Suck It Up, Buttercup…And Other Motivational Writing Tips

Ahhh, where do I start. It’s been a while since I blogged. Scratch that, it’s been what seems like a decade since I blogged.

My reason? Oh, I could say life has gotten in the way; or, my mind has been directed to other matters; or, and this is the best…I’ve been trying to get everything done so I can have it all “just right” to write. But, the bottom line is, none of that is true. It sounds good (and I may have even believed it once), however, they are only excuses.

It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about it. Writing, that is. But the longer you go without writing, at least for me, I slip out of the groove and my thinking about writing soon becomes thoughts of guilt about not writing. And that is a slippery slope to maneuver, um, write on.

So, what did I do? Well, nothing for a while. I put some tape over my muse’s mouth and carried on. The people who asked me how my book was coming didn’t mention it so much anymore. But, then, the boldest question of them all came: “Have you just lost interest in writing?” Oh boy, I’m sure the look on my face was priceless. I sucked in a breath and wanted to scream, “Absolutely Not!” But, I didn’t. What could I come up with except the glaring truth? As they say, actions do speak louder than words.

It was at that exact moment, it hit me. Somewhere along the way, my priorities had gotten screwed up. Everything had to get done before I would feel I had the time to write. The housework, the yardwork, the….whatever. I hadn’t even made time to read in a very long time and I missed that feeling of being pulled into a story and getting lost in the words.

The truth I told in answer to the question: I didn’t make time to write.

writer looking for ideal conditions

I had to acknowledge not only out loud but to myself that day, that I was the only reason I wasn’t writing. I hadn’t put it at the very top spot. Yes, everyone has to do what must be done… Take care of the 9-5’er so there is electricity and a home to write in but after that – outside of being responsible for the care of another person or pet in the home, you have a choice in everything. There’s always a way to find even a few minutes to write. And I did. I went back to basics and began to journal – something I hadn’t done in a very, VERY, long time. Time made to jot down one paragraph in the morning before work soon turned into time made to fill a full page. This morning when I laid my pen down, three new pages of thoughts had a home within a soon-to-be-filled notebook – and I’m still getting to work on time. 

One of the things I never gave up on doing each day in the writing world is supporting other authors. I am faithful in promoting books in my twitter feed; Facebook timeline; and, buying and downloading other author’s books onto my kindle and leaving a review. I also have some talented authors I work with in proofreading their books. There’s so much great writing out there and I love shouting it out to others. The thing is, all the other authors out there – they didn’t just find the time to write: They Made The Time To Write. I’m not unique, we all have lives, work, families, problems yet, we have control of the priority level we assign.

My next objective was to start reading again. First, I attacked the magazines I had let pile up. That went well but only to a certain point. I’m more of a fiction girl – so I scrolled through my kindle. I had a lot to choose from but it wasn’t what I needed. Although my TBR list on there is extensive, ranging from non-fiction to fiction, romance to thriller, paranormal to mystery, I needed to read a book that I knew would grab me and remind me of how I wanted to talk to a reader.

From my bookshelf, I pulled a book written by one of my favorite romance authors. Now I’m not sure if it was because I hadn’t read in a while or if it was due to my knowing how the story went, but it took a bit of time to get back into turning the page instead of laying it down to do a chore or watch television.

Then that day came when the magic happened: The story not only began to flow once again, I found myself becoming its proofreader. I began to look at how it had been written, the changes in POV, the shifts between showing and telling – it burst out of the pages to this writer and I critiqued it. I learned even the most best-selling authors can do better and with that thought came the drive to get back in the saddle of my craft. I bowed my head and said a silent “don’t let the door kick you in the ass on your way out” to the wannabe writing perfectionist in me that day. 

read a thousand books

I can’t say I’m back yet. Not until I put a couple thousand words down in the next chapter of my manuscript, and then another couple of thousand, and then another…

A blog, this blog, was the next objective. Except it really wasn’t an objective, more than it was that need to write, and, a desire to share with those who may see themselves within this blog while forging a path in their own writing journey.

Yes, you may get sidetracked but don’t quit. Suck it up, buttercup. Speak your truth when asked, “Have you just lost interest in writing?” If it’s a loud NO, and you miss the feeling of needing to write, then do the work, reassess your priorites and make the time. If you want it bad enough (and I do) look for the clues that are holding you back. It won’t be long before writing “The End” is your beginning as a published, or multi-published author. A great author friend of mine who I respect and look up to as a mentor once told me “The first book is always the hardest.” Boy, he wasn’t kidding.  

Never Enough Books

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3 Responses to Suck It Up, Buttercup…And Other Motivational Writing Tips

  1. jdt1505 says:

    I think I’m in the same boat as you,Trish. Life has a way of putting up detours from time to time with family aging issues. We can’t seem to see the sun in our sunset years because of threatening clouds that bring tropical storms. However. there is always hope the storms won’t bring lasting destruction in their path, and perhaps leave us with some inspiration. Be well, my friend.

    Love & hugs,
    Ellie

  2. I know the feeling of getting away from the writing.

    It sounds like you were treating writing like a hobby you could only do after your chores were done… and they’re never done (stupid laundry).

    I know I have trouble keeping up with my writing AND hitting the gym regularly. It’s like I can only have 1 priority goal at a time.

    Good luck! (Also, I now have “Build Me Up, Buttercup” stuck in my head.)

  3. I went through 2 years of this. I couldn’t even write an email – seriously – it was painful. For me, the traveling unlocked the door, but I’m sure I could have found another way if I’d tried. It was the first time I’ve actually been in pain about it. This is a terrific post!

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