(Not) In the Mood

This month we've been blogging about the writing problems we struggle with and how we solve them.  Some problems are solved permanently, some are solved temporarily, and some are never solved.  The reasons can be anything from a change in our lives that happens because of outside circumstances or it can be from something inside ourselves.  Sometimes we have control, and sometimes we don't.  The trick is discovering whether we fool ourselves into blaming things out of our control, when we really can do something about then, if we make a change, either in ourselves or the world and people around us.

Every one of us has been through those not-in-the-mood-to-write times, whether it's  a good time or a bad time.  I've been going through that since early this year, and I've found that I have had to sit down and make myself write.  That means literally sitting myself in my chair at my desk, putting my hands on the keyboard, and bringing up the Word file I need to work with.  And even then I have to trick myself into doing what needs to be done.  I'll be honest.  Even that doesn't always work.

Sometimes even trying to trick myself doesn't work. I just don't feel like writing.  Today is one of those days.  I know I should.  In additional to this blog post, I'm working on some old manuscripts, trying to decide if any are worth reworking and revising or if they should be put back under the proverbial bed and forgotten.  I'm not making much progress.  I'm just not in the mood.

Not wanting to write can be linked to not feeling our writing is worthwhile.  Do we feel guilty for taking time away from family to do something for ourselves?  Has someone said or done something that tells us they think writing is a waste of our time?  Have we recently received a rejection or entered a contest where a judge's comments have made us doubt ourselves?  There are thousands of things that can open the door to doubt, but the only one who can close that door is ourselves.

If, like me, you're struggling with not being in the mood to write, take a look at what's going on in your life.  If you find whatever it might be that is causing the non-writing mood isn't something that can be changed, then wait as patiently as possible, without beating yourself up, until an opportunity, no matter how small, presents itself.  And if that non-writing mood is caused by something within, it's time to take a close look, be honest, and do whatever is necessary to change it.

Good luck!  (I know I need it!)



Reese Mobley said...

Writing for me is hard no matter what happens around me. I struggle to get every word just right. Throw in the crap I've dodged this year and sometimes it feels like I'm climbing the publishing mountain with one hand tied behind my back.

I would never dare say my troubles are worse than any other writer's, because they're not--just different. And they are mine to learn to live with. And write with. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Rox. It takes a good friend to remind us ever so nicely that we are in control of our own writing life and what we choose to do with it lies squarely on our shoulders.

Rox Delaney said...

Reese, I'm glad I could help, but I don't know how that post could have done that. I swear I read through it multiple times for errors. What a mess! Kind of like my brain lately.

In spite of that and our struggles, there are still times when we need to take a step back, forget about writing and take a deep breath. Unless we let a break go on indefinitely--not a good thing--it can be a good thing.

And now I'll take my own advice. ;)

Rox Delaney said...

I tripped over a link to a blog this morning and found an idea that related to our topic this month. It was such a good idea that I blogged about it over at Diary of a Mad Romance Writer. See if it might help get and keep the writing engines running.

Joan Vincent said...

Rox, you are right on. We or at least I, need to sort out what is in my control in regard to writing and what is not and then do something about the things I can. I popped over to your other blog and the incentive thing is a great idea. I've used it at times but not enough!

Penny Rader said...

I so identify with your post, Rox. I just don't usually let myself say it out loud cuz then guilt kicks in.

Reesem I have a quote above my desk at work by Plato: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. May your troubles grow lighter.