It’s me, your accountability partner. I’m checking in to see how your writing is going. Did you get any writing done today? How about yesterday or the day before?
Hey, no judgment here! I get it. I truly do.
I started July’s Camp NaNoWriMo enthusiastic about writing. You know, the thirty-day writing challenge where writers commit to writing a certain amount of words by the end of the month.
I prepared my project, the environment, and the tools in advance. When July 1st hit, my fingers flew across the keyboard.
I couldn’t get enough of the characters dancing in my head.
During my writing sessions, I churned out a thousand words or more. Sometimes, I was lucky if I produced five hundred words. Last week, I noticed I spent a lot of time editing my work.
Now that I’m midway through the challenge, my enthusiasm has waned. I started to feel the burn. Doubts and other responsibilities crowded in. The struggle was real!
I suspect it’s the same for you.
Be honest. Are you having a hard time keeping your enthusiasm for writing going? Perhaps you can’t see or hear your characters anymore. Is your muse refusing to come out to play?
Don’t worry! It happens to the best of us. You and I are no different.
There are a variety of reasons why this occurs. After all, we are busy people with many responsibilities.
We must diagnose the problem before we can get the medicine that will send us on our way. Take a moment to figure out what’s going on with you.
Maybe your writing has stalled because of external forces, such as work and family distracting you. Perhaps you’ve been trying to force yourself to write when you really don’t want to.
Either way, you don’t have to give up. You can still write and meet your goals.
On Saturday, I stopped berating myself and did a little self care. Yes, I know, I should have been writing. However, I’d been staring at that last line for two days straight.
Enough was enough already.
I used that writing session to take a few deep breaths. I thought about the week, my responsibilities, and my past writing sessions. It helped me figure out my problem.
At the beginning of the month, I had time to write and could focus on writing. However, as I draw closer to the end, my mind is chaotic because my other roles are rearing their ugly little heads.
For instance, one of my roles is being a high school and college teacher. I will start back on July 31st. I recently attended a few trainings to prepare for the upcoming school year.
In addition, I have a few more around the corner. And no, they were not originally on the schedule! That’s life; things crop up all the time.
My writing stalled because my teacher's brain kicked into gear. Don’t get me started on my mother mode! Picture a chicken frantically running around trying to buy school clothes and school supplies!
Yep, that’s me.
I’m sharing this with you because we all have things to do, and that may be what’s preventing you from writing.
I stepped away for a while to do something fun. I’m glad I did. When I returned, I found clarity and inspiration.
Clarity helped me see I needed to revamp my schedule to include time to prepare for returning to school. It also helped me see that my characters and I needed a break from one another.
Playing with my kiddos sparked new ideas. And guess what? It worked.
Taking that moment or two on Saturday had me eager and writing on Monday. I’m three or four pages past the sentence that starred at me from the screen.
My enthusiasm has returned, and so can yours!
Here are a few tips to get you back to writing:
Take a break. Play with your kids. Watch a fun movie. It’s okay to walk away for a while to clear your head.
Look at your schedule. Perhaps, what worked in the beginning isn’t working now. Revamp your schedule.
Adjust your writing goal. Perhaps you're stuck on achieving a specific daily word count in your writing and get frustrated when you fail to reach it. It's okay to adjust your goal.
Find your community. Get an accountability partner. Meet up with a few writer friends. Or, at the very least, find someone to bounce ideas off of.
Read a good book. Reading is knowledge. Knowledge is power. It will surely empower you to write.
Listen to your characters. Do they want to go left while you're trying to make them go right? Go with the flow. See what happens. It's their story after all.
Celebrate your wins, no matter how small. Congratulate yourself when you complete a writing session. Cheer when you reach a specified word count. Celebrate the end or start of a new chapter.
Practice self care. Check in often with yourself. How are you doing? How are you feeling? How’s your energy? How’s your health? This is important. Your first role/job is to take care of you!
Whether you’re participating in July’s Camp NaNoWriMo or simply writing, you can do this. You’re not alone. Let’s do this together. We can reach our writing goals.
Get back on the horse and write!
Your Accountability Partner