Imagine the ideal writing day: It’s your day off, and you have the entire day to yourself. You crack your knuckles and adhere your fingers to the asdfjkl; keys. Hours fly by like minutes, and you write thousands of words.
This isn’t what most days are like–a handful at best. Most days you sit at your computer with the intent to write, but the words won’t come. You start to write when the laundry timer goes off or your dinner boils over. You take a quick break after putting the kids to bed. The next thing you know it’s midnight, and you’re watching a man dressed up like Elsa singing “Let it Go.”
Some writers wait until they are “in the mood” to write. Waiting on inspiration is like waiting for a prom date. It might not happen.
You’re going to have days where you don’t feel like writing. I’m having one of those right now. I don’t even want to finish this blog post let alone touch my WIP. I just want to take a nap, maybe wake up in a pile of drool and old magazines and candy wrappers. It’s been that kind of day . . . week . . . month . . . year.
We all have mood killers. A fart can put you off sex or a meal. It usually takes more than that to kill a writing mood, but there are things that hinder us from writing. Note the keyword is hinder, not stop. Things will make it harder to write, but nothing should stop you. The only thing that actually stops you from writing is you. Things will get in the way, but they only make it more difficult, not impossible.
- a recent move
- a full-time job (9-6 everyday including Saturdays)
- chores and errands
- Game of Thrones
- lack of energy
- a six-year old son
- a serious illness in the family
- dr. appointments
- iFunny and IWasteSoMuchTime.com
Does this sound like your life? Without going into detail, I got some really bad news on Thursday. I took off work to deal with said bad news. I spent a couple of hours just crying, doing research, making calls, and visiting relatives. This left me five or more hours to do whatever. I could have spent them either crying, napping, or eating emotionally, but I chose to write. Most people when they get told life-altering news may forgo writing that day, or entirely. But I told myself all I had to do was finish a scene I’d been working on the last couple of days. Not only did I finish that scene, but I wrote the entire scene after it.
The thing is, life is going to be hard for a while, or indefinitely, because the older I get the more life sucks. If I wait for life to “settle down” to write, I will never finish a manuscript. That’s like waiting for an elephant to become a giraffe. I’m not saying it’s easy to write through grief. Some people may be too distracted by their grief to write, but I think writing should be the distraction from pain. There are only so many hours you can obsess or dwell on the hardships of life before it makes you tired and sick. I’ve worn myself down in the past worrying and obsessing over problems. So you have to give your mind a break. When writing becomes an escape, the act is less like a chore, and the words will come.
Don’t let anything stop you. Write when you’re glad, when you’re angry, when the words on your page blur in front of your teary eyes. Write when you feel like it and when you don’t. Write no matter what.