After a long break from writing, I finally started to get back into it this year. I decided to rejoin the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to boost my confidence and encourage myself to engage with the writing community. The IWSG post on the first Wednesday of every month.
This month’s co-hosts are Olga Godim,Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan.
When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?
Well, I have to admit that this is something I struggle with. In the past, when my writing hasn’t been going so well, I have often thrown in the towel and abandoned a project, thinking that I’m simply not good enough to complete it. However, more recently I’ve been less critical of myself. I read a really helpful book called The INFJ Writer, by Lauren Sapala (review coming soon) that has helped me tackle some of my self-esteem issues.
Now, when I hit a stumbling block, I try one of the following things:
- Re-read something I wrote in the past that I’m proud of
- Remind myself of compliments I’ve received about my writing
- Take a look at my list of ‘reasons to keep writing’. This list includes things like ‘I’m the only person who can tell this story’ and ‘to make those who believe in me proud’.
- Discuss my concerns with a friend or online writing buddy
- Put my project to one side and do something else creative (bake, paint, etc.)
- Read a book of a completely different genre to what I’m working on
- Watch a feel-good film like Singin’ In the Rain to cheer myself up
- Put on some loud music and dance!
Then I come back to my writing and try again. Not every day is going to be a brilliant writing day, but I try to focus on my small victories. I also make self-care a priority these days, so if I’m feeling too ill or stressed to write, I take a break and look after myself, then come back to writing when I’m feeling better.
How do you find the strength to keep writing when you’re going through a rough patch?
Sounds like a healthy way to look after yourself 🙂
Yes, I’m definitely making self-care a priority this year. While it’s important to keep focused on writing and not give up, it’s also important not to take on so much that we burn out.
Good ideas! It seems the more I write, the more I run into trouble with self-doubt.
I don’t know many writers who don’t doubt themselves at some point. It’s good in a way, because it helps us to look at our work critically and polish it to the highest possible standard. We just have to try to save the editing for after the first draft is done, and that’s hard.
I have never heard of this and it sounds wonderful. I also added The INFJ Writer to my TBR!
I STRUGGLE when I feel like there’s no point to my writing. I love telling the stories, and the characters are in my head all the time having adventures I haven’t written down… but more days than not I look at my crammed schedule, then think of all the other things I could be doing, and just… don’t write. I used to be great about it – every morning for an hour. These days it’s a miracle if I write for twenty minutes in a whole week. I’m going to take a look at this group – thank you for sharing it. 🙂
The Insecure Writers Support Group is so awesome, I used to be a member years ago but have only just come back to it after having a break from blogging/writing. There are so many inspiring authors in that group and they regularly team up to write anthologies. They’re all really supportive and give wonderful advice. I know what you mean about finding the time to write-it always seems like there is something more important to be done. But I’ve recently changed my attitude and decided that writing needs to be a high priority as it constitutes self-care for me. If I don’t get on and WRITE THE THING it will never happen!