Am I writing yet? An author’s survival from the b-side of a pandemic

I have writers guilt. The guilt found when a writer knows they should be writing but isn’t. That’s me right now.

I have a 50k first draft written, the next phase (the structural editing) should be straight-forward, but it isn’t. I’m potentially faced with lots more writing to do, and discovering a narrative voice for my protagonist. Oh, and a lot more world-building and sensory description.

Some writers will relish this. Not me. Not now.

The pandemic screwed me up. Yeah, that old excuse. I’m sure I’m one of thousands of writers using that as a reason to make up for lost effort. Effort. That’s a good word for it. I’m not making the effort. Not enough effort. I’ve also forgotten all the processes I discovered to get my bum in the chair and write after finishing my last book (2019).

I used:

  • routine (regular times, every day)
  • music (specific playlists)
  • setting up my writing environment the night before (less excuses to faff around before hitting the keys)

There’s more processes, but for whatever reason, I’m not feeling them right now. I’m thinking I need more/different ‘hooks’ to get me motivated and productive again. Like:

  • Setting smaller daily goals (200 words?)
  • Public declarations (peer pressure is good motivator)
  • Hard deadlines (Pre-orders and release dates)
  • Maybe using the Pomodoro technique (20 min writing sprints)
  • scratching days off the calendar
  • checking in with a writing partner

These are just a few ideas I ‘could’ implement. When actually, now I’m processing them, what I really need to do is watch less TV in the evening, and perhaps commit to writing in the mornings before work. See. I know what I have to do. So, why aren’t I doing it? I think it could be to do with my story. A lot of work is needed to get it straight. Maybe I don’t care enough about the story any more? Maybe I’m not a writer any more? I’ve written 5 books after all, isn’t that enough?

Perhaps, I should remind myself why I started writing in the first place and see if my mind has changed. I think that should be the topic of the next post!


(Photo by Daniel Olah on Unsplash)


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