“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.”
– C. J. Cherryh

How to Write Through Duress

Is your daily writing routine anything like mine?  Waking up with first light, meeting the dawn with 15 minutes of power yoga, settling down on your sun-strewn patio with birds chirping and a fountain in the background, cup of hot chocolate and freshly baked croissants by your side, ready to begin an uninterrupted, and inspiringly productive, 4-hour writing session.

Right. How I wish.

Too often, the world’s greatest profession is practiced under far-less-than-ideal conditions. But, as they say…

Life does not put things in front of you that you are unable to handle.

~ Anonymous

obstacles to writing

Photo by “Symphony of Love”

Everyday Life

Most writers today face all of the same challenges any other professional does, especially those with families. On top of everything you’re supposed to be doing as a writer, you might have a day job, or other forms of income to pay the bills while you build up a strong readership and/or enough titles to replace those other forms of income.

Creative or not, writing requires focus. Writing this very blog requires focus, attention, concentration. If you’re writing a novel, you’re managing a million moving fictional pieces. If you’re writing a business book, you’re researching, interviewing people, targeting to a specific audience. Seemingly from everywhere, distractions fly in. Phone calls. Emails. Appointments. Social media. That bar of dark chocolate in your fridge.

If I were a wagerin’ kinda gal, I’d bet 99% of you reading this post are nodding vigorously (or twitching in acute recognition). Like yours, my days are painfully fragmented. At times to the point where when (double adverb alert!) I do finally get a linear span of time all to myself, I’m so fatigued I’m incapable of producing prose.

Here’s where a little sacred time comes in, bolstered by willpower and boundaries. Make sure you work some into your day, on a regular basis. See also “Tools” below. And if you’re feeling even a little bit guilty about claiming your time, don’t. Dump the guilt into the laundry basket.

In Sickness and in Health

It’s tough enough being consistently creative when you’re healthy. The moment you fall ill, attention shifts to health—and sometimes, sheer survival.  This past holiday, I spent 12 days with a killer sinus infection—the pain was so bad I could feel it in my jaws. I soldiered on through it all: I had a novel to finish. But I wasn’t nearly as productive as usual.

The experience made me think about people with chronic pain, long-term illnesses, or any ongoing health issue that denies you the ability to write the way that you want to.  One blogger I’ve had the pleasure to “e-meet” not too long ago suffers from chronic pain. Her grace and attitude about it are humbling.

So if you are in good health, or want to get there, nurture it!  Take care of yourself for the long-term—eat healthful food, exercise, and please drop the sodas/smoking/junkfood/fill-in-your-vice—as if your writing depended on it.

Because it does.

Redirect Your Ability

Those of you who read my posts here on The Write Practice know I don’t throw praise around. I believe in constructive critiques delivered straight up. Some months ago, I commented on a writing practice that had a lot of spelling errors in it, asking the writer to proof before posting. The writer commented back explaining they’re dyslexic and sometimes they just don’t see the typos.

That changed the way I experienced the writer’s work.

The medical establishment calls dyslexia a “disability”—there are other conditions and realities, like dysgraphia or illiteracy, that can make writing and reading more difficult for some. The fact remains however that even if you have a harder time learning how to read, write, or proof your work, you have just as much a right to be a writer as anyone else. Whatever seems to be hindering your talent, or the expression of your talent, work with it, learn about and from it, seek support for it, move through it.

Find what works for you, but don’t give up on that dream to write. Ever. If Helen Keller could write, so by God can the rest of us.

Intimate Distress

This one is the toughest. But we’ve got to address it.

There are times and there are situations that go beyond presenting frustration (e.g., your 3-year-old giggling her way through your writing session or your demanding boss making you stay late at the office) and become downright dangerous and/or harmful to you personally. This can be an abusive spouse or partner, a disparaging colleague at work, a stalker at the café where you love to write. It can be joblessness, which saps your strength and self-esteem. It can be family feuds, a loved one passing away, or a failed relationship.

All of these forms of distress can tear your heart and soul apart, and that can kill the writer’s spirit. And yet… human resilience is a powerful force. I know of people who’ve gone through profoundly traumatic life experiences, and write as a way to conquer those demons, push through and deny them any power. Maya Angelou is (was) certainly one such writer.

