You’re in a deep funk and can’t get out of it. Writing is HARD and it’s getting the best of you. Publishing is even HARDER and it makes you want to cry. The words aren’t flowing, life is a big ball of stress and distraction, and you just don’t know if you have it in you. What do you do?
DO SOMETHING ELSE THAT SUCKS LESS, like scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush or scraping gum off the car seats, or go for a ten mile hike in the snow. (Okay, that’s where I draw the line.)
FIND INSPIRATION IN UNLIKELY PLACES Go for a cruise in the ghetto. Visit your friendly neighborhood brothel. Attend a polo match. Do something weird and out of character. There’s bound to be something there that gets your synapses firing, and the storyteller in you will bang around in your head and beg to be freed.
QUIT WRITING No seriously, just quit. Try that on for awhile. See how it feels. Do you feel relieved? Guilty? Is everyone around you annoying because you feel not quite right? Do the words bubble up inside of you? Or are you just plain glad you gave it up? Your time away will speak volumes.
BE LIKE BUDDHA This is such a tough business of ups and downs (and plenty of sideways!). I’ve learned a few things from Buddha in my own process, allowing all of the rejections and heartaches to flow over and around me, not through me. There are no hooks, you see, so those nasties that come my way don’t stick. Getting a handle on the nasties is about faith, trusting the universe, trusting yourself. Much of it is about letting go of the illusion of control. It’s important to come back to this: this journey is about you and the page, your love for a character, for the escape into the world you create. It will be there for you, whether the heartaches come or not. Besides, they can be channeled into your writing to make it stronger. Be like Buddha. Don’t give the rejections power.
Then there’s this other way of doing things. It’s the way my military upbringing taught me to be. It’s called: QUIT-YOUR-CRYING-AND-JUST-DO-IT-OR-BE-STOMPED-ON mentality. Sometimes I get stomped on, but not usually for long. Put your battle gear on! If you’re not a warrior, you really will quit.
What do you do when writing sucks?