Open Book Blog Hop – Stumbling Blocks

Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop!

Today’s topic is: We all get discouraged at one time or another (or all the time!) in the process of writing. How do you defeat the feeling?

And remember to pay a visit to my fellow writers to see what they have come up with. You can find their works here!

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There are a number of ways I find I can become discouraged with my writing. One is if I feel backed into a corner to write. When I feel pressured to do something, a switch flicks in my brain and I just want to not do it. Another is if I become overtired or stressed. My brain fights against me and I start to feel like every idea I come up with is not good enough, making me question my ideas. And then there is the old favourite – writers’ block. For one reason or another, the idea well dries up. There’s nothing coming to mind and you just cannot see how to drive your characters or narrative forward.

But how do you overcome these issues? I guess it really does depend. Different strokes for different folks, horses for courses, insert idiom here. For me? It’s simple. Put down the pen. Step away. Return to the normality of life as a non-writer for a while. If I cannot dredge up ideas, or can only come up with a narrative that feels contrived and half-arsed, then stop. In the same vein, I cannot work on multiple stories at once, it just doesn’t work. To quote the great Ron Swanson: “never half-ass two things. whole-ass one thing.”

So what do I do when I step away from writing? Watch a film. Read a book. These are two great options that help me reset. They also inspire me creatively. After all, my passion and drive to write in the first place came from my love of reading. What else is there? Well, I love video games. Sinking my teeth into a game with a well-written plot takes me away from whatever is bothering me and focuses me fully on the game. Similarly going out on a day trip, taking a walk, those kinds of things work pretty well too. All I know is, that the best thing for me when I am struggling to write is to not write. I work full time, I have passions and interests away from writing, and sometimes the best thing for those passions, and for my writing, is to step back and let something different take centre stage for just a little while.

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