Staying The Course

In my relatively short time as a “serious writer” I have learned a few things, forgotten some others, and mucked my way through numerous rejections and a few golden acceptances. Each step in the writing process has been educational and exciting. But I am a year in at this point, and I have found myself in a bit of a rut.

As summer approaches, so does the busy time of year for me– the time when both my daughters start softball for the summer, get ready for summer camp adventures, SAT’s (for my older daughter), open up the seasonal campsite, mow the lawn, do my gardening *takes a deep breath*  This is just the stuff I know about as it is on my schedule. Incidentals — well I just squeeze em in when and wherever I can.

I have managed to schedule myself fairly well with respect to my blogging on a regular schedule and staying up to date on social networking efforts. I have also made a concerted effort to read more. (As a single parent trying to find time to write, adding this one has been particularly difficult — who has the time?)

What has fallen off for me over the past month or so, is my writing time. Each day that goes by that I haven’t taken the laptop out to write some words is a day that I go to bed feeling I have wasted. I need my FT job, but it too gets in the way of my writing — the thing I want to be doing with myself.

When I get this way, there are a few tried and true methods I have used to get past them.

1. Take a walk — I realize time walking is not time writing. However I get some of my best ideas while walking and thinking.

2. Listen to music — The greatest of inspirers (is that even a word) for me. Both of my recent acceptances have been stories conjured during a session of tunage (and family stresses tuneout).

3. Read a book — Now I know I mentioned above that I barely had time for this.  However, I have noticed that in doing this, even for an hour a day, I have opened up some creative veins I had thought long dry. I guess I am one that is inspired by others. Either that or I read stuff and realize that I can do just as well.  Either way, it helps spark the synapses enough to get me itching to write something.

What are some of the things you all do to get the creative juices flowing? Do you have a set writing routine that gets you “in the mood”?

About Rebecca Hart

Im a single parent of three and a published author of romance in all sorts of sub-genres. A full time IT geek, Managing Editor of Roane Publishing, cover artist and a reformed gaming addict -- I live to write fantasy peppered with a dash of romantic nonsense :P Addicted to all things pirates, penguins, Johnny Depp and rum. Follow me on Twitter: @Rebelhart69

Posted on May 5, 2011, in My Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I combined 1 & 2. I will take my Kindle with me and go to the park and read while walking around the outer pathway. I am just that crazy. 🙂 Good for you that you have found something to reenergize!

  2. Everyone needs time off, and daily commitments have a habit of getting in the way of writing. I try not to beat myself up about time away from my novel, but it's hard not to get frustrated.
    Your walks sound like a great idea. I wish I had time 🙂

  3. I use the drive to work to think about the next scene I'm writing. Listening to music or going for a walk somewhere is often really useful – especially as a lot of the setting for my WiP is the woods.

    Other than that I'm just one of those people who makes themself start writing. Once I've got a few words out, it usually comes 🙂

  4. @Emma: I have to wait for the kiddies to go to bed usually. Makes for a dark walk sometimes, as I don't do mornings well.

  5. I have periods of time where I just can't write. It used to drive me crazy, freaked me out because I thought somehow I'd lost my mojo. I've learned to just step away for a while, do a puzzle, edit something I've already written, or read a book. My muse eventually gets out of his snit and comes around again.

  6. Walking is a great way to clear your head–especially if you're familiar with the route and can do it on autopilot. And at night is probably the best time to do it–that way, when you're holding conversation with your characters and smiling at them alongside your mental answers, nobody will see and you have less chance of being committed.
    Do I have periods where I can't write? I never used to. But then I used to belt out the words and think that was enough. Now I have to get it as right as I can first time or my inner critic goes into spasm and my tic below my left eye flickers in the corner of my vision.
    Some days, I'd like to boot my inner editor out and just get on with it and enjoy writing crap again, but the side of me that likes producing work of a better quality keeps siding with my inner editor. Two against one–I don't stand a chance.

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