Monday, February 15, 2021

How to Write When Life Takes Over

It may shock you to know that not everyday is going to be a writing day.  There are times when life gets in the way, and to think otherwise is misleading.  Life is complicated, and sometimes we all need a little time away from our writing when the unexpected pops up.  Things like; illness, divorce, bereavement, family problems and even unrest in the country we're living in.  

Guilt is the last thing on your mind when life's problems start.  Writing is never going to be a straightforward process.  It's not like hanging out the washing or doing the ironing.  You can just switch on autopilot for those activities, but writing is deeper and takes more out of you.   Which means you can't just switch on autopilot when you want to.  

When you write it requires everything you have to get your thoughts and stories onto the page.  Just because life takes over sometimes, doesn't make you a lazy writer, it just means you need to step back for a little while.

It's important to understand that in order to get back into writing again you need to turn the pressure off, and do something else until you feel like writing again. 

So what do you do when life gets in the way of your writing?

Have Compassion for Yourself 

Don't be so hard on yourself when this happens, everyone goes through hard times.  Just put your writing to one side and concentrate on life for as long as you need.

Think of It as a Short Break

You may find that your problem is going to last a lot longer than a month or two, but don't despair, you'll get back in the saddle again when you're ready.  

Your love for writing will always be there, keep this thought with you.  Your writing is a big part of your life, and won't ever leave you.  I think that's what writer's fear the most, losing the passion they have to write.   

Your Spark of Creativity Will Return

Rest assured it will come back, even if it just feels like a trickle, pretty soon you'll be flooded with more story ideas, or plans for new writing projects and books than you've ever had before.

Things to Think About When Life Takes Over

Take Stock

If you're in the middle of a psychological upheaval the last thing you want to think about is writing.  Writing takes clear thought, not jumbled ideas.  You'd need to be free of all emotion to start writing again, and I hope most writer's would take the break before starting again.

Being a writer you have the advantage of being able to put your thoughts and emotions onto the page.  Most people struggle with that, you can do this by putting them into a daily journal. This is for your benefit and only you can see it.

Not only will this make you feel productive, but it will also help you sort out the thoughts racing through your mind about your current situation.

Related: 14 Ways to Stay Focused When You Write

When You're Writing Problems are Logistical Not Emotional

We all get bogged down with various activities and projects in our lives, which makes maintaining a schedule really hard to keep.

Often this means we're taken away from the task in hand, i.e. writing.  When this persists we need to sit down and think about putting a small corner of time away, even if its just for 15 minutes a day to do what we need to to get that book written, or that article written.

If writing is your passion, and life gets in the way, a little space in your day needs to be made, just to get you motivated. 

When Your Keeping Body and Soul Together

When you're going through a year of crisis it's probably not the best idea to be stretching yourself as a writer.  Your goals need to be put to one side and thought about when the crisis settles, and you have the time to think again.  Keep your writing schedule simple, and do what you need to do, but don't give yourself extra work at times when your personal life is in turmoil.

Time Heals, and Life Goes On

It may take longer to get back to where you were before life got in the way, but your momentum will return and so will your passion for writing again.  In the end whatever you've been through will eventually works its way into your writing.  Use your writing as therapy to get you through the hard times.  Who knows there may even be a story in there somewhere.

Read more:

62 Motivational Tips to Get You Writing

How Writers Can Vanquish Negativity

Become a Better Writer With These 20 Writing Exercises

How to Find Like-Minded Writers

How to Conquer Writers Block

How to Make a Bad Writing Day Really Good

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