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inspiration! Maintaining Your Writer’s Motivation in the January Blues

We all need a bit of it in these strange times...

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AgentPete

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Here’s a short video I’ve just shot – I do hope it’s useful to you, and thanks to the magnificent Huddlers for all their contributions :)

Please add your thoughts and suggestions in posts below (and... please help us find writers on YouTube by liking it).

*** Filmed with the acquiescence of the Warminster Film and Television Authority “When The Weird get Going, They Arrive In Warminster” ***

 

Jonny

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Lots is good ideas and advice here, Pete.

We all have these issues as part of our writing lives. Sometimes it’s good to understand we aren’t going through it alone.

Discussing it with peers can be a great re-set device and ultimately something that can inspire us to carry on reinvigorated with positivity.
 

Barbara

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Totally agree when you say about allowing oneself to NOT write and that it's ok to be at a stand still. And about being kind and forgiving with oneself when it doesn't flow. It's ok to put the pen down.

I also think the writing part of the brain sometimes gives us writer's block for a reason. It just has to stop for a bit. It may just be too full of story to continue. When that happens I do something very different to detangle.
 
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Hannah F

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Some authors write from sunrise to after sundown, Hilary Mantel being a good example, but I say don't write all day. If you have the luxury of a whole day to yourself, pick a chunk of daylight time (if you live in a place with daylight time), and not just a 15min tea-break, and get outside; breathe fresh air (if you live in a place with fresh air), and do something completely different. You need the air; you need the blood circulating and muscles moving, and your eyes and brain and maybe fingers need downtime.
 

RG Worsey

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The phrase "January blues" assumes that everyone lives in a part of the world where January is winter, that everyone who does, struggles with winter rather than enjoying it, and disregards the happy experience of those of us with January birthdays. Just saying.
 

Barbara

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When I suffer from writer's block (I don't call it that though as that expression makes me feel bad about myself. It seems so final. Writer's pause, maybe or writer's hiccup) it's usually due to a large problem somewhere my story. Most of the time it's something to do with the MC's emotional journey which is going off course or a big plot bit which doesn't work or is lacking. Whatever it is, it's always a crucial thing. It's like the subconscious knows and stops me. I allow myself to stop and go over the MS I have so far, analysing where something doesn't work. That usually gets me going again, proving I find the prob.

I don't really get lack of motivation as such. I always need to write. But I get times I stop writing on a WIP when I have said everything with the novel I needed to say and when I got the need to tell the story out of my system. Again, I allow myself a break. That might be weeks. I work on something else, maybe, then come back, re-read what I have and go on. Sometimes it's a push to go on, a slog. Only once did I have to accept that this particular one was going to be left unfinished because it was done for me.
 
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Jonny

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I always have a few projects on the go rather than one overarching all-consuming thing. I find this helps a lot.

As a complete change from novels I also do some satirical articles for an online site.

But as Barbara mentions in her post above - I too always feel compelled to write. How else can I share my risible drivel with the world, other than standing outside the Town Hall bellowing at innocent passersby through a megaphone?
 

Linda Ra

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Here’s a short video I’ve just shot – I do hope it’s useful to you, and thanks to the magnificent Huddlers for all their contributions :)

Please add your thoughts and suggestions in posts below (and... please help us find writers on YouTube by liking it).

*** Filmed with the acquiescence of the Warminster Film and Television Authority “When The Weird get Going, They Arrive In Warminster” ***


Journaling. Ugh. Not gonna do that. But, yes, I should be taking more walks. Thanks for this!
 

Robinne Weiss

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January isn't my 'low' time as far as writing goes (because I have the entire month off work, so it's the time I plan on mad-crazy writing), but even during January, there are good and bad days. But I rarely get to the end of any day without feeling like I've accomplished something, because I count all sorts of things as 'accomplishments'. Yes, some days I write 5000 words, and that's great. Other days I walk around the garden and take some good photos to use on my blog, and that's just as important as the 5000 words. Some days I realise that I'm simply not going to get more out of the tank until I put more in, so I take off for a day hike or go to the beach. I count that as a successful writing day, too.

I'm also really big on my quarterly plans--every 3 months I write down my SMART goals for the next quarter of the year. When I find myself spinning my wheels on some piece of writing, I can look at my goals and choose something else to work on that day, and know that what I've done for the day gets me a step further towards where I want to be.

But then I've always approached writing as more of a business than an artistic endeavour--and I learned from running a heritage interpretation business for 15 years that getting the job done can mean spending a 'work day' in the garden, and then stuffing envelopes all evening, or helping out at the kids' school on a Friday and spending all day Saturday at the computer. It doesn't have to be neat and tidy, 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. Sometimes it's more efficient in the long run to go with the flow, do what feels right in the moment, and know that you'll be more productive overall in the long run.
 

MattScho

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There's the great word count story of Faulkner when he tried screen-writing. A productive screen writer, at the time, was writing up to 10 pages a day. Faulkner averaged about 50, but the pages often included 10 page monologues (page per minutes, so, in a film, quite long).
Above all else, i'd say this is inspirational, letting us know that it's common and there are ways out. thanks
 

Izuku

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There's the great word count story of Faulkner when he tried screen-writing. A productive screen writer, at the time, was writing up to 10 pages a day. Faulkner averaged about 50, but the pages often included 10 page monologues (page per minutes, so, in a film, quite long).
Above all else, i'd say this is inspirational, letting us know that it's common and there are ways out. thanks
I doubt there were any periods in those ten page monologues, either. Plenty of commas and semi-colons and colons, to be sure. Just no periods.
 

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