Tag Archives: personal development

How To Keep Writing When Everything Around You Is A Mess

Introduction

I’ve said it, and pretty much anyone who writes about writing says it, you need to write daily. 1000 words. An hour. As many words as you can fit on the page in as much time as you can possibly spare.

Yeah, that’s all well and good in a perfect world.

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But your world isn’t perfect, is it? Neither’s mine. Who can really say that they don’t have any major challenges in their life?

So, how do you keep writing when it feels like the world’s crumbling at your feet; or, if your life isn’t so bad, how do you keep writing when your life could use a tune-up.

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Solutions

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Fix Your Shit

If you’re unable to write because of too many crazy things going on in your life, then don’t write. Solve your problems first. Besides, you can’t write 1000 words a day if your computer…and your grandparents’ typewriter…are confiscated by repo men.

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Phone A Friend

When life’s at its worst, know that misery loves company. Get on your phone and dial a buddy. You can ring the wisecracking one to get you out of your slump, or the understanding one if you need a shoulder to cry on, but ring someone to get out of your own head and elevate your mood. Then, after they’ve served their purpose, hang up and write!

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Power Through

If your problems aren’t going away anytime soon, then just say “fuck it” and go ahead and write. Put your feelings on the page if it’s a confessional work, or write from a fictional concept to take a brief reprieve from your stressors. Being productive can sometimes be the best cure for mental anguish.

Seek Professional Help

I’m not a psychiatrist. I don’t even play one on TV. If things are really bad, get yourself to a trained professional who can help you get back on track. Who knows, your psychiatrist may even know an agent, and if that won’t get you to start writing again, I don’t know what will.

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Conclusion

We’re all unique. Each of us responds to adversity in different ways. Find the way that best handles your situation, and go with it.

How About You?

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What method do you use to keep writing when life becomes overwhelming? Share it with our readers in the comments section.

As always, I’m Alfonso, and I’m fighting the good fight with you!

Friends and Lovers

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“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

If you’ve seriously committed yourself to your writing, by the very nature of the task, you will have to have to spend a great deal of time working alone. If you’re fortunate enough to be a full-time writer, you may have no reason to come into contact with anyone, other than at readings, or when networking with other writers, or perhaps meeting an agent or publishing representatives. If you have a job or are in school, the bulk of your time away from your professional responsibilities may very well be spent writing.

To join the literary game, to get readers to discover your writing, to get publishers to take you seriously, to maybe make a bit of money from your writing, you need to be serious about work and make writing a consistent part of your life. However, sometimes writers can take their profession so seriously that they become recluses, avoiding friends, disregarding or not seeking out lovers, and distancing themselves from supportive family.

I urge all writers to try to find a balance between their non-writing obligations, their writing, and their life and the people who love them. You’re not a machine, you’re a person. You need love, the same as anyone else. You have to embrace the love around you, not run from it because you have a “greater task.”

The isolation will destroy you. It’s not tenable over the long haul for producing good writing, either.

Make sure that you value your loved ones. In a solitary profession like ours, they can be your cheerleaders and confidantes, but it’s not just about you. Humans are social creatures. Scientists have proven that without love, your DNA becomes damaged over time. Embrace the love. It will keep you whole.

How do you balance your writing, your professional obligations, and your relationships? Have you ever had any problems doing so?

The Five Critical Mistakes That Aspiring Writers Need To Avoid

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When you’re new to the literary game, it can be rather easy to fall into some (or all) of these traps. For your own sake, please don’t. Things can change. You can achieve your literary ambitions – but that won’t be likely to happen if you’re afflicted by the following:

1. A Lack of Confidence – You may not have had your work published in any literary journals. You may have had to self-publish that first book. You may not have even completed that first book. So what. Where you are today is not where you have to be tomorrow.

2. A Lack of Writing – You may talk a lot about being a writer, but how much are you actually writing? Aspiring writers turn into emerging writers through writing a great deal. Your work may be rough at first, but like anything else, with practice, you’ll grow markedly better.

3. A Lack of Control – You can’t write because your life has gone awry. If so, you need to take steps to fix your life before anything else. Once your life has some semblance of order, you can turn your literary dreams into your reality.

4. A Lack of Technique – Unfortunately, many aspiring writers don’t read much. You can’t write if you’re not a reader. Reading teaches technique. While blogs like this one, helpful books, and creative writing courses can teach a great deal, it’s an uphill battle if you don’t love to read. Truthfully, reading teaches technique better than any of the aforementioned resources.

5. Treating Writing As a Chore – The world won’t end if your book isn’t completed. Your world won’t end if your book isn’t completed. Writing should be a lot of fun. Writing shouldn’t feel like work. If you treat writing like work, it’s going to start to feel like a job. Writing should never feel like a job. Please don’t put that much pressure on yourself!

Have you made any of these mistakes? How have you overcome them? I’d love to hear your story of how you overcame these challenges.

Why Your Fiction Is Terrible

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Take a look at that quote above. Pay attention. Study it. Does it offend you?

If you haven’t been living, it’s expected that you would take offense. I mean, Thoreau is totally off-base, and by the way, who is this jerk challenging me. Writing is solitary. I don’t need to have “lived,” whatever that may mean. I don’t need people around me. I don’t need fun. I don’t need to enjoy life.

Do you realize the stupidity in that train of thinking?

Go out and live life. You can’t write ANYTHING until you’ve lived. Whether you’re a sixteen year old in high school or a sixty year old retiree, ask yourself – have I lived? If the answer is no, then stop wasting your time writing.

So what is living? Living means seizing every day as if it were your last. We all are different. Your way of living life to the fullest is unlikely to be the same way as mine, but whatever you think life is, you better live it. Amass your experiences, seek the joy out in life. Sure, there will be pain too, but oh, it’s so much better to enjoy life than to be an animated corpse.

And, of course, once you’ve lived, then you can write. All that would be left would be the simple stuff: learning the technical aspects of craft; how to publish your stuff; how to network with other writers and others in the field; and how to promote your creative writing. That’s the easy part. That comes afterwards.

Until then, get away from the computer and put away your pen. You have some fun to do.