Now, if you are experiencing a potentially threatening situation in your life, you should probably (!!) attend to that first rather than sticking your head in literary sand. Aside from that however, use your stories, your writing, to work through emotional pain, break new ground to stand on, or simply establish inalienable boundaries for yourself and your creativity.

The Writer’s Secret Tools 

Some of my personal favorite kick-ass resources to keep that writing spirit strong and vibrant!

  • EATING RIGHT & EXERCISE. Your health is your single greatest and most important asset and resource. It’s not the inheritance or the genius writing grant, it’s your mental, psychological and physical health.
  • MUSIC. For me, music is the elixir of the muses. Certain songs have the power to pull me into certain books I’m working on, each and every time, regardless of my emotional state, fatigue, frustration, or hunger. If the songs you listen to when you write can’t do this for you, maybe you haven’t found your musical muse yet.
  • MEDITATION. A few minutes of quiet time can be critical to help you spin down that hard disk we call the brain. Your characters need you the way a child needs a parent: completely and unconditionally focused on them. And the Muse likes to work her magic in solitude, too.
  • DISTANCE. Getting away physically frees you of whatever temptations or threats are looming to derail your writing time. If you write at home, and your home is a source of constant distraction, interruption, or heaven forbid, distress, you need to get away or set up a space for yourself that no one can violate.
  • WILLPOWER. If none of the above is available to you, build up this muscle. No one anywhere can ever take away your will. No one. You might think that a person or situation can rob you of it, but in fact, no. It’s you letting them. Do not let go of your will, your passion. It is yours and yours alone, as long as you respect yourself and as long as you honor your craft.

What do you do to overcome the stresses in your writing life?

PRACTICE

If you can/want to, share your own personal challenges and obstacles to writing, and please also share how you’re dealing with them. Or, comment on a fellow writer’s challenge. The power of community is about supporting one another.

And for an actual practice, let’s do something a little crazy.  Pick the busiest, most non-conducive-to-writing time of your day, and try to write something. Post that.

Then re-write that same piece at another time in your day when you do have some peace & quiet, and post that right below. Will be interesting to see the difference!

About Birgitte Rasine

Birgitte Rasine is an author, publisher, and entrepreneur. Her published works include Tsunami: Images of Resilience, The Visionary, The Serpent and the Jaguar, Verse in Arabic, and various short stories including the inspiring The Seventh Crane. She has just finished her first novel for young readers. She also runs LUCITA, a design and communications firm with her own publishing imprint, LUCITA Publishing. You can follow Birgitte on Twitter (@birgitte_rasine), Facebook, Google Plus or Pinterest. Definitely sign up for her entertaining eLetter "The Muse"! Or you can just become blissfully lost in her online ocean, er, web site.

  • Jennifer McGinnis

    This is something I struggle with. I want everybody gone for a long chunk of time, and then I feel like I can write. But guess how often that happens? Well, rarely was the answer for the past few months, but NEVER is the answer for the summer vacation months. I have no specific time when everybody’s gone, though I may get some surprise moments. So I have to learn to write through the kids playing, fighting, asking questions, etc. I mean, I spend plenty of time actually with them, doing stuff. But I have to set aside my time, even if it means the kids must take care of each other for awhile (ages 4-14 so there’s enough there to do the caring for awhile). It would really help if I could move my computer out of the public area, but with a 14-year-old sharing it, no way. That’s me being protective mom. And this is me rambling. I’m learning, though, to write when my perfect conditions have not been met. Otherwise, I won’t write at all, and that is NOT an option!

    • Debra johnson

      Jennifer I know what you mean. I’d rather write through distractions
      then not at all. In fact when I did stop one time ( I don’t remember
      really why) I changed and not for the better. Those closest to me begged
      me to start writing again – they would say write anything it doesn’t
      matter. Your not you when you aren’t writing. So I began writing again.

      Now my writing through my distractions comment. My distractions are
      thoughts in my head not associated with what I am working on, the noise
      out side, the phone, the hubby asking me things, a TV on occasion- but
      since I have a laptop I can easily take my writing to the bedroom and
      continue until done. That way we are both happy, then when I am done I
      can come back and enjoy tv with him. But since writing helps pay the
      bills that has to come first. I have learned to set specific times to
      write or I’d do it all day with no breaks. But regardless of what
      issues are in my life I will forever be A WRITER!!!!!

