ISWG : Rainy day writing

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeI’m a new recruit to Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (the link takes you to details on what that means and how to join. You’ll also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge – do check them out).

On the first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

The awesome co-hosts for the April 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan!

This month’s question is:  When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

And yes, image aside, I get that the question is using inclement weather as a metaphor, for we all knows that a rainy day is a good excuse to stay indoors and write, write, write rather than an actual problem.

When it’s external factors causing the gloom, I’m a great advocate of self-care. By giving more time and energy into doing what you need to do, you make room for the muse to return. This could be anything from fluffy self-pampering to rolling up your sleeves to address the issues which are taking away your focus and/or creativity. For example, when my mind is too full with everything I have on my to do list and I feel overwhelmed, I have to compartmentalise. By prioritising and focusing on one thing until it is done, I can get an enormous amount done. But this method can require a significant amount of defending the boundaries from all those people who want to change my priorities to suit their own. Still, I advocate it. It’s the one time when I’m brief, to the point and firm. It’s when I can say “no” really easily, because what I’m actually saying is “no, not yet but if you wait your turn, it’ll be a yes.”

But if that doesn’t work, my first act is to amend my writing goals and cut myself some writerly slack. Then I try to find a way to keep writing and trying something different has worked for me. When my father died, I stopped being able to work on my existing WIPs. But I was able to respond to prompts and write short pieces. So that’s what I did. And that’s what I kept doing until the muse struck me again with a new story idea. Only when that happened, did I allow myself to sit down to try and make the writing happen on any of my WIPs. I keep a stack of prompts saved in my Pinterest account, so it was easy to browse and I wrote stuff whenever one struck a chord. Also, co-hosting a fiction website, I had some strict deadlines and some less strict ones, which kept me writing. But even without that discipline, inspiration and associated deadlines are available on a ton of sites who provide regular prompts on a wide range of subject matter and in different formats (everything from single words, to word/phrase combinations, to images to lyrics). The key bit is making a decision to participate … and the hard part is to do it.

© Debra Carey, 2018

17 thoughts on “ISWG : Rainy day writing

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  1. Sounds like you’ve got a good handle on things. I’m the same way. I try to keep writing regardless, but I cut myself slack when I’m under the weather, whether physically or mentally.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “defending the boundaries from all those people who want to change my priorities to suit their own. Still, I advocate it. It’s the one time when I’m brief, to the point and firm. It’s when I can say “no” really easily, because what I’m actually saying is “no, not yet but if you wait your turn, it’ll be a yes.”” Love that. Happy IWSG day 🙂

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  3. It’s something I apply to everything in life, so I thought, why not to writing too? There’s also the fact that I’d be a rotten Life Coach if I didn’t espouse self-care 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes! If my list of to-dos, writing and non, isn’t in order, my brain is scrambled until I get it back in check. Great post! Looking forward to your future posts and welcome to the hop!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Also, you may want to check out your gravatar, because it was a little confusing as to which blog I would find your IWSG post on. 🙂 You’ll probably see that with other people too as you get to know more people on the hop. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome to the group! I’m a newer person to the group too. Can totally relate to your suggestions when you can’t write or life makes challenging. I know that grief is a big one because I’ve been going through it too since the loss of my husband. Sorry for the loss of your father.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad you joined the group. I think you’ll find this a very supportive bunch of people. Having multiple irons in the fire can help keep you writing even when your muse is tired of your current WIP.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, I tried a going-with-the-flow approach and that just doesn’t work. And yet in writing, so far I’ve been pantsing. Thanks muchly for the welcome 🙂


  9. Thank you. I did wonder about that but with doing the A-Z Challenge this month, I put it on the list for May. Sounds like I need to make that early May, before the next ISWG post!


  10. Natalie, I’m so terribly sorry for the loss of your husband. How you’ve continued to write, and write so much – it’s remarkable and a real testament to the writer in you.


  11. Ken, thanks and you’re right, I have no only found great support but some terrific advice. So glad I took the leap.


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