Writing is great, until it isn’t.
Look at any writer’s social media and you will find yourself assaulted with, ‘woe is me, writing is more evil than Satan’s dirty Y-fronts’ fodder.
I confess, I am one of those writers. I like a good old moan about writing, revising, editing … the whole lot.
I also love to do a Carlton type dance (see The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) when it’s going well.
Here’s a list of how we can get ourselves dancing like no-one’s watching when writing becomes a pain in the arse, and possibly do some writing too.
I know. I ask for a lot.
The Best Methods for Getting Through Writing Blips
1.Bake. Cake making is marvellous. Not only do you do something to take your mind off your writing woes, at the end there is cake. Cake is life.
2. Read a book. Decide carefully what you’re reading. It can either hinder or help if it’s in your genre. If it’s amazing, you’ll want to give up writing, hunt the author down, and get a hitman involved. If it’s crap, you’ll decide you are the best *insert your genre here* writer ever.
3. Tell yourself you will never write again. Tell everyone you have quit writing. Watch as that stubborn writing instinct snakes its way into your mind, grips your heart, and says it’s not being killed off for anything.
4. Write a list of all the household chores that need doing. Suddenly writing becomes alluring.
5. Drink coffee by the bucket. Be aware that an overdose of caffeine can make you write crazy shit. Be thankful for editing.
6. Eat chocolate. It may not get you writing again but it’s a lovely thing. Do it now.
7. Watch mind-numbing reality TV for days without resting. At first it will seem amazing to not have to think. By the eleventy billionth episode of TOWIE, you will either need brain resuscitation or to write something to clear all those fake tans and chavvy drama from your memory.
8. Encourage a family member or friend to write. Watch them be good at it and sell oodles of books. Your jealousy will consume you until you either once more hire that hit man (speed dial is useful) or ride the green eyed monster all the way back to your writing desk.
9. Cry. Cry a lot. Cry so much that you’re languishing in a river of snot, saltiness, and drool that comes from proper ugly wailing. Have a kip. Wake up. Feel better for all the crying. Sometimes a good old sob gets all the badness out.
10. You can only write if you have a cat. It’s writer law.
11. Get rid of the cat. You might be able to write without it using your laptop as a heated blanket.
12. Pay someone to ghost write for you. Detest yourself for choosing this option and acknowledge you’re not a desperate celebrity. Decide if you can live with it.
13. Each time you start a new draft, title it ‘First Draft’ to fool yourself that it’s not the eleventy squillionth one.
14. Give your beta readers a firm date for getting your novel in their hands. Work like a manky old donkey to not let them down because they love you and your work. Or delete all your forms of communication. Your choice.
15. Change your identity. Start again. Write crap and publish it. Deny that it’s yours.
16. Get a willing (read as stupid) person to delete your work in progress. After you’ve hired that hit man again, try to remember what was in your novel by writing again. Find out after the hitman has done his job that your willing and stupid person was joking, and your novel is still there. Leave the country.
17. Give away all your books, writing equipment, anything related to your writing. Try to live without it. I give you a month tops before you’re begging for a writing hit and staging a hold-up in WH Smith for gel pens and printer ink.
18. Do not tell other writers you’re going through a blip. They will feed the negativity. We love to mourn alongside each other at the grave of Writer’s Block.
19. Tell other writers you’re going through a blip. Await all the writer love in the world and ride on that wave, all the way back to your desk.
20. Go for a walk. Not for fresh air but rather because the big, bad outside is scary. Inside, hugging your PC, is much safer.
21. Emigrate. Choose a country where you don’t know the language and no-one speaks English. Choose a country where there’s no electricity, pens, paper, or verbal communication. Good luck with that. Let me know where it is when you find it.
22. Step away from social media. Every writer in the world will be successful there. It will feel like a conspiracy.
23. Step away from social media. You’ll find yourself stalking the brother, of the uncle, of the girl you went to primary school with as a distraction.
24. Get on social media. People’s statuses are potential writing gold.
25. Get on social media. Write something derogatory on someone’s wall and watch the keyboard warriors rage. Use their words for creating your villains.
25. Read this blog, not because I’m a writing guru but because I could do with the love, attention, and writing impetus myself. Selfish? Me?
What do you do to get through the writing blips?
Share your methods: funny, serious, useful, or useless.
Goodness knows, we could all do with them *rounds up the writers to all complain together*.