      • Sandra D

        it’s good that your kids recognized that you are better following your inner goals as a writer. I think it would be very hard to give up my creative outlets and be 100% mom. I think there is this sort of thing where people think moms really are for their kids and thus cannot do anything else. But I don’t agree. As one woman told me, whether you have kids or not, you can still follow your dreams and be who you want to be. It’s just all balance.

        • Amen to that. Remember what Kahlil Gibran wrote: Your children are not your children…

    • Sandra D

      I also have kids and it get’s hard. Sometimes there is just too much going on to write. But often times I find I am worried that the kids will need me, but then they don’t and I should just focus on my writing. But they have a tendency to fight or get into situations and so I am often on my guard. Like oh dear what’s going to happen next.

  • Occasionally when I write, the story is already intact and comes together with relative ease. The details present themselves in a straightforward manner. There is a strong beginning, a compelling middle and a satisfying payoff at the end. It is exhilarating to guide these accounts into the world, like a capable midwife on hand for a routine childbirth.

    Other times, ideas are just floating around like the oddly shaped pieces to many different puzzles. Removed from their original packaging and left in a big pile, emotions get complicated and need to be sorted out. These operations can be risky, and I am not a surgeon. I’m just a girl with a pen and a notebook, writing stuff down. I remind myself that part of the joy comes from trying to figure out where everything goes. Cool heads always prevail.

    I appreciate the limitless potential of thoughts. A tender memory, a clever idea, a life-changing experience. With a little encouragement and guidance, these musings can become something more. Something worth documenting and sharing. I like putting my feelings into words and guiding sentences along, building paragraphs that create the pictures I see in my mind. It makes me happy to share something homemade. I love every aspect of this creative process.

    Here and there, I have to put aside the serious content and switch to lighter observations. Just to regain some balance. I don’t live in the past, nor am I a futuristic goal-driven maniac. I try to find a peaceful place between the things I have done and what I’ve yet to accomplish. I seem to be making progress in the world, and I am generally pleased with the results.

    This morning, I woke up really early and spent some time in quiet reflection. I said my prayers and thanked God for all the wonderful blessings I enjoy as a faith-filled member of the human race. The relationship I share with my Higher Power makes the difference in my life. As I put myself in God’s hands, I can only hope for the best. I’m okay with knowing He’s in charge. I drank some coffee and started thinking about my breakfast.

    As I was typing up these notes, I clicked on the image of a photograph that I keep it on the desktop of my computer because I love it so much.

    It’s a picture of Rory Malcolm at the five month mark, a robust lad weighing in at roughly thirty pounds. Gosh, he was enormous! This snapshot remains one of the singular, most hilarious things I have ever seen. Whenever I look at it, I like to imagine that he’s just polished off a big roast beef sandwich. That makes it even funnier.

    I wish you could see it. 🙂

    • eva rose

      I love the start of your day and the effort to create “something homemade” in your writing. I too remember the Higher Power and ask for a nudge to create something meaningful. I’d love to read more of your stories.

    • Lovely image, thanks for sharing your morning with us today. Feels very peaceful just reading your note. 🙂

      • It’s comforting to know that so many writers are in the same boat. Distractions help us flex our creative muscles!

    • Sandra D

      What you said on paragraph two is something I relate to a lot.

    • “Here and there, I have to put aside the serious content and switch to lighter observations.” (TWEET THAT!)

      Thanks for sharing.
      Dawn

  • eva rose

    Thanks, Birgitte, for another great post! Thanks for the reminder to tend to our health, mental and physical, before starting the task and including music and meditation in our day. These are elements ready to help us.
    By the way, is your new book available for purchase?:)

    • Most welcome Eva Rose. I think we can all use little reminders like this every day… we’re so bombarded from all sides. Not too long ago life was very different. That’s why talking to the older generations is so eye-opening.

      Thanks for asking about my book—but which one? Got two coming out, one is the chocolate novel that’s due out in the fall, and a novella called “The Visionary” which will release this summer. Are you on my author’s newsletter?

      • eva rose

        I am on your newsletter. It was the “chocolate nugget” I referred to! I will look for it this fall.

