Other days, it feels more like a struggle. Yesterday brought a lot of stresses that were not writing related, and I spent my evening trying to play catch-up. This meant I ended up getting to sleep right at the latest bedtime I can that lets me still function the next day. I’ll discuss sleep more in a future blog post.
So, some days I feel the writing and it flows easily. I may write over 6 000 words on those days. Other days, like today, I struggled more with both stories and only got about 1 500 words per story. For me, that’s on my very low end of writing.
These are the days we need to be kind to ourselves. There are many reasons our writing rate may change. In the earlier stages we are getting down great blocks of ideas and it’s likely to flow more. As we continue on and have more to work with, I find my writing slows down as well. Sometimes I have to go back and read earlier parts, and sometimes I’m writing shorter scenes within the longer narrative.
On days when we sleep less or wake up with less enthusiasm, it’ll impact our writing. I know I write a lot better when I’m well rested and the sun helps get me up naturally. Our diet will impact our brain as well, and I’ll address that more in a future post, too. Exercise is another piece of the puzzle.
This all means that being a writer is every bit as demanding as my days as an athlete. I have to pay just as much attention to my lifestyle to write my best as I ever did when I was active for a living.
My biggest indicator that my brain was just not as focused? My daily meditation was very scattered and all over the place. Normally I can focus on my breath easily or my mind only wanders to my story. Today I was constantly refocusing and nearly getting sidetracked on random thoughts.
Hey, writing is hard. It makes the brain tired and we get resistances as we get closer to finished. Knowing that we sometimes will have less productive writing days is all part of dealing with them. There are many techniques that I’ve learned that can help me make sure I write a little every day.
My favourite “I’m stuck” technique is the ten minute prompt. If I have trouble getting started on a project of my own, then I pick a writing prompt randomly from some resources I have and I set the timer for 10 minutes. I spent a whole writing course doing that as I learned skills, so it’s almost automatic that the words start to flow. After that, I’m ready to go on my projects again.
We’ll all find our own most effective tools for unproductive days, and there are many. Sometimes switching it up a bit helps. Go explore, try things, and get writing!
I’ve been writing stories for myself for years. Now, I’m a published author. No genre is off limits, though I have some favorites.