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When life happens,
how to keep writing?

IWSG monthly post

Let's face it - writing isn't always that glamorous. How to keep writing when life happens and you have no wish to write? It may be something that happens in your day job (which most authors have), or a crisis in your family. Or you just realize you have met the famous writer's block. You stare at the screen / paper and nothing comes out.  Perhaps you manage to convince yourself you are a lousy writer. No one cares about your books, so why should you?

If you are a writer, you have been in that state of mind at some point.

What to do to keep those creative juices flowing?

If you are  in a depressed mood (not talking about clinical depression here, just being a bit under the weather), it is best you don't write then. Do something else. Give yourself a day or two and don't force it. You should be back to your creative self when you give yourself time to sulk a bit. It can be rather enjoyable to sulk properly every now and again. 

Targets help too. If you are in the habit of planning your writing days - be it minutes or words per day / week / month, it is easier to write. Your subconscious mind is used to the thought that you will write according to plan. Helps me, at least.

I also know that if I get stuck in a story, I hop into another one and write that. I have one main story (at the moment it is the Nephilim Quest -series) and three... no, four other stories I write "on the side". I have no deadlines for them, and usually I find a story I feel like adding to. 

How about watching a movie and writing down the plot as it happens? To see the connections between the characters, how the plot moves ahead? Using mind mapping is one way to do this. It makes you interested in the story, and may give you ideas to your own.

Try journaling. Write about your day as in an old fashioned letter to someone. Tell what you did, how you felt. You might find those journals quite handy later on when you write your stories - you have written about your own emotions so the words sound real. If you are facing writer's block, write about how that feels. Tell how you sit there, what you feel, what happens around you. What is your family doing, what comes on TV, how is the weather, what was in the news today and what you think about it. 

And if you have already published your book: copy the good reviews and save the readers' emails where they express how they enjoyed your story. I know that when I come home, tired after my 9-5 job, thinking about those helps me to go to my computer and write. If you are really exhausted, however, get some sleep. Your mind doesn't function properly if you are too tired and that shows in the quality of your writing. Don't try to wake up at five in the morning to write, if you are dead tired as a result. Instead try to book an hour to your weekend to write. Or one evening during the week.

Try to write what you enjoy writing. If you "write to the market" in a genre you don't really feel comfortable with, it shows in your text. If I tried to write Victorian romance, for example, I am sure readers would either discontinue reading or roll on the floor laughing. So I don't write Victorian romance. If, however, you want to write to market, and you find a genre you are good at, then by all means go ahead.

Don't expect everyone to love what you write. That is impossible. Write what you love and trust there is an audience out there for you.

Go meet other writers - either in person or in virtual surroundings. Plenty of writers there who have gone through that same what's-the-point-of-all-this -phase. They are your peer group and can help you get back to writing. 

So there, a few thoughts about how to dig down and keep writing.

Are you a writer? How do you keep writing?

Do you have a great story about this? Share it!

Click on the Leenasbooks Newsletter headline above  to go to the newsletter blog's first page on Substack to see what it is about.

You can read the past posts there, and check if you are interested in listening to the audio chapters of my published books, or follow my stories as I write them.

Upon subscribing you will get the Prequel to Nephilim Quest: Angel.

Over two hundred years before Nephilim Quest 1 / Shadowhunter the roots of the story are planted.

A little girl missing her mother, in the palace of the mightiest of the dark Nephilim, hoping for an escape ...  

This book is not for sale anywhere - only readers who have subscribed to my mailing list will get it.

If you want to read more posts by IWSG writers, you can find them here. 

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