Posted: June 2, 2022 in books, children's writing, creativity, Fiction, Health, IWSG, Kate de Goldi, perseverance, Story, words, Writing
Tags: , , ,

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. Every month, the organizers announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. Remember, the question is optional!!! Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG, and the hashtag is #IWSG.

June 1 question – When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end?
The main way I keep myself writing is to turn up and do the writing every day. The daily pages are part of my morning routine when I am working, as non-negotiable as the walk or the yoga. It was the wonderful writer and teacher, Kate de Goldi, who taught us to start the day with ten minutes of non-stop writing. Sit in the same place, at the same time. Write every day. No stopping until the ten minutes are up. That was in 2005, and I have done the same thing every day since. It’s a tried and true method for side-stepping the rational mind and accessing one’s creativity. The routine means that rain or shine, good day or bad, the day always starts with producing fresh copy, which acts as a mental jumpstart. It’s an injection of positivity, a feeling of having started the day right. And just as Jane Yolen said, writers need to exercise the writing muscle daily to stay limber.

Sometimes, however, for whatever reason, at various times in writing a story, things just grind to a halt. It is not necessarily writer’s block, although sometimes it is. Usually, it’s a trough in the rollercoaster of the story development. At those times, I find myself coming up with excuses not to come back to work on the story. And that’s okay. Creative people can run the well dry by thinking they can endlessly pump out copy like workhorses. It’s easy to forget that we need to refill our cups sometimes. We need holidays and retreats and time out and pampering now and again. It’s vital for me to ‘re-wild’ myself and get out of the city to breathe fresh air.

Therefore, one of the ways I keep myself writing is to spend time occasionally not writing and permit myself to take that much-needed rest. It’s vital for the soul and one’s well-being. We need to remember that we are “the talent” and treat ourselves with the appropriate respect.
There have been times with various stories when I felt as if I’d written myself into a corner and couldn’t see the way for the story to move forward. It’s important not to accept this as the last word. It’s never the last word. There is always a way out. The way I move through blockages or obstacles to the story development is to brainstorm. Over the years, I’ve developed my approach to this technique. And I find it works best to walk and talk. I pace the house with a pad and a pen on the counter, ready to catch any ideas that fall out as part of the pacing process.

I start to talk to myself. I tell myself what has happened in the story to the point where we got stuck. Then I talk about what could happen next, discussing every slight notion that comes into my head. The ideas get jotted onto the paper, which helps me keep track of the options. If I keep hashing it out with myself in this way, I have found that I always end up with viable alternatives, and the story will come unstuck.
These are the methods I use to keep the flow going. As with a lot of things, keeping the momentum going is key. The momentum itself can carry you over the hump, ahead to the next part of the story, where you feel stronger.
What methods do you use to keep yourself writing to the end? Anything new to add?

Keep Writing!
Yvette Carol

You only fail if you stop writing. ~ Ray Bradbury


Subscribe to my newsletter by emailing me with “Newsletter Subscription” in the subject line to yvettecarol@hotmail.com

  1. Olga Godim says:

    I need to adopt your 10-min writing exercise and do it every day too. I might be productive as a writer then.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Keith says:

    Yvette, great tips. You reminded me of my wife on the reading side. If she likes it, she will stop reading a book for a few days as she does not want it to end. She wants to savor the “what-ifs” for a couple of days, before she says goodbye to the characters. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  3. emaginette says:

    You and I do so many of the same things to full our creative cup. I wish you were closer. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    Liked by 2 people

  4. J.S. Pailly says:

    Getting started is always the hardest part for me. Ten minutes every morning doesn’t sound so bad. And if I can just get those first ten minutes done, the next ten minutes will probably be a whole lot easier.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love the concept of just showing up. I heard Steven Pressfield describe the muse as a being from another plane who only bestows their magic on us when we actually show up. And I try not to think of the end result as much as I do about getting my words in for the day. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s