Those Blah Days

Motivation. That evil little serpent that promises greatness then turns around and bites us.

We might imagine ourselves sitting on a balcony overlooking a serene Irish lough (pronounced lock) while we ponder the depth of life and the greatness of small things.

Most often, we're scrambling to find time to write, and hoping that when we do find the time to write, we'll have something witty to say. We look at prolific writers and wonder how they can write so many books. Honestly, I wonder some days if I am even supposed to be writing because while I enjoy it, the research, the writing and the emotional levels make me really wonder.

The past two weeks have been quite unmotivated. Now, part of this has been due to the weather since I can develop migraines from changing weather. Some of the lack of motivation has come from not want to deal with story developments. I know what the character has to face, and I don't want to face it. Some of the delay is a result of Easter, birthdays and other family activities. Some of it boils down to not wanting to write, or not knowing what to write, or focusing on other avenues of my arts such as the weaving. Some of it is simply being depressed from seasonal issues (really, more snow?!), and some from poor sales.

There is no magic pill to instantaneously become more motivated, or to write a better book. Writing, like all art, takes time, patience, practice and bull-headed determination. To be a true writer or artist, accepting the ups and downs of life are par for the course. To put it mildly: if you expect inspiration and motivation to carry you through your life, you really need to look into another line of work.

What motivates you to write may be a story. For many people it is simply one story. For others the motivation might be the dream of writing beside a bubbling brook in Ireland (very good dream, I might add). Finding your motivation is imperative. For me, writing is what I do - I tell stories, and I love exploring thoughts, questions and issues through novels.

Once you realize why you write, you must focus on your time. We're going to have blah weeks when we don't want to write. We're going to face health issues that limit us from writing. I had a cold earlier this year that completely knocked me out. The migraines I get are sometimes light induced, or at least make me light sensitive. In other words, writing on a computer is out of the question. When those times happen, I have to take care of myself. Learning to tackle writing from many angles helps when the times down surprise us.

But, how do you get back into writing after being down for a little while? For those in the middle of a book, diving back in works best. For people between books, writing works best. If you have enough information, just start writing. For others, editing, research or submission might be the best avenue. The point is - choose one aspect of your writing and work it.

In art, most people understand the term discipline is what you do. For some it might be dance, or it might be painting, but whatever the case the artist disciplines herself to create. To take the time to recharge, to focus and to do whatever it is that she does. Those blah days will come, but the trick is to work through them, and to use them to propel youself forward.


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