In my experience, writing confidently and consistently is hard enough when life is just life.
To keep writing through the storm of emotional turmoil, when life throws it at you, is a remarkable achievement which is unfortunately not talked about enough.
Too many people these days lead busy lives and are under the impression that they have to master it all by themselves and with a smile.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
In the face of difficulty, my muse is usually the first to leave the sinking ship and all I can do is watch her disappear into the distance.
This usually results in a period of writer’s block peppered with a dash of serious procrastination.
In those moments my self-doubts tend to hit a high and my inner voices tend to whisper the nastiest, most discouraging comments – comments that I wouldn’t dream of making about anybody else’s work.
So why do I feel that it’s ok to make such comments about myself?
Probably because it’s very hard (maybe even impossible) to accurately judge one’s own writing and most writers are afraid that they may have overestimated their genius.
It all comes down to fear and there are three strategies that I have been using to keep my fear in check:
1. Keep a productivity journal
Keeping track of how much planning, writing and editing I get done per week is an essential component of my working strategy. Whenever I hit an all time low, reminding myself of what I have accomplished helps.
2. Remember your why
Each and every one of us, who writes, does so for a specific reason. I find that thinking back to that reason of WHY I first decided to write can be a great motivation to get back to it.
3. Define your goal
Do you want to be famous? Maybe you just want to make a good living doing what you love. Personally, I am dreaming of giving up my day job and writing full-time. I don’t dream of being J.K. Rowling but I have a good idea of what my ideal writer’s life looks like and I try to focus on that vision whenever times are hard.
If you know of any other useful strategies and would like to share them, feel free to just pop them into a comment below.
Image Attribution: By NSSL (NOAA) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons