Today, I absolutely didn’t feel like doing any writing. I couldn’t face doing any work on my book, and the idea of trying to plot out some of the story just made my head hurt. I’m sure anyone who’s ever tried to do some writing of fiction will have felt the same at some point or other. Working out what to do about it is a really hard one. Being an author isn’t like most jobs, it’s not like for example being an accountant. If an accountant doesn’t feel like doing their job, they’re not in the mood or whatever then that sucks for them. But they can still DO their job. It’ll be harder for them, they might take longer and need to double check some stuff, but they can still do what they need to do. For an author, if you’re in the writing and planning stage, if your heart isn’t in it that day then what you write may well just not be up to your usual standard, which could damage the book and maybe even your career. But on the other hand, you probably shouldn’t just do nothing, as that might perpetuate the “not feeling it” into a habit.
Bit of a catch 22!
The key I find is to make sure that you’re at least doing something towards your books, even if that isn’t actually writing more. It might be writing a blog post for your website, setting up your goodreads profile or whatever. It might be going back and doing some proofreading. Hell, it might be going to the local wood and “exploring” hoping to find some inspiration. I recently went for a walk because I didn’t feel up to writing and I came across a long abandoned caravan that was creepy as hell and was fantastic nightmare fuel for a horror story at some point. This isn’t the only school of thought though, Steven King writes 2,000 words a day when he’s working on a project, rain or shine. If something he writes isn’t up to scratch, that’s what second drafts are for. Isaac Asimov, however, had loads of different projects on the go at once so he could write whatever he was in the mood for.
There’s a difference between feeling lazy and being genuinely not up to writing and working out that line for yourself requires some discipline. My feeling though is as long as you’re doing tangible things towards your career as an author, that’s the important thing.
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