When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason 


What do you do when you
don’t feel like writing? Gasp! Not feel like writing? Is that even a real
feeling?
Um…yes. Unfortunately, it
happens. At least to me. Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do. I adore my job
and the flexibility it affords me. Believe me, I don’t take it for granted. But
I don’t wake up EVERY SINGLE day thinking, “Oh boy! I’m just so excited, I
can’t wait to hit the keyboard!”
For those of you who do
this, we are not friends and you can go away.
Just kidding.
Sort of.

Anyway, for those of you who
are occasionally afflicted with this “I don’t want to write today” thing, I
have a few helpful tips on how to get past that.
  • Sit down in front of your
    manuscript and edit. Sometimes when I edit, I’ll get a new idea to flesh out.
    That will generate some excitement about moving forward with the story.
  • Get your voice recorder out
    and start brainstorming the next part of the story. Just start talking. It’s
    okay if you sound like an idiot, you’re the only one who will hear it.
  • Do something physical. But
    read the last part of your manuscript before you go. Then while you’re working
    out or walking around the block, you can be thinking about the next scene,
    fleshing it out in your mind, getting it ready to be put on the screen.
  • Email a brainstorming buddy
    and cry on his or her shoulder tell her the story in a stream of
    consciousness telling. Don’t stop to breathe, just talk. When you’re finished,
    say, “Now what happens?”
  • Sit down in front of your
    manuscript and tell yourself you can’t get up until you write at 10 words. Yes.
    10. Then you’re allowed to go do something fun. Because I can’t write just 10
    words. I always write more. Granted, sometimes it’s 20, but at least I met my
    goal! Ha. Seriously, I’m willing to bet that would happen to you too.
  • And last but not least,
    adopt the Nike slogan. “Just do it.” (Most necessary when deadlines loom.)
Yes, I know you think that
that last one is not really the most helpful suggestion, but actually it is. I
look at it this way. Everyone who has a job has days where he/she doesn’t want
to go in to work. Writing is the same thing. It’s your job.  Unless you’re sick or otherwise
incapacitated, you go to work. Although I will say this, like some dedicated
people (who are unappreciated in the office environment) sometimes you go to
work when you’re sick. The good thing is that, at least if you’re a writer and
you work from home, you won’t spread the yuck.
Honestly, I really do love
writing. I’m very excited about each project God lets me work on. Like I said
earlier, I don’t take it for granted that I get to do what I get to do. I’m not
whining or complaining. I’m just being honest. Some days it’s just plain hard
work and some days I’m just not in the mood to go to work.  And that’s okay.
And I would like to also point
out that these suggestions are great for pre-pubbed writers as well. You may
not have publisher deadlines, but if you don’t get a manuscript finished…you
won’t have publisher deadlines.

So, what are some other
suggestions you could add to the list? What do you do when you MUST write and
you just don’t want to? I can ALWAYS use more ideas!

TWEETABLE



When You Don’t Feel Like Writing by  Lynette Eason (Click to Tweet)

Lynette Eason is the award-winning, bestselling author of over thirty books. Lynette writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have finaled or won awards in contests such as The Maggies, Inspirational Readers Choice Award, The Carol, ECPA Book of the Year, The Selah, and others. Her most recent wins are the Carol Award in 2013 and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in 2014. She began her teaching career in the public school classroom and has since moved to teaching at conferences all over the country. Lynette often speaks at women’s conference and retreats, but finds her first love is teaching writing. In her spare time she can be found hanging out with her family, loving on her nieces and nephews, traveling, and…um…writing. Lynette and her husband Jack live in South Carolina with their two teenagers. Life is never boring, that’s for sure! Lynette can often be found online at www.facebook.com/lynette.eason @lynetteeason on Twitter, and www.lynetteeason.com.

Avoid These Regrets on the Writing Journey

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson
Life is full of regrets
and the writer’s life is no different. But since I’m a few years further down
the path than a lot of you, I thought I’d share some things I wish I’d done
differently. These are some regrets you don’t have to have if you pay attention
now.
1.
Following the trends instead of writing what’s on your heart.
It’s tempting to think this or
that is hot right now and an easy sell. The truth is, nothing is an easy sell.
It all takes work. And more than that, it takes time. Chasing a trend will doom
you to always being behind.
2.
Not investing more time in your dream.
All around you are opportunities to grow as a writer.
Whether it’s local writing groups, online classes or chats, or conferences.
Making your dream a priority is important.
3.
Letting others define success.
Success is different for each of us. If we let someone else’s
definition guide us, we’ve lost our way.
4.
Not saying yes to stretching your writing muscles.
Courage is essential in this
business. It’s what so often separates success from failure. If I only did what
I knew I could, I’d never grow as a writer.
5.
Listening to the negative voices in your head.
We all have them, no matter
where we are in the writing journey. The only difference is whether or not we
choose to believe them.
6.
Not networking more.

