Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Writing Blues

I've often been asked, "How do you keep from getting down/depressed/discouraged?" This business can be rough. There is a lot of rejection involved. A lot of being told that what you've done isn't good enough. And you know, that can be very hard to deal with.

How do I keep from getting sucked into the negativity? That's easy.

I don't. :)

For me, it's just an inevitable fact that at some point, it's going to get to me. I'm going to want to quit. So I do. I don't usually walk away from it entirely. I'll continue to blog, network, critique, brainstorm, take notes, fiddle with mss. But if I need to step away from one or all of those activities...I do.

For days, weeks, months...once it was even years. I step back until the clamoring dies down and I can focus on why I am really doing this.

I do it because I love to write. Because I have a million stories in me that need to get out. Because I FEEL better when I write them down. Because I love to have people read them and tell me how much they love them.

I don't think there is a magical formula for getting rid of the writing blues. I don't think there is a way to escape them. Someday, they will just hit you. I find it easier to let them. Let it come. But...I try very hard not to wallow in whatever it is that has gotten me down. I don't dwell on it. I might not feel like playing the game...but I don't take my ball and go home :)

I focus on other things. I'll read a lot. Watch movies. Listen to music. Live life. Experience new things. Basically, recharge the batteries that fuel my creativity. To the point that they are so full I no longer care about whatever got me down in the first place.

I just want to write again.

The important thing is that I come back. I start over. I keep going.

Do you get hit with the writing blues? How do you handle it?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I go play my guitar.
I think writers just naturally get down. Considering how many post for the IWSG, I'd say there are a lot of down, insecure writers out there.

Matthew MacNish said...

I was hit with it pretty hard last weekend. Luckily, it only lasted a few days, and I have Netflix. So I watched movies all weekend long.

I feel much better now.

Stephanie McGee said...

Every time I go to start a new round of revisions, I freeze and get so down on the MS. And it makes it so I don't want to do anything. It doesn't happen so much when I'm writing. But it does happen. And I just have to let my muse go sit on a beach drinking a virgin pina colada until she decides she's happy again.

Donna Hosie said...

I am with you 100%.

Jason R. M. said...

I agree very much. Great post!

I don't try to force creativity. Seek it, I do. Listen for it, of course. Ask for it, pray for it, beg for it, sure.

For me, creativity is not always there to be called upon. More often it calls on me. Like Michelle, in its absence, I tend to step away, take a deep breath, recharge, and come back some other day.

Actually just wrote a post on creativity today - read it here

Amber Cuadra said...

Agreed. I can't make myself to be creative, sometimes I've just done too much and I have to take a break and recharge, as you say. And when you come back to it, you're refreshed and can do a better job than when you're trying to force creativity.