Finding the Will to Write

This week's topic is timely for me. Apart from some brilliant, early morning bursts of creativity, I have had a hard time lately focusing on my writing. There is always something else to do, something more important that deserves my attention.

The subject is nothing new. But what do you do when the creative fires are going out and the energy to write escapes you?

Sometimes I simply take a break. I try not to make myself feel guilty. If I'm tense, I can't always write my best. I know that while I'm turning my attention to other pursuits, my inner writer is still churning, still collecting material and situations that will eventually surface. This takes faith, I know. But I've experienced it enough to know it works.

I often find that the problem may be that I'm simply avoiding having to write something that I feel I have to write: a story I've started, an imcomplete chapter, etc. That's when I may write a poem, or a letter to a friend, or anything that doesn't resemble the project I'm working on.

I also try not to read. I stay away from books, from book reviews, from discussions of books. I want to empty my mind of the rules and the reviews -- others' words and the influence they have on me. (See YA Muse Veronica Rossi's most excellent blog post on the subject: Eyes on Your Own Work )

 I also try to write in a notebook or on lined paper. There's something very physical about it; it's so much slower than typing and helps to jump start the process.

I'm very interested to hear what the others  have to say about this topic. Is there a thought or mantra or little ceremony you have that gives you the will to get to a story?


Sometimes before bed, I plan out/visualize the next day's work plan. Then, even if I don't feel like doing the work, I often do it anyway because I knew it was going to happen all along. It's kind of like tricking myself, but it works sometimes.

I think it's really smart to plant that seed in your brain, Beth.

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