Struggling with writing words? Getting pages done is a grind and not enjoyable? Here’s a few things that kicked my butt and made me figure out how to do what I love without stressing too much (at least, not about actually sitting down to write haha)
1. Night Owl, Early Bird, etc – figure out when your brain wants to write.
I struggled a lot with trying to follow tips about daily writing, or anything that suggested morning writing for people with busy schedules or who need quiet time. Why? Because my brain wants to write at night. Notice I said, wants because there are going to be times when you need to force yourself to write at a weird time because life happens. Don’t punish your brain too often though! You’ll find yourself writing easier even when you force yourself at odd times, just because your brain knows that you’ll return to the usual schedule.
2. Use what works, even if it’s not the norm.
For me, I can’t handle too many options when writing or colors. I still needed certain things, so I figured out exactly what I needed just by trying different things. Don’t just use Word because you’re used to it. You might find after adjusting, that you work better with minimalism. I found myself using plain Notepad for awhile just to trick my brain into thinking there wasn’t a scary blank page. I moved to Notepad++ then Evernote, as I realized what I actually needed. I needed minimal organizing, mobile compatibility, and no blank pages or Times New Roman allowed.
Scrivener might be a great program that youtubers I watch hype a lot. But my way isn’t lesser just because they aren’t endorsing it and the same goes for the way you need to work, including just plain writing on the cheapest notebook you can find instead of some fancy brand. The brands don’t make you a better writer, only you can make you a better writer.
3. Take breaks, but don’t stop entirely.
You are allowed breaks. Life happens! But just because you’re getting frustrated with one thing doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to try a new project. I swap between writing my wip, to writing on tumblr, to drawing, to bullet journaling, to organizing my blog or my notes. Anything can be “writing” if it’s keeping your mind active! I find it easier to focus on one wip at a time, but it’s fine to mess with character sheets or worldbuilding, that still counts towards your writing time and don’t feel guilty about it. Guilting yourself into writing is never enjoyable. It’s good to keep yourself accountable and productive, but don’t force yourself to overdo it. Listen to a podcast, watch a video, but always come back, preferably sooner rather than literal years, but everyone has their own pace.
There’s merit to statements like, “If you’re only reading about how to write, you’re not writing.” Sure, that’s true if that’s all you do. But it’s well worth the effort to improve your craft and take advice (not all advice, mind you) when you are struggling! Maybe listening to your favorite music sparks an idea to patch a plothole! Life informs your writing, so experience it as well as writing about it.
I hope that helped and that you all have a happy writing session!