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 comments

  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 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  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 🙂

    Like

  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!

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  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.

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  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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