Monday, October 17, 2016

Tips for Pushing Through

I am one of those writers who struggles to get the first draft written. It's always been this way. There are days when the words flow and I write with a feeling of giddiness. Other times, it's a slog, like trying to get through a foot of oozing mud in the spring. Or like my joints are in the morning: stiff and painful. Actually, just writing this post feels like that!

But there are times when I must force myself to get the words down. I can fix them later. Thank God I can fix them later. For me, the editing process is where I enjoy writing the most. I get to play! I don't have to get it right the first time! It reminds me of this quote:




That being said, what are some ways to push through and write on those hard days?

A few tips:

1. Silence the Inner Editor
This is one of my major hang-ups. That little devil inside my head constantly tells me that the words I'm putting on the page are pure crap, and that I should just give up already. Putting a muzzle on my inner editor is the only way to get words on the page.

2. Accept that you're writing crap
During last night's writing session, I knew very well that I was writing crap. And you know what I did? I embraced the heck out of it. The result? I kept writing crap, but I was still writing.

3. Do a round of freewriting
As alluded to in my previous post, freewriting can be, well, freeing! Before you start working on your novel/article/short story, open a blank document on Word and just start writing. Don't worry about grammar or punctuation or even if your ideas make any sense. Just write. Put words on the page. Get the gunk out. And if you still sit down to your project and write crap? That's ok. Just see #2!

4. Take a walk. Listen to music. Draw a picture. Bake a cake! Color!
There have been times when getting out of the house and immersing myself in nature or putting on a good big band CD have lifted me out of my writing funk. Creativity begets creativity. I'm a big believer in the new coloring craze that has seized the world, especially when I don't care if I color outside the lines or if I make my grass blue instead of green. Go wild! Then go back to your work-in-progress and use that same mentality.

Remember Nora Robert's famous line: "I can fix a bad page. I can't fix a blank page."




8 comments:

  1. Good advice! I actually love writing first drafts--it's about the 2nd round of revisions that are hard for me to get through without extra motivation!

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    1. I love how writers are so different in their approach to writing a novel - some love writing the first draft, others love editing. :)

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  2. I am going to print this out and hang it on my mirror. Or something. I find this time around I'm getting more frustrated with revising than drafting, but these same suggestions still apply!

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    1. I hope some of them will work for you!

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  3. Some great advice! I'm all for the colouring craze too - it's been great for creativity when I haven't been writing. But that is about to change. I've got ideas roving around in my head that will, hopefully, make it to the page soon.

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    1. Oh, I'm so happy to hear this, Sue! Happy writing!!!

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  4. I sing, too, when I need a break - it sort of clears the head! Take care Melissa X

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    1. Singing has to be a great way to relieve stress!

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