09 November

A Writer Bad Day? Find a Way...

Last week, I had my flu shot. Ordinarily, I have little to no reaction to those shots, but this time, I was hit with quite severe symptoms that had my physical energy/brain power drained to nil.

Since then, it's been a daily uphill battle to do anything — house chores, errands, never mind crafting word tales.

But guess what? Unless I'm in a coma or bleeding out, a serious writer has to try to work through just about anything. Even sheer exhaustion.

If I stop for even a minute, my urge to abandon my laptop and collapse into bed is great. The problem with that idea is that it isn't restful, as I know I should be writing.

Is this writer's guilt? Youbetcha! I should be grateful I suffer from said.

If you plan on taking your book writing to a professional, level, you have to dig deep down into your grit barrel, and find a way to write on. You are the only person who will chastise you for not writing. Being punished, or not, for writing is a moot issue. If you don't write on your WIP, who will? Every word, every paragraph, every book — it's all down to you.

So, on those days — and let's face it, we all have them — when you feel like the scum UNDER pond scum, and you'd rather have the bamboo nail torture than rise out of bed and pound those keys, 

DO IT ANYWAY. 

DO IT IN SPITE. 

As Nike, says, "Just do it."

  • write one sentence, one paragraph, or set a timer for even 5 minutes of writing.
  • ROL — Read Out Loud — edit your draft, or red pen edit for 5 minutes.
  • if you can't get out of bed, do some Google research you've been putting off, and make notes on said on your cell phone.

Even if you don't get much done, get SOMETHING done.

Put off other duties — chores, errands, etc. — to get something done on your book. There is always tomorrow for those other things. Ask family, friends to give you even 5 minutes to get something done. Life is not always about Them. Sometimes, it has to be about You, too.

When you do finally collapse in your bed to rest, you'll feel far less like pond scum, and your book is that much closer to being finished.

A Tangential Surprise: you find you are made of some seriously tough stuff, having weathered the storm. That kind of self-awareness goes a long way to building your confidence as a serious wordsmith, for if you can work through literary hell, working through literary heaven will be a breeze.

To be a writer is an extremely difficult mind game. Daily, you have to beat yourself at that game, and reject all doubts, fears and shortcomings, personal and professional. And that game is played whether you're in fine spirits or drowning in exhaustion.

HOMEWORK: If you happen upon a "pond scum" day, read over this post, get out of bed, and try again. You can do it. I know you can. You wouldn't be reading me if you weren't dead serious about this m├ętier. I got up to write this post. So can you write on your book. Let's do this together.

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