In this business, as much or more than any other, it’s who you know. Building
relationships can keep you sane, give you valuable leads, and open the doors to
publication.
7.
Submitting stuff too early in the editing process.
It’s tempting to get frustrated
with the process and think something is good enough. Every single time I tried
that short cut it ended in failure.
8.
Not writing more.
Isaac
Asimov was once asked what he’d do if he found out he only had six months to
live. His answer haunts me. “Write faster.”
9.
Letting the jealousy and pettiness of others derail your progress.
It’s a competitive field and for
some, winning is everything. These few can beat you down to build themselves
up, if you let them. Don’t.
This
is what’s on my list. What’s on yours?

TWEETABLE
Avoid these regrets on your #writing journey – via @EdieMelson on @NovelRocket (Click to Tweet)

Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including her most recent, While My Child is Away. She’s also the military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She’s the the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com.

Helping Art to Imitate Life

by Dan Walsh

There’s a piece of writing advice beginners are sometimes told: “Write what you know.” I get why. Fiction writing is all about making stuff up. If you write about things you know well, it’s much easier to sound credible and authentic as your story unfolds (as you make stuff up).

I heard this advice back in the days when I was crafting my first novel. I knew a whole lot about WW2, had been studying this era as a hobby for many years. So I set my first 2 novels (The Unfinished Gift and The Homecoming) on the homefront during WW2. Worked out great.

But in time, 2 things began to surface that revealed some flaws in this “write what you know” idea. If you plan to keep writing books, you eventually run out of things you know. Or you find, you don’t want to keep writing about the same thing over and over again (the thing you know).

Something I’ve learned to help offset this problem is to start paying attention to the things going on in my life that might actually—with some help—become decent material for my books. I added “with some help” because, let’s face it, my life, as is, would bore the average reader to tears. That is, taken as a whole. But if I spend some time breaking it down a bit, I realize my life does have some non-boring, interesting parts. Occasionally, even some exciting, adventurous parts. Admittedly, they are few and far between. But they do exist. And they are mine. I can use them in my books and don’t even need to get anyone’s permission.

Here’s an example. My wife is an amazing dog trainer (she’s professionally certified and has trained over 1,000 dogs). For 4 years, she was the Animal Behavior Manager at our local Humane Society and now trains dogs in a private practice. Every day she would come home with these fascinating stories. It dawned on me, I could do a series that featured a rescue shelter dog as a main character, as well as a dog trainer similar to her (only younger and single, so I could add a romantic thread). I’ve borrowed bits and pieces from some of her best stories to create at least 3 very good novel ideas (maybe more).

Just like that, and the Forever Home series was born. Rescuing Finley (Book 1) came out last November and is doing extremely well (276 Amazon reviews, Avg 4.8 Stars). I just released Book 2, Finding Riley, on October 1st. And here’s another fun way I helped Art to imitate Life…the dog on the cover of Book 2 (who’s playing Riley) is actually Charlie, a mixed spaniel dog we brought home from the shelter 2 years ago. I was able to use all kinds of things drawn from real-life experiences with Charlie in my new novel.

I just weave all this real-life stuff in with the made up stuff (which is often way more exciting) and it seems to be working out great (17 novels later).

Here’s my final example. We live in Daytona Beach. Two weeks ago, Hurricane Matthew came barreling through the Caribbean straight for us. It had been 12 years since we’d experienced a hurricane. Back in 2004, we went through 3 of them (and we didn’t evacuate; we stayed home). But the folks on the Weather Channel, and our local weather experts, were all saying this storm might hit us head-on as a strong Category 4. They were warning about massive tidal surges, roofs tearing off of houses, trees coming down all over.

