First, ask yourself: What the heck does enough even mean?
In my opinion, a dangerous game to play is the comparison game. Before anything else, I recommend the following self-check:
- Am I forcing myself to fit someone else’s writing routine?
- Am I putting unrealistic expectations on myself?
- Am I being influenced by “bullies” who tell me to drop everything and write for hours every day?
- Have I been I going through physical or mental health challenges?
- Have I experienced stress or loss lately?
- Are there life events that just had to take top priority?
All of those things can derail us from sticking to a writing plan. It’s so important for your creative sessions to work for you. It’s best when it is something you can look forward to, gives you a bit of “me” time, or provides a welcomed escape into your own words.
In my case, I have not written any new content for 2019. Part of it was because I have indeed gone through mental health and physical health trials, but another part was because I felt I needed to preserve my energy to be an effective co-editor of an anthology. I knew I couldn’t work on a new novel and be at the editor-in-chief level. My priority was the editing project. Therefore, I refuse to beat myself for not writing. I know I made a wise decision.
But now that I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m realizing I can begin to write again! So, since it’s been a while, like six months, here’s my plan of attack:
- Consider writing like exercise: best to start slowly and build it up.
- Congratulate myself for writing five words as well as 500 or 1000.
- Keep focused on my own progress and don’t compare myself to anyone else. Not even Past Me.
- Take a break, go for a walk, air-drum, or maybe eat cake when the words won’t come.
- If I feel stuck but not totally blocked, ask myself what I’m trying to say. Tell me the scene or chapter I want to write. (This has helped me countless times!)
- Use “black-boxes” if I don’t feel like expanding on a specific scene right away but still feel like writing to the end of the chapter. Example: [add smoochy part]
- Try to keep a forward momentum with creating a first draft; don’t hyper-analyze everything. Editing can come later.
- Find some author buddies working on their WIPs and form a mutual encouragement club.
- Make sure I’m having fun because writing takes my mind off stresses.
These are the things that work for me. What about you? How can you best craft a method of arranging the alphabet that best suits your uniqueness?
Because there’s never only one way. Please remember that if you feel discouraged.
Here’s to you grouping letters together and adding spaces and punctuation in a most satisfying way! Cheers!
Cait Gordon is a disability advocate and the author of Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers (Fall of 2019). When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She’s also teamed up with co-editor Talia C. Johnson on the Nothing Without Us anthology (Fall of 2019.)