I know I don’t talk about my writing very often here, but I thought that should probably change, especially since that’s why I created this blog in the first place. I wanted a place not just to talk about books (although that is fun), but also to organize my thoughts and talk about the writing process in general.
I’ve hit a bit of a stumbling block with the story I’m currently working on, which has brought along a host of challenges. The big piece of writing advice that most published authors always give is, “Write every day.” Not only is that difficult for me because of my day job and my family (excuses, excuses, I know), but when writer’s block comes along and smacks you upside the head, it is very easy to decide that you’re just too tired to write that evening and go to bed.
So I’ve needed a solution to this problem, and here’s what I’ve come up with. I need a new project. Something that is not to be taken seriously (although it can be at times, why not?) that can allow me to write for enjoyment and not just to make progress. I think with my big project (which I will call “Light” for right now), I have been treating it like it is “work.” Which is what I need to do if I want to be a professional author at some point, I know. But I used to really enjoy writing, and once it slips into the “work” category, the enjoyment is gone. I think this makes what I write less enjoyable to read as well.
Now, I am working on three different things. To some people, this might seem more stressful, an overload. But for my personality, spreading myself out like this is actually much more relaxing. If I feel like I’m getting burned out on “Light,” I can switch over to something else. This keeps my daily writing habit still active without trying to force it. Here’s what I’m working on:
- Obviously, I will still be working on “Light.” I’m focusing on trying to finish my outline, or the scene weave as Truby calls it. At the moment, I’m trying to reorganize the part of the first draft that’s already written, then I will start reorganizing what hasn’t been written yet.
- I’ve gone back to an older work that I had barely started years ago. Code name for this one will be “Warrior,” since it doesn’t really have a name. This one was fun to plot out because I started working on it with my friends over at the Mallorean Tavern. It was a writing challenge, using ideas created over at the Seventh Sanctum, a collection of random generators (that site is super fun, especially if you’re a fantasy writer or play RPGs). We were given a list of generators to use (like the Realm Names Generator, the Dark Ritual Name Generator, things like that) and then had to try and fold what we were given into a story. It really works your creative muscles.
- Whenever I don’t want to work on something long (both of the above projects are probably novel length), I will be once again writing for the weekly challenges over at Brigit’s Flame. I love this site so much. Each week they have a writing contest with some kind of prompt. It’s really fun to see what people will do with something that is often just a single word. Everyone writes something completely different. Since these will just be drabbles, I might post some of them here as well, if anyone is interested.
So that’s my plan of attack. To any of my fellow writers out there, what do you do when you get burned out on the story you’re working on? What do you do to get yourself fired up to write again?