Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Insecure Writer Day

Ever have trouble keeping your writing separated from the rest of your life? Have a bad day at work and as a result a bad day at writing? Or maybe funerals, weddings, etc. keep interrupting your normal thought patterns when it comes to writing?

I know that as authors we’re supposed to use the canvas of life’s experiences to fuel our craft, but sometimes those experiences can overwhelm the writing process itself. When life gets really hectic I often feel less like a writer and more like the character in someone else’s book…I just hope each day it’ll have a happy ending;) I don’t know if this qualifies so much as an insecurity rather than a lack of keeping all those competing voices inside my head quiet when I need to focus on writing.

So how do you shrug off the other concerns in your life for a few hours a day? How do you prevent the fatigue you may feel from seeping into your writing? How do you get back into the groove even when you initially just don’t feel like you’ll produce anything worthwhile?  


  1. The answer to all of those questions in my mind is write anyway. Great post mark :)

  2. Sometimes I take a quick nap (like 20 mins) before writing since I write in the afternoon. That helps me feel more ready to be creative.

  3. Hello Mark:
    We really do sympathise with anyone who has to juggle work, in the sense of paid remuneration, with a wish to write which is, after all, a full time occupation.

  4. I have to work hard at it Mark. When life is hectic I can hardly do anything useful in the lab. Sometimes my solution is to not fight it and to let it be. Other times I create a mental bubble and exclude the outside. I have to decide which route. I don't believe in fighting my way out. Have a great day!

  5. It's difficult, especially if you have children (I do). I think flexibility is key. Go easy on yourself on the not so great days. There's always tomorrow!

  6. Writing is a stress reliever for me. Since I write Fantasy it's easy to get sucked into the other world and forget about my troubles. Unless, of course you have people walking around you trying to get your attention. You just have to set aside a moment. :)

  7. I've been out of my groove for a while. That's what actually made me do Nano. I'm assuming it's awful, but that's the fun of it I suppose.

  8. I don't think there's one answer except 'Keep Writing'. Cool blog, and I like the Monet photo. :D

  9. I think the best way is to allow just a bit of time. It's like exercise. OK, I tell myself. I have time for a walk around the neighborhood. Then, I feel so good, I take a few more steps. Works the same with writing. Give it 30 min. See what happens.
    Nice to meet ya!

  10. thanks for visiting me, Mark -- I suspect a vision of a Monet painting might clear your mind of daily 'stuff' ahem, I support the creative visualization school; you can tell. Otherwise, a shower or a walk in the woods before you start... just saying - I'm sure your Muse knows better than me

  11. I'm still learning the whole balance thing. If it were up to me, I'd sit and write for eight hours a day, but life does get in the way. :P

    I realize though that it's also good to give yourself permission to take days off. Major life moments need their space, and sometimes we just need to recharge by filling up on non-writing stuff.

  12. I have to clear my mind, or it just won't happen. Playing my guitar for thirty minutes usually does that. Find something that will provide your mind some peace.

  13. I agree with Alex J Cavanaugh unwind whether it is a brisk walk, yoga, stretching exercises, meditation. Then write but give yourself permission to write for a short period, say 30 mins.

  14. I have a life beyond writing and school?
    I wasn't aware of this.

  15. I'm afraid this is a question I'm always trying to find the answer to. Daily life can certainly intrude on my writing. Getting into the zone can be so hard some days.

  16. If I waited for the groove to write, I'd never write again. I have to just grin and bare it and just write, no matter what my mood. Although sometimes breaks are much needed also.

  17. My life affects my writing way more than I would like. Usually, there is much editing involved afterwards :-)

  18. Hi Mark - thanks for coming by! I was discussing this very thing yesterday. What I said is that it had suddenly occurred to me, that like my protagonist, wickedly difficult things keep getting piled on me! I do it on purpose with my protagonist but who is doing it to me? I think it will make my protag more interesting and bring out the best in her and blah blah blah BUT who is doing that with me??? I must add that I do not believe in a deity of any sort - I'm a Buddhist so non-theistic. BUT WHO IS DOING THIS TO ME? I'll calm down now and get back to my writing, turning all misfortune into the path...

  19. What's a groove? For me it's all about getting words on a page. That's the clay. From there I can hopefully mold them into something worth reading. Like others, if I were to seek out a clear head or a particular mind set, I'd never write.

  20. Hi there,
    I am just popping in from Alex's insecure writers group and it's taking me to get around everybody's blogs and say "hi". I will pop by your blog as often as I can. Nice to "meet" you.
    Eve. :)

  21. Hi Mark..I am in the biggest writing slump of my life. Its been four days since I plunged into this slump and I have done very little writing. I am trying my best to crawl out of it.

  22. J.A. – Great answer:)

    Stacy – Micro naps, I like it. Just wouldn’t want to nod off for too long. Do you use an alarm clock?

    Jane/Lance – Indeed, it feels like working at least two jobs, but so long as I love one of those jobs I’m good;)

    LittleJeans – Mental bubble sounds good, but it also sound like it takes practice too.

    E.R. – Kids definitely would make things tougher. I like the “go easy” mental attitude too:)

    Laila – I think what you’re saying holds true for all writing in a way, the more we can get sucked into the world we create the better (when we have to write at least).

    Kelley – So long as you’re motivated, it’s all good!

    Joanne – Ditto, and nice to meet you!

    Mary – Good point. Exercise for the creative spirit. I’ll see what happens;)

    Young – Envisioning things helps, although I’m a bit of a tactile learner as well. I like to “feel” it too:)

    L.G. – I believe in writing a lot, but I agree that it can’t be every day, at least not for my current lifestyle.

    Alex – I play guitar as well. I think I’ll give your approach a try.

    Helen – I like the brisk walk idea, it’s a great time of year for it. Thanks for all these great ideas!

    McKenzie – Indeed;)

    Shannon – I feel for you, I truly do:)

    Lynda – I do agree that you have to write sometimes when you’re not feeling it, but it’s still odd for me, because most days I really am feeling it. If that makes any sense.

    Sarah – Gosh, don’t even get me started on editing:) That turns into a whole other bag of tricks.

    Jan – Lol, I know exactly what you mean. If God is a writer, then we’re his (or her) greatest characters:)

    VR – Not a bad way to approach it. Just do it;)

    Eve – Nice to meet you too! Hope to see more of you:)

    Rachna – Well, maybe try reading a lot. Its inspiration often gets the mind jump started. Don’t fight the muse, maybe he/she needs a quick break;)