        • Ah yes, can’t wait to have a release date from the publisher. I’ll announce it as soon as I know myself. 🙂

  • Brandi

    Oh how I needed this nudge today! My writing goals have been neglected for weeks now because of the demands of motherhood. I need to just muscle through it and uphold my boundaries and my schedule! Thank You Birgitte!

    • You’re welcome Brandi! I totally resonate, I’ve got a young child at home too. Amazing how these little ones can monopolize every last corner of your mind — and body!

  • Oihane Garcia

    I’ve been following the write practice for a very long time now but never posted something. This is my very first post and it’s not even a practice story. I feel so much inspiration but somehow i don’t get it out.. I find it very hard to do it and that even with all the writing prompts around here!! I want to say thanks for this post and i hope to find the currage to write on day..

    • First post. Woo hoo! Well done.
      DAwn

      • Oihane Garcia

        Hooray! thanks
        and hopefully not the last..
        🙂

    • Oihane, something deep inside is stopping you from letting out the artist in you. Only you can find out what that is. Try this: don’t read any writing posts or prompts for a week. Spend a little time each day just with you, yourself, your inspiration. No need to think, plan, or judge. Just feel. Just be.

      And then, write your thoughts on paper. Whatever they may be—doesn’t matter if you’re talking to yourself, outlining a story, or just recording an event that happened. But write in a journal or notebook, with a real pen. Not a computer. And ideally in a sensual surrounding like a park or cafe.

      • Oihane Garcia

        Hi Birgitte. I think maybe you’re right, I don’t like the idea but it’s a good thing to try out and find out for myself what is blocking me. I always think off myself that i’m such a creative person, creating this world where i’m a writer and great artist yes, well.. exactly how you’ve started this prompt.. Hopefully soon I will come up with something and start writing how I always wanted to without fear.. thanks again..

  • Eliese

    My fingers have as light as feathers trying to brush across the little black keys. The only key that is as heavy as lead is the delet button. I don’t know why, but this has been my problem.

    Thanks for the great post. I hope it will help me get back on track 😛

    • HI Eliese
      I’m so happy you’ll be back. I’ve missed your lovely stories and encouraging feedback.

      I have a similar creative process – write, delete, delete, delete. And then one day creative breakthrough – excitement, typos, fast typing, more typos, just keep on going, uncombed hair and an undeniable desire to pound out some text. I procrastinate, avoid the keyboard and eventually have to give in, give over, and write – something!

      Hope to hear from you soon. 🙂

      Warm Regards
      Dawn

      • Dawn, good to see you here again. In response, I’d say see my reply to Eliese just above (about deletion) and below to Oihane (about writing by hand). xoxo

        • I don’t really delete 😉 I do judge, bury, hide. And then one day (eventually) return with fresh eyes and claw out the juicy bits.

      • Eliese

        Thanks Dawn. 🙂 After I read you and Birgitte’s replies, I wrote a story. Thanks for your wonderful comment. 🙂 I am looking forward to practicing some more too. 🙂

    • Hmm. Too much deletion. Why is that? Why not keep what you write, just for yourself, even if for a day? The problem with deleting too quickly is that you can’t go back and re-read it with a different mindset. I almost never delete anything. I just turn that faucet on and let it fill a canyon. Granted, you’re the water that carves the canyon, but try not to be so judgmental with yourself. Give yourself the freedom to express your thoughts with no value jugment. At all.

      • Eliese

        Wonderful advice. Thank you so much! It’s true. I have been deleting becase, for some reason, I keep editing as the words are being typed. Yikes. Also, I have been very hard on myself.

        Thank you.

  • Today was the day. She woke up knowing that all the little bits of dangling threads had to be tied up or neatly clipped. She would do it. Today. She knew she would. The little adrenaline monkey was squirming in her tummy. So first things first: dishes, vacuuming, dusting, clean the toilet, pay the bills, water the plants on the verandah, put the washing on the line.

    She always felt better when the daily chores were finished. No guilt. No pile of greasy dishes casting her dirty looks every time she walked past. No nagging ‘must-do’s’ to distract her from the task at her hand.

    And she turned her computer on. She had 1 hour. Sixty whole minutes to finish a couple of last edits, compile her manuscript from Scrivener into a .doc and work out how to create a .mobi file. Her friends were waiting for the moment. They had been waiting for a month. Today was the day.

    The phone rang, she answered it. The dog whined, she let her in. The postman stopped, she collected the mail from the letter-box.

