Finding your writing mojo
It’s a new year with possibilities to start anew–although I’ve never really subscribed to this thought process. Every day is a new beginning with the potential to start over, change directions, etc.
Even with that mentality, I have been struggling to get back into the swing of things since before my mother’s death on Easter of this past year. I’ve had writer’s block–perfectionist’s downfall–whatever you want to call it. I even have a finished book, fully edited with print ready cover art, and it languishes on my harddrive because . . . so many reasons that are too dark and painful to discuss in public. But I do need to let it go, release it to the wilds, er, public and let them decide.
I have a novella (about 25k) in the making. It’s light and fluffy. It’s exactly what I need to jump-start this author’s journey. There’s also an idea for a time travel series (5 books/5 heroines-heroes), which, of course, will require a great deal of research because what’s a writing project without falling down the rabbit hole? (grin)
Honestly, I don’t have any answers about how to motivate yourself to get back to writing when life has interrupted your flow and/or how do you begin a new writing challenge. Obviously, this past year and a half or more, I have failed miserably to motivate myself to do more than swim (for my sanity), edit, and just moving forward.
Some of my friends use the carrot approach. When they’ve reached a certain number of words (I don’t know if they are gibberish or not, although I imagine they will be revising at some point), they give themselves a treat. That treat could be reading a book they’ve been looking forward to diving into. (No, I can’t escape the swimming references. LOL) Or perhaps they have a show they want to binge watch.
Others set word count goals for an entire year. One decided to wanted to write 350,000 words in one year. For some, this might seem like a lot (raising hand); for others, I’m sure it’s a drop in the bucket. This might work for me if I had confidence in my ability to said goals. I can easily do it with swimming. Last year, I set a goal to swim 350 miles. Despite some setbacks and life interruptions, I crushed that goal. (424 miles and change.) But, with swimming, it’s easy to do. It doesn’t require a great deal of thought, and swimming really is my happy place. Writing is challenging–a good challenge, but I don’t always know what will come out or if I’ll be happy with it. That makes it exciting, but, also, a bit of a gamble. Where swimming is a sure thing, writing is a gamble, at least for me.
Others still set deadlines. I’ve tried that in the past. It works, as long as it’s set by someone else and it has to be with no wiggle room. Then, usually what happens is I write feverishly for two days and churn out 10-12,000 words.
Maybe that’s my answer. I’m a deadline person. I need the pressure to get me writing. Or maybe I just need to schedule time every day, like do with swimming, and do it whether I want to or not.
So, what do you do when your writing mojo has abandoned you? Maybe I can steal your ideas.