Suddenly, we were told we had to evacuate…only 2 hours before the weather outside would start getting really bad. We rushed around the house, gathering insurance papers and things that mattered most into bags and suitcases, packed up the dogs, and joined a caravan of family members out on the highway (along with hundreds of thousands of others).

We drove nine hours straight toward Atlanta, wondering if we’d even have a home to come back to. The next few days provided quite an adventure.

At one point, my wife looked over at me, smiled and said, “I think Jack and Rachel will have to go through a hurricane.” I said, “Oh yeah. They definitely will.”

Who are Jack and Rachel? They are the main characters in my other novel series, The Jack Turner Suspense series. Jack and Rachel don’t know it yet, but their future now includes a number of crazy hurricane experiences that will remarkably resemble our own.

How about you? Share some of the moments when your Art has Imitated your Life in your writing.

TWEETABLES

*     *    *
Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 17 novels, including The Unfinished Gift, The Reunion and When Night Comes.
He has won 3 Carol Awards (finalist 6 times) and 3 Selah Awards. Three
of his books were finalists for Inspirational Book of the Year (RT Book
Reviews). Dan is a member of ACFW and Word Weavers. He lives with his
wife, Cindi, in the Daytona Beach area where they love to take walks and
spend time with their grandkids. Click here to connect with Dan or check out his books.

Don’t Be a Scaredy-Cat Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The season of spooks is upon us, but that doesn’t mean we
can give in to the fears we face as writers. We must face our writing fears and keep moving.

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine and this
person confided that she was afraid she didn’t have what it takes to be a
writer. “I’m just not good enough to get
a book published, and I don’t know if I ever will be.”
“Welcome to the club,” I told her.
My answer wasn’t what she expected. She had forgotten
something we had heard together at a conference many years ago. We’d been
listening to an established author talk about his own fear and inadequacies. He
told the audience that every time he sits down to write a new book, the fears
resurface and he’s certain he no longer has what it takes to make it in
publishing.
Hearing him confess his own fears gave me hope. Beyond that,
it brought home an important fact. Being published—no matter if it’s a single
book or a hundred—won’t necessarily make the fear disappear.
So what’s a writer to do?

Tips to Keep From
Becoming a Scaredy-Cat Writer
1. Write Regularly.
For some of us that means daily. For others it means on the weekend, or three
days a week. The truth is, mood is a fickle mistress and time is NEVER lying
around waiting to be found!
2. Choose to Ignore
the Negative Voices in Your Head.
We all have them—those irritating
whispers that tell us we’re not good enough, and we’re selfish to even try to
follow our dreams. We can write anyway, or we can cave in to our insecurities.
Published writers keep writing, no matter what those voices say.
  
3. Write Outside Your Comfort Zone. The publishing industry is in a constant state of change. What you write today, may not be popular five years from now. As a writer, you’ll have to constantly be changing and growing. Get used to it now and avoid the deer-in-the-headlights reaction when change comes your way.
4. Find a Writing
Tribe.
This is a tough enough business without trying to fly solo. We all
need fellow writers who understand what we’re doing. These fellow travelers
will keep us accountable and encourage us when we think we can’t go any
further.
5. Write When You
Don’t Have the Time.
So often I hear people who want to be published talk about
how they’ll start when they find the time. The truth is that time is NEVER
lying around waiting to be found. Following our dreams takes sacrifice. We must
be willing to make the hard choices and carve out time to write.
6. Stay Active in the
Industry.
Join writing groups—locally and online. Give back to the writing
community at large by volunteering to help others. Trust me when I tell you
that no matter where you are in your writing journey, there are those less
experienced. And by staying active, it’s harder to quit. The times I’ve wanted
to throw in the towel it was having to answer to others that kept me going.
7. Write When You’re NOT Inspired. We cannot wait for the mood strike to write. Inspiration is a fickle mistress. If we’re serious about pursuing publishing dreams, we must move beyond depending on our mood to be able to write.
8. Remind Yourself
Why You Write.
For me, written words are the way I process life. I don’t
talk things out, I write things out. God designed me to be like this. Writing
is His gift to me. I have those words taped above my desk so I’ll never forget.
9. Write Through the Fear.
Being a published writer goes hand in hand with fear. We’re afraid we won’t be
good enough to be published, then that no one will read the book, and finally
that we won’t be able to write another book.
These are my tips to keep from being a scaredy-cat writer.
What would you add to the list? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments
section below.
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie
TWEETABLES