    Agitation cursed her solar plexus. She smiled. ‘I still have 45 minutes. I’ll be fine’ she thought.

    She downloaded KindleGen. The internet was slow. Grindingly, annoyingly, frustratingly, slow. And now she could not find the .exe file to launch the program. She downloaded the users guide. She read the ‘geek’ script. She tried again. And agin. And again. Darn-it!

    Only 10 minutes left. The reminder text beeped on her phone. She swore. She kicked the floor.
    Times up.

    She it her lip. Turned off the computer. Had a quick shower and left for work.

    Later that day…

    It had been a long day. She smiled through her tired eyes, ran herself a bath and added drops of lavender to help clear her foggy head. Two candles sent soft flickers dancing across the bathroom wall, she breathed in the sweet healing scent of lavender and neroli and practiced her ujayi breath.

    Wrapped in cosy towelling robe, with her feet snuggled deep in soft woollen socks, she turned her computer on, and closed the office door.

    Before checking her email, opening files or re-trying to launch KindleGen she visited the Kindle Forums. ‘Use Kindle Preview, it’s much more straightforward for us lesser techno-illiterates.’
    (Yes, that is exactly what it said.)

    Preview downloaded fast, launched with ease, she was quietly pleased. Neither rushed nor competing with a clock, she opened up the preview program and quietly browsed for the .ePub file then softly pressed the enter key. And in this gentle evening light, when all the days work was done, her first ever .mobi file appeared upon her screen.

    She knew that today was the day. And she attached the latest version to an email for her Kindle-reader friend. She paused, took two deep breaths and purposefully clicked on ‘send’.

    Today was the day. She had woken up knowing.
    Today was the day. She woke up knowing that all the little bits of dangling threads had to be tied up or neatly clipped. She would do it. Today. She knew she would. The little adrenaline monkey was squirming in her tummy. So first things first: dishes, vacuuming, dusting, clean the toilet, pay the bills, water the plants on the verandah, put the washing on the line.

    She always felt better when the daily chores were finished. No guilt. No pile of greasy dishes casting her dirty looks every time she walked past. No nagging ‘must-do’s’ to distract her from the task at her hand.

    And she turned her computer on. She had 1 hour. Sixty whole minutes to finish a couple of last edits, compile her manuscript from Scrivener into a .doc and work out how to create a .mobi file. Her friends were waiting for the moment. They had been waiting for a month. Today was the day.

    The phone rang, she answered it. The dog whined, she let her in. The postman stopped, she collected the mail from the letter-box.

    Agitation cursed her solar plexus. She smiled. ‘I still have 45 minutes. I’ll be fine’ she thought.

    She downloaded KindleGen. The internet was slow. Grindingly, annoyingly, frustratingly, slow. And now she could not find the .exe file to launch the program. She downloaded the users guide. She read the ‘geek’ script. She tried again. And agin. And again. Darn-it!

    Only 10 minutes left. The reminder text beeped on her phone. She swore. She kicked the floor.
    Times up.

    She it her lip. Turned off the computer. Had a quick shower and left for work.

    Later that day…

    It had been a long day. She smiled through her tired eyes, ran herself a bath and added drops of lavender to help clear her foggy head. Two candles sent soft flickers dancing across the bathroom wall, she breathed in the sweet healing scent of lavender and neroli and practiced her ujayi breath.

    Wrapped in cosy towelling robe, with her feet snuggled deep in soft woollen socks, she turned her computer on, and closed the office door.

    Before checking her email, opening files or re-trying to launch KindleGen she visited the Kindle Forums. ‘Use Kindle Preview, it’s much more straightforward for us lesser techno-illiterates.’
    (Yes, that is exactly what it said.)

    Preview downloaded fast, launched with ease, she was quietly pleased. Neither rushed nor competing with a clock, she opened up the preview program and quietly browsed for the .ePub file then softly pressed the enter key. And in this gentle evening light, when all the days work was done, her first ever .mobi file appeared upon her screen.

    She knew that today was the day. And she attached the latest version to an email for her Kindle-reader friend. She paused, took two deep breaths and purposefully clicked on ‘send’.

    Today was the day. She had woken up knowing.

    • Sandra D

      nice story. sums up the frustration of not having enough time really well in the first part. I was happy it had a happy ending.
      Halfway through the story repeats though.

