The Ups and Downs of Being a Writer

This is going to be a rather short post, as I have the day off and should really be working on my novel, rather than writing blog posts. And since I’ve been struggling to find my groove for this new story, I thought I’d talk about my experiences with handling the ups and downs of writing. In my case, staying focused, motivated, and active.

I should preface this post with a slight disclaimer. I tend to struggle with staying motivated if I don’t do something daily. Even with hobbies that I’ve had for years (mainly knitting), I’ll get really into it for a couple of weeks, and then I’ll set things aside for a month or two before picking them up again. My interest tends to go in cycles, switching from one thing to another. I blame it on being a person with a lot of interests and not a whole lot of time, or just a need for variety in the things that I spend my time on. Whatever it is, it means that I can fall out of something pretty easily, since I have a million other items to fill the new space.

Writing is especially like that for me. I love it. It’s invigorating and engaging, and it’s so satisfying to reach the end of something and have a finished piece to show. But it’s also tedious and time-consuming, and with so many distractions in my life, it’s hard to get as focused as I’d like to be. Even now, in the middle of the day, with quiet music and headphones on to drown out the world, I’m struggling. My husband is playing videos games, my cats are chasing each other around the house, and I’m quick to lose focus. Like I talked about in my post about flow, I need a fairly quiet, peaceful work space to get my best writing done. My house is not always that place.

On the upswing of things, though, I get a lot of writing done. Last summer, while we were ramping up to a pop culture convention my husband helped found and stress was high, I wrote a 30,000 word fan fiction in about a month, including outlining, writing, and editing. It was all done in a semi-fugue state, where words just flew onto the page. It was extremely satisfying, and I was very happy with the finished product.

I’d love to find that kind of place right now. I was writing daily, up until my work trip. Then I lost it. I keep a daily tracker of writing, and when I started working on the novel, I was averaging almost 800 words a day. Now that I’ve lost that groove, I’m only averaging about 150. It’s frustrating, which adds to the inability to write.

The easiest way to get back into it is writing. So that’s the goal for today: Write. A deceptively simple piece of advice. Write daily, make time to work, get focused. Hopefully, that’ll be what happens today.

I’ll post again on Status Sunday with an update, though the post may be delayed since it’s Christmas. I’ll be home in Chicago for the week, spending time with family, so I may take a hiatus for the next week. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ll let you all know on Sunday. In the meantime, may you have a happy holiday and a great weekend. See you soon.

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