Life has a sneaky way of taking over and sucking up all your writing time. (As we saw in yesterday's video montage.) I haven't really done much of anything writerly for a while. It all started back in September when I started querying. You know how it is, you start querying and you decide for once it's OK to take a break from writing. I mean come on, you've been chipping away at your manuscript for so long that your brain needs a rest. Then the holidays took over my life. Then "the plague" hit our house on and off for 8 weeks. Hubby changed jobs, blah blah blah. Needless to say, I haven't written a word or read much since. Sure I've picked up a couple of books here and there and jotted down a word or two but ultimately, it feels like I've lost my mojo.
And to top it off, the pressure of the coming SUMMER is panicking. Kind of like a virgin on her period during vampire season.
WHAT?!?!(See what happens when you go too long without writing!!! You make stupid gross jokes that insure you lose a few followers.)
With kids home for three months in the summer it's hard to concentrate on anything for more than two seconds or get five minutes uninterrupted. And here lies my problem. For some reason I've got it in my head that if I don't have buckets of time to write, I can't do it. So I don't. Between the past months of busy life and the writing black hole I like to call "summer," I'm trying to revive my writing chops.
So how do I get my mojo back? It's as simple as three and a half easy steps. (And yes, I'm making this shit up as I go along.)
1.) Write every day.
WHAT?!?! That's such bullshit. I'm sick of hearing that same old advice!
But it's true. And it works. Here's what writing every day does. One, it keeps your confidence up. No matter if you take a break from a sport or hobby or writing, there will be a lag time when you return to it until your confidence has returned.
Two, it keeps you in shape and the maintenance to a minimum. (Maintenance = editing and revisions.) Imagine not showering for a month or shaving your legs and pits, nor plucking your eyebrows OR giving yourself a mani/pedi. Much less brushing your hair or maintaining your wardrobe. Now how are you supposed to pick up Hot Guy at grocery store with a birds nest for hair, crusty yellow toenails and bushy eyebrows? You ain't, honey. Opportunity GONE! Well, how are you supposed to pick up an agent if you're not polished and ready at all times? You're not. So as much as "write every day" doesn't sound like a mind blowing solution, it's a sure way to keep your skills polished and fresh. Whether you write on your book, a blog post, a synopsis, outline, query letter or a letter to your freaking grandmother (Girl, you know you've been neglecting your Big Mama. That poor old lady ain't heard hide nor hair from you in so long, you should be ashamed of yourself.) or write whatever, just keep your chops well oiled.
2.) Read every day.
Now that's just cheating. You only tweaked number one!
True, but this is my 3 and a Half Easy Steps not yours so deal with it, baby. Most importantly you should be reading books. Books of all kinds: in your genre, out of your genre, books about writing, magazines, blogs, READ DAMN IT! Again, it's all about the maintenance. Have you ever met a traditionally published author that didn't read? Nope, you haven't. (And don't even try to tell me about this one dude that you can't remember his name, and he's from that other country that read about once in a magazine or some such nonsense. Huh uh.) Most authors are voracious readers. I try to read 50 books a year and that's child's play for most of you. Reading keeps words fresh in your mind and expands your thoughts and imagination. Simple as that. So read.
3.)Make a change.
Finally some advice around here that's sounds solid.
You will not grow as a writer, a person or a human if you don't make changes. Change encourages growth and evolution. Don't be a neanderthal. Refusing to make a change keeps you ignorant. Don't be arrogant. Show humility by knowing there's always room for growth. Do something different. Draft on paper instead of the computer. Outline differently. Write out of order. Write in a new genre. Whatever the change may be, you will learn something from it to further your writing skills. And keep in mind, the more difficult the change, the more growth you'll have.
And A Half.) Doubt can be your mojo's biggest enemy. Don't be afraid to do it wrong.
I want my mojo back and nobody can get it back but me. Those are the steps that I'm taking to get it back. I'll check back in a few weeks to let you know how it's going.