      • Hi Sandra,
        Gee you’re quick 🙂
        Yes, I double pasted…
        Fixed now.
        That was my frustrating yesterday. Not very creative but true.:-)
        First DRAFT of first novel being read by eyes other than mine. A bit nerve-wracking.
        Regards
        Dawn

        • Sandra D

          yes it sounds like it then. Good job on finishing your first draft. 🙂

        • But this is what’s so great about dealing with some of these writers’ hurdles. Pasting in a portion of your text twice without realizing, and having a fellow writer here notice it. Perfect example of what it’s like when we’re juggling too much in our lives. Well done gals!

  • Sandra D

    I would have done this practice today but while I was in my funk I did not finish reading this. er. I might have to come back tomorrow and do the exercise.

    My problem right now is that I have just started writing this month and I haven’t picked a story yet. I am waiting for a great story to hit me. In the meantime I have been writing daily, it started as 15 minutes and now it is about 50 min. Just trying to increase my ability to focus and write longer and better. But there are certain things that are much harder for me to write then others. I grew up as an only child and I have grown up and have spent a lot of my time in my life alone or just with one or two people and so some action scenes that require lot’s of social bits do intimidate me a bit. Which last I checked books without action are not that interesting. I could probably sit and monologue for an entire book of pages though no problem. Too bad that would put even me to sleep.

    • Hi Sandra
      I just want to acknowledge your commitment to writing for 50 mins per day. That is a solid effort. Well done.

      The more you write the more your voice will evolve. Also there are different ways that ‘action’ and ‘conflict’ can occur. Sometimes it’s between a character and his/her physical environment, inner processes and just one other person.

      There are some great posts in The Write Practice archives that illuminate these things. Trawl through and check them out.

      The best thing about this site is that it offers us prompts daily. It’s not requesting literary creative masterpieces, but instead enticing the inner pen to keep on going. In addition we get the opportunity for feedback.

      The 15 minute practice is good. It gives us an easy time-frame, and indicates it’s not about excelling, or being the best, or ticking all the right boxes for the pieces we submit. It’s about practice.

      Your voice will tell its own tale of your life – an only child, lots of time alone. I’m sure there are many people that would resonate with that same context and others who could be intrigued by it. Carry on!

      You’re on track.Bravo!

      Kind Regards
      Dawn

      • Sandra D

        Thank you very much for writing this. That is very encouraging to me. 🙂 I do love these exercises. The write practice is why I started to write. I never could quite get myself to practice on my own daily, but this website has exercises that are not overwhelming.
        Good to know it has good exercises out there. I am trying to go through the website, but it is going to take a little time. lol

  • Hi Birgitte
    Another great post. Thanks.
    Dawn

  • Sandra D

    I did this when I just wasn’t feeling like I could write. But I went ahead and tried anyway.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Shelia walked down the stair well. She opened the door to the basement. She saw the dead body there when she clicked on the light. A man on his stomach. She didn’t recognize him. She bent down and touched his hair and thought how he seemed to be a handsome man that she may have liked if she ever got the chance. His skin was pale though. She left the basement and went upstairs, washed her hands at the kitchen sink. She went into the laudry room and grabbed the clothes. Brought them to the living room and began folding. She grabbed the remote and turned on the tv. She did not change the channel though, she just liked having the sound as her nimble hands did a quick job on the basket till everything was folded away.

    The phone rang she walked through the living room and into the kitchen and picked up the phone. It was her friend Louise.
    “Hello dear” Louise said. Her voice sounded intent like it was full of gossip.
    “Hello.” Shelia said dismissively.
    “When I was at the post office you wouldn’t guess who I saw there?”
    “Who?”
    “Burke.”
    “Oh?”
    “Don’t be that way.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “You need to date someone. You’re lonely.”
    “I’m not.”
    “He talked about you.”
    “He did?”
    “Yeah he wants to see you.”
    “Tell him I can’t this week.”
    “Oh.. ok. But I am just trying to help.”
    “I know. Is there anything else.”
    “You need to visit your mom. She is calling me, telling me you hate her.”
    “I don’t hate her. Okay I will come up to see her tomorrow. How are your kids doing?”
    “Oh you know how they are. Brenda is graduating high school this year, couldn’t be more excited. Doesn’t want to go to college though. And Mitch has got great grades and he just doesn’t get distracted, give me any problems or anything. Just does great.”

