Hello

I can’t quite believe we’re here in mid-March and this is only the second post I’ve made this year.

While I ended 2017 on a creative high, and have had a huge amount of ideas between then and now, I’m a little bit lost.

Lost.

That’s a word I’ve used a lot recently because it’s the only one I can think of to describe how I’m feeling.

I’ve read 9 books this year, some I’ve loved and some I haven’t, but I’ve written no more than 4000 words. I’m lost, I’m tired, I have the ideas but not the motivation to follow them through.

I can’t even blame the rejection from one of the publishers I sent the first LWL novel to, because this feeling started long before that email arrived and, to be honest, I was kind of relieved to receive it?

I’ve heard the term ‘writers winter’ bandied about on a couple of groups I lurk in: it’s apparently a known phenomenon that every so often, writers go through a sparse spell, where they struggle to get the words on a page, whether it be on screen or in a notepad. It’s a small comfort to know other writers go through this because mostly I’m just wanting it to be over.

It’s not like writers’ block. WIth writers’ block, I usually find switching it up a little – writing by hand, using a prompt generate, using write or die etc. – generally works to get over it.

This… This is something different.

To any writers out there reading this, how do you break your writers winters? Or do you simply just keep yourself busy in other areas and wait for them to pass?

Words, words, words

If you want to be a writer, it’s important to write.

It might seem blatantly obvious but a lot of wannabe writers seem to think they can make it as a novelist without committing the time and effort into doing the main element of writing: getting the words down on paper, or on screen.

Yes, there needs to something said about rewriting and editing and getting a finished product you’re happy to share with the world at large but you can’t rewrite something that isn’t written in the first place. You can’t edit a blank page.

A lot of wannabe writers, myself included, struggle to find time to write among the day to day duties we have no choice but to take part in. Working at a day job is necessary for anyone who needs to financially support themselves or their families, which can leave you stressed and tired and the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is sit down and force yourself to write.

But if you don’t, you’re never going to get those words written.

Now, writing should be fun. I’m a big believer in that. So when I say ‘force’, I don’t mean make yourself sit down and try to put pen to paper if you really, really don’t feel happy doing so. But if you want to, you’re just feeling a bit tired and it’d be easier to play around on the Internet or watch TV, why not try to push yourself just a little so you can get something written?

Any progress on a novel is good progress, and a step towards completing that all important first draft.

Finding the motivation, the willpower, to sit down and write can be a struggle at times but keep reminding yourself that your novel isn’t going to write itself.

Set yourself small goals. Achievable goals. I’ve mentioned on here before that I’ve set myself a goal of 500-1000 words per day. On a working day, it’s more like 500. On a weekend, 1000 is within reach. Some days I won’t hit 500, other days I’ll hit more so my average daily word count for this year so far is 531 words.

It might not seem like a lot at first glance but over the course of the year,┬áthat’s 193,815 words all trying to tell the stories that currently exist in my head and that’s far better than 0.