and successful authors have overcome in their time.  Failure is a theme, it exists and it is there for us to overcome.

It is part of the ‘journey’ and it will be familiar to many of you!

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In Part 2 I address negativity and share what I have been doing today to ‘get over it’ and what you can do about your own writing monsters!

13 responses »

  1. Good advice, I wish you well. I think the last point to enjoy what you do is all so important. Without factor at play you won’t produce work with your heart in it. If it doesn’t work for you then be brave abandon it and try again. Keep your drafts they may be handy another day. The whole writing process is rewarding most days so best wishes to you. Keep at it.

    • Thanks – part of my 2013 attack on the writing world is to make sure I keep at it – one of the reasons this blog exists is to make sure that I keep at it. I don’t want to give up, I am giving myself 4 Olympics to obtain gold and hope to well on my way within the next year or so – this is the training – learning to ignore the inner voice of the gremlins sneering at what I am attempting to do. To keep believing. I know I can. And I will.

      I will post Part 2 today and you can see how I suddenly realised I could turn these thoughts around and maybe help other ‘stuck’ writers in the process.

  2. I think moving house and doing the Nano Write are very good reasons for not feeling like writing right now. I know that feeling of lack of energy and not writing. Sometimes taking some time off and getting out in nature can be the best medicine. Writers are not machines. Maybe doing something like Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages might lead to a new creative stream. Then again enjoying the summer sunshine and watching the clouds roll across the sky might be just as therapeutic. 🙂

    • Thanks Suzanne – a wise mind as always. I will post part 2 today and you will see that I have turned the negative around to shine! I agree that I just needed time off, good weather is rare in these parts and June was more like Winter than Summer, so partly I am just enjoying sitting outside in the sun reading and enjoying the garden.

      Funnily enough I read at least 2 articles yesterday that emphasised the importance of taking a break and not being too hard on yourself. You’re right – we are not machines! How easy would a REBOOT button be? 🙂

      • Reboot button would be brilliant. I’ve also often wished grammar checks on the computer came with a function that told me when I was writing utter rubbish. 🙂 Enjoy the sun while it lasts. We are in deepest winter down here.

      • If computer programmes could do that no writer could claim to have gift or talents and all editors would be out of a job! 😉
        I will enjoy the summer think we have your winter today though…. I can see winter being my most productive season, snuggled up warm with coffee and the laptop… May even have a designated writing space by then too!

  3. I’m reading your blog backwards (that tends to happen when I come upon a new blog that interests me.
    Writing a blog post is still writing. It may not be what you want to get back at, but blogging keeps your mind thinking in terms of words, sentences, paragraphs; of expressing your attitude, feelings, hopes; of putting together something with a beginning, middle, and end.
    Having read part 2 first, I would say that you have set for your self some positive goals that address some of the issues you mention here.
    You can get “written out” for a while — especially if you undertake a month of writing challenge. Word count down or not, I see by the badge on your blog, that you did well!
    I will continue to uncover and discover your life; probably backwards, but that’s just me.

    • Thanks – so glad you are following – enjoy reading the blog backwards (it will probably make more sense that way!) 😉 I think some posts from January – when I was blogging into the void are pretty inspirational too – make full use of the menus!

      I agree that blogging is at least keeping the writing and creative part of my brain in play. Some people (journalists) say that blogging is what keeps the writer from writing – to be honest – whether I had the blog or not at the moment I think I would still be on this plateaux so I am grateful I have a focus at least.

      I also hope that both part 1 and part 2 help other writers who may well be in a block between greatness too.

      Enjoy splashing in the fountain.

  4. I found free writing and just going with the flow can help when your mind seems blocked, and your pen dry. That’s why Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Fridays are a good writing challenge for me.

    • They are a great challenge from a great blog. I try not to miss any – I think I have missed a couple since I found FWF. This weekend I have been offline trying to actually write.

      If you like the free write challenges I am sure you will enjoy INKSPILL – the writing retreat I am running from this blog at the end of October 25th- 27th – there will be plenty you can dip into or you could take part in the whole programme.

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