  • Miriam N

    Hello everybody. I’ve been following the write practice for a long time and decided to finally post something. I am at a part in my book where I can’t seem to get anything else out. Everything seems to be falling apart and everyone seems to be telling me what I should do. It almost feels like their draging me and makes me less determined to write. I have no idea how to get past this and begin writing again. Any suggestions would be helpful.

    Thanks.

    • Miriam, sounds like you need a supportive editor, perhaps even a developmental editor. How far along in the book are you and what’s the story about, briefly? If you can email me with a little more information about your book I’d be happy to give you an initial consult (no charge) or recommend people for you. info (at) birgitterasine.com

      • Miriam N

        My internet doesn’t seem to like your blog. I can’t get on to it to get your email. could you email me so that I can explain my book to you.

  • Pingback: Friday Fuel: White Space, Talking to Strangers and Finding a Retreat | The Church of No People()

  • Seleane Gray

    I’ve been writing since 2003 and since then I’ve come up with a drawer full of story starts and a journal full of ideas…. Nothing ever gets finished…. I write and push through even when I’m not feeling well, unless I’m having a REALLY bad day. I have fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and am having my lungs tested currently to see what’s wrong with them so I get sick frequently. I don’t know what to do…. All the ideas I’ve started I love and want to finish but each time I pick one up and get back in it to start pushing forward – or trying to – I hit the proverbial wall. It’s getting frustrating and I haven’t touched writing since last November during NaNoWriMo 2013 because once again I took an older unfinished story and tried writing it. The wall was back. I keep thinking about how to go around, through, or over but I can’t seem to. All I’ve wanted to do since I started in 7th grade (2003) was be a writer even through the problems with my health and current lung and blood tests…. It’s really starting to get hard to go back to the stories and I hate that the most in all this. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Seleane, I have three words for you: Dr. Mario Martinez. Health and vitality are CRITICAL. Get his book or the audio CD, “The Mind Body Code.” the man is extraordinary. I’ve never heard anyone approach health and wellness quite in this manner before, and I have to say it’s the most logical, sensible one I’ve ever heard.

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Mind-Body-Code-Wounds-Heals/dp/1591797101

      Do this first, before you worry about writing. It sounds like there’s a powerful conflict raging on deep inside you, and that could be why you can’t seem to finish your stories. Resolve that conflict first.

      • Seleane Gray

        I’ll look into it thanks.

  • Bailey :)

    I’ve been busy with school. Homework, projects, and studying have often gotten in the way of my writing. Now that I will be a high school freshman in the fall, my life will get a lot more busy. I love music, and I have found that the descriptive and powerful lyrics in the heavy metal genre has helped me with my writing as weird as it may sound. Also, I’m the oldest of four kids and they all scream and fight and play video games, but I just stay in my room and listen to Three Days Grace or something and jot stuff down in my notebook. And I’m known for being hard-headed and stubborn. I will not stop until I reach my goal, even if it takes me all night. It’s not like I need sleep. 😛

  • Pingback: SEO Copywriting Top 10: June 4 to 10, 2014 » SEO Copywriting()

  • I’ve been finding my job so draining that I don’t have the energy later to write. That’s created a lot of issues with writing a novel, because it’s been a struggle to make any progress at all. I might sit at the computer for two hours and just not be able to produce anything. Worse, I wanted to write novels and short stories at the same time, and the short stories fell entirely by the wayside because writing the novel was so hard. Even on the weekend, when I was taking time to decompress, I felt guilty because I wasn’t spending the entire day writing.

    A friend sent a copy of Jay Lake’s Writing Rules, which said to write a project a week. That sounded like typical goals writers are given and ones I wasn’t accomplishing anyway. Then he added a bit about if the job is too much that week, do flash fiction. The important thing was to get a project done. I could do flash fiction. So I decided to put novels on hold and focus on getting a short story a week done.

    The result was magical! I was able to research what I needed for the story, which had been previously a time suck (because I wasn’t writing!), and then let the story come together over the course of the week, as long as I finished it by Sunday. Not only was I able to finish the story, it inspired me enough to look through my back store and get 4 more stories from last year back into submission. Sometimes it takes changing the goal to a more workable one for the current situation.