Writing is a dream job, but it’s not an easy job. We’ve all read the quote about how writing it like opening a vein and bleeding onto the page. Easy peasy, right?
Not in the back and forth of real life.
Real life with its interruptions, challenges, and just plain work. So what’s a writer to do when life is just plain making you live in a frazzled daze? I don’t have it all figured out. But as I write book 22 and edit book 21 while plotting book 23, I have a few suggestions and tips that I hope will help you on your writing journey.
- Join a circus. No, seriously, learn how to juggle. One of the things I do is cart my laptop around with me when I think I can grab even 30 minutes to work. I’ve learned that sometimes the quick bursts can be more productive because I understand just how precious the time is. And if there’s no internet? Even better! That means fewer online distractions.
- Look for ways to delegate. Are there things that someone else can help with? At one point in our family that was getting my kids to start helping with chores each week. We’ve slid away from that, and life feels more chaotic. Hmm, maybe it’s time to reemphasize the help around the house. Hate doing the email newsletter all the publishers want to see? Then see about hiring a virtual assistant to help take the ouch out of creating it. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but just removing a couple things from your mental to-do list can be very helpful and create space for writing.
- Take a Break. Yes, I actually typed “take a break.” Sometimes the well has simply run dry, and we’re forcing words that we know are terrible. Worse yet, we’re staring at a blank screen and beating ourselves up for not being able to force words onto the screen. So go grab a movie, read a book, take a walk. Do something other than writing and take care of yourself. I’m learning this is a critical piece of surviving the process of writing.
- Fall in love with your story and characters. Some books are a job. They simply are. But if you can rediscover the reason you decided to write the book in the first place, it can help reignite the joy in the writing process. Reread what you’ve written. Write a page of journaling for your character. Rehear his or her voice and passion. Before long, you’ll be itching to get back to the keyboard and their story.
- Invite God back into the process of writing. Sometimes in the stress of writing and deadlines (even the self-imposed ones) it’s so easy to lose sight of the Giver of the gift and call. I have truly felt God’s joy as I’ve partnered with Him in writing a story. And when that piece is missing? I want to quit. So if the stress and strain is draining you, turn the whole process, story, and characters back over to Him. If He’s called you to write, He will equip you!
As I’ve been dealing with the stress of lingering boxes and distractions, I uncovered a box of writing books. In the box was one I enjoyed, but need to pass on to someone wondering how to have a career as a novelist. All you have to do is use the rafflecopter form below to be entered to receive the copy of Don Maas’ book. Good luck!