Monday, February 08, 2021

How to Make a Bad Writing Day Really Good


Frustration, and inactivity are nothing new for most writer's, it's part and parcel of being a writer.  Writing is something that comes from within, and is deeply personal.  Having the ability to share your own thoughts and stories comes at a price.  A price marked by anxiety and worry that sometimes never seems to end.

If you think starting your own business was hard, try doing it through the medium of writing, laying your soul bare for all the world to see.  Yet it can be one of the most satisfying things in life, to be creative, and make something for others to share in.

Let's start looking at some common issues writers might face:

I Haven't Lived the Life of My Subject Matter, How Can I Write About It?

If you haven't lived the life of a king or queen, how can you write about it?  That and hundreds of other questions come to light when starting on a subject you're unfamiliar with.  After all, the whole idea of writing fiction is to make your character's come alive.

A combination of fear and paralysis quickly sets in, and you quickly go into a nosedive, which starts hurting your creativity.

These things can all be overcome with some simple research on the right subjects.  If you're writing fiction you could look into behaviour, or how royalty spend their time.  Google some real royals, and pinch a few ideas from their lives.  All of these things will help your story to come together, you just need to dig a little first. 

It may help to put yourself in their shoes, but remember to always stay true to the character.

I'm Overwhelmed By How Big the Project Is

Writing a book will send fear into any normal human being, so that's a given.  We all lead busy lives, and have families, life gets in the way making us feel overwhelmed before we even start a new project.  All of these things eventually lead to doubt and total bewilderment.

With all of this doubt and uncertainty goals and projects get put on the back burner, often untouched for months or even years at a time.  If you haven't experienced this already, it will come.

With such a mountain to climb how can you get past it? You could start by doing small exercises to begin with, and activities to increase your productivity.  

Start by breaking down your project into manageable chunks, and tell yourself you're only going to write 500 words today.  If needed, this can be increased further down the line.  This will help keep you motivated.  You can apply this technique to any project you have going on in your life.

My Writing Is Under Par For This Project

Ever had that feeling of writer's doubt?  Have you ever had moments of sheer joy only to be hit with doubt and lack of confidence in yourself? 

There's nothing wrong with taking pride in work you've taken the time to produce.  The confidence you feel is the glue that holds your writing together, without it you're like a feather floating on the breeze, or a ship without a rudder.  Just keeping your confidence alive is a full-time job.  We all go through knocks and scrapes.  Whether it's a bad review, or just the general feeling of lack of confidence in your own writing.

So how do you get through this?  If you haven't already, having a good support network of people around you is half the battle.  Finding a like-minded community won't go a miss either.  Last but not least, it's good to take a break every now and again.  A small breather, just to get your bearings again, this isn't a complete abandonment of your work, just time to get you back on track.  This might be a week or two depending on how long you feel you need.  Then you can come back with a fresh set of eyes and ideas to start all over again.

I'm a Fraud, I'm Not a Real Writer

Ever suffered from author imposter syndrome?  The feeling of self-doubt, and that everything you've ever written isn't good enough to be classed as "real" writing?

When you have this voice going on inside of your head it starts eroding your confidence, and stops you from growing as a writer.  Instead of inspiring you to write, it fills you with fear and failure.

You can beat this voice by questioning your inner critic.  You can do this by simple self-affirmation exercises or reminding yourself of your biggest achievements.

I Feel Shattered After That Bad Review

All it takes is one bad review, this is enough to provoke feelings of anger, fear, disappointment, shock and embarrassment.  Compounded even more if it's the first work you've had published in book form.  People have no problem giving you a bad review when they're not standing in front of you and saying it to your face.

Many writer's may go so far as to take their book down completely, and leave writing behind forever.  Other writers might feel the need to make huge edits to their work or change characters and plots completely.

When reviews are given there's no running away from them.  You're never going to please everyone, and you'll always have a section of people that just won't like your writing, finding every opportunity to dismiss it. 

You're not alone, every author and writer has this problem.  It's natural to get upset, but don't let it put you off.  If you think it's an issue with your grammar, punctuation or spelling error, all of these things can be fixed.  And it's only someone's opinion, and shouldn't be taken to heart.  

How to Establish a Writing Routine That Works

Having a writing routine that works and helps you to stick to your writing goals is crucial, no matter the genre, or writing path you've chosen.  But it's also one of the hardest things to get right.

You need a foolproof way of writing that will fit perfectly into your busy life and schedule.  

So let's take a look at things you can do to start building a really good writing routine.

Learn How to Manage Your Time

Time management is probably the most important factor in this list.  If you have a family, or work full-time, finding time to write will be much harder than someone able to do it full-time with fewer ties.  

If you haven't already found a time in your day to write, start looking into how you spend your time.  

You could start by making a time log.  Include things like, working, sleeping, leisure time and family time.

Make a Time Log

Start by writing down more mundane tasks:

  • Time spent on social media
  • Hygiene habits (brushing teeth, showering etc.)
  • Mealtimes (Including creating meals)
  • Small tasks
  • Meeting family or friends
  • Watching TV

You may surprise yourself as to how much time you spend doing all of these things.  Keeping a time log will help you cut down or do any task faster that you may be spending too much time doing.

Discipline Yourself to Write

When you start really looking into how you spend your time you begin to see just how much time is wasted watching TV or on social media.

The time log you've created should tell you where you can start trimming things down a little, and where you can start fitting in your writing time.

Choose Your Perfect Writing Time

Once you've found the best time of day for you to write, this is when you need to start making a permanent part of your life.  And more importantly a daily habit of at least 30 minutes a day, 5 to 6 days a week.

Once you get started, it will naturally become part of your day, becoming part of your everyday life.

Put Your Writing Time into a Daily Planner

If you prefer technology, use your mobile phone alarm to let you know when to write, or a time management app.

If you're old fashioned put it in your diary or buy yourself a daily planner, and clearly set out your writing goals, and when you want to complete them.

This must be a priority in your life, otherwise you'll never complete any of your writing goals.

Writing Becomes a New Habit in Your Life

Science tells us that on average it will take about 2 months or more before a behaviour becomes a permanent part of your life, this works out to be about 66 days.  This can depend on the person, behaviour or circumstances.  

So make the time and start opening up new opportunities through your writing.

Share this post with your friends! 

Read more:

How to Prepare Yourself as a Writer

How to Accept Your Writing Anxiety, and Spend Time on the Craft

Why All Writers Should Set Goals

How to Overcome Your Writing Fear With Mind Games

Find Your Writing Hero

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