Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Analyzing How You Write

I swear, September was here for two seconds and then disappeared. It's already October?!
Obviously, I have severely neglected this blog--mostly because I kept saying to myself, "I'll sit down and write a post tomorrow," or, "I'll update the blog next week." And now here we are, three days into October. My favorite month!
I adore October. I am all about colorful leaves and cozy flannels and bonfires and pumpkin spice everything, and October is all of those things. It's also my birthday month, which just makes October even more amazing.
But I think my favorite part about October is that it's the best Fall month, and I get extremely inspired when the weather cools down. I love sitting down with my laptop and a hot cup of coffee on cool, blustery fall days. There's something about it that just makes the writer in me come alive.
While I may not have had a very good September blogging-wise, I'm pretty proud to say that for once, I had a pretty good writing month!


For those that have followed this blog for a while, you know that this past year for me has been incredibly difficult when it comes to writing. In fact, writing has felt nearly impossible. 
I tried making goals for myself. I tried scheduling time to write. I tried giving myself teeny, tiny daily writing tasks. I tried focusing on a different project. Basically, I tried to take all of the advice that I give out on this blog and apply it to myself. And nothing worked.
And that, in turn, made me feel like I had nothing to say to you guys. Every time I would start a post, I would feel incapable and would exit out of it. If I couldn't get my own tricks to work for myself anymore, why would they work for you guys?
But the reality of it all is that every writer is different. That may seem like a small sentence, but it has huge meaning. Think about it. Every single writer is different--meaning they work differently, become inspired and motivated differently, and most importantly, write differently. Just because one thing works for one writer does not guarantee it will work for another.
On top of that, life moves quickly and changes often. Just because you have a good writing streak for a while does not (and most likely will not) mean you will keep that streak forever and ever.
I think the thing that frustrated me the most was that I have been struggling for nearly an entire year. That's a long time!
So I finally decided to look back and try to figure out what changed within the past year that could have taken my motivation with it. After a while, it hit me.
I changed my entire writing method and didn't even realize it.
See, after I graduated high school and moved onto college, my schedule became focused on classes, work, and writing. And usually more often than