Why you should never give up25th June 2022 |
We’ve all been there. Why am I bothering? No one will read what I write. No one will like what I’ve written. Sometimes even I don’t like what I’ve written…Many people will say ‘Do it for yourself’. A writer is anyone who writes whether they have an audience or not. I don’t think like that. I want what I write to be read and I want them to enjoy the process.
There aren’t any real answers to what you can do to get out of this state as we are all different but some of the things I’ve tried might work for you.
- Take a break
- Write something completely different as part of a fun challenge
- Read, read, read and read…not best sellers, take a punt on a freebie or a book with very few star ratings, using your ereader or picking up a cheap book at a charity shop
- Go to an event where you will meet fellow, aspiring writers
- Spend time and a bit of money on a course
Take a break
Times are tough for many so this will not include jetting off to some luxurious resort to be pampered. I’m talking about pushing aside the laptop and not feeling guilty for a few days or more. In that time, take a walk, call a friend for a catch up, visit a free museum or an event that is open to the publish without any charges. During the summer, many places have free events such as carnivals, street theatre, buskers, markets and fairs. Go on your own or with a friend and allow yourself the luxury of enjoying the moment without any sense of pressure. This gives you mental space so that when you open the laptop again, you feel different. You have a different perspective. The saying ‘A change is as good as a rest’ is as true today as when it originated in 1825.
Write something completely different
There are plenty of free writing prompts every day on the internet. Some offer you the chance of a new idea every day or every week and if you like YouTube, there are videos to watch about how to use them. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never written a horror story before or even a gory murder scene. Have a go. It’s just for fun, anyway and may give an insight into what you really enjoy about the writing process. For me, a prompt is about creating a compelling character, not someone I would necessarily like or want to spend time with but who often generates an idea for s story. And remember to keep all the writing in a special file with a good title so you can find it again at a later date. It may be very useful in the future.
Read something different and write a positive review
Often on Twitter, you come across a writer advertising their book through their own Tweets. I like to pick one at random. It’s usually never more than 99p or 99c. Downloaded onto an ereader it’s easy to take around. If it is truly awful, I ignore it but that is RARE. Most often I’m gripped by a new voice, a new style, a new place, a new genre and although I probably won’t be an avid fan and will return to what I usually read, I’ve got an insight into another world. I also like to think I’ve done a fellow, aspiring writer a good turn.
Take a course
I was once on a course when the tutor stood at the front and looked at us. ‘How much money do you invest in yourself each year?’ They weren’t talking holiday, new clothes or meals out; they were talking investment; money for a course, updating a website, a new book on professional matters, timing time away on whatever will support your personal and/or professional development. A small amount put away every month for a year will build up. But, as we are all aware of rising prices, it’s worth investigating the free courses, free online seminars, free Ted Talks…etc. There are plenty of websites with advice on how to squeeze savings from already tight budgets. They are worth checking out too.
But now I realise that the tutor meant something else; how much time do we invest in ourselves? For me, this means how much time do I invest in myself as a writer? Do I give myself the space to write or is it crammed into an ever-demanding schedule? For me it came down to one simple change; grab any chance, no matter how small. My first book was written in fifteen minute slots over two years when I manned the school phones at the start of the day before the office staff arrived. It also had an unforeseen consequence; the kids were certain I lived in the school and never went home. And I’m doing the draft of this before setting off for yoga; I’ve got fifteen minutes, why not, even if I only type 200 words. For those of you who want more specific time management focussed ideas, there are plenty of websites with advice.
Go to an event to meet other writers
You may be surprised by how many free events you can find when you start looking. Local bookshops often have book launches and if you have decided try to save a bit of money each month, this might be a place for some of that investment. Writers groups either in person or online and writer’s forums may be a way of realising you are not alone; we all have our doubts.
So next time, you feel like giving up, have a go at one of these ideas…it worked for me.
If you would like more on goal setting, prioritisation etc, we have a good section on this in our book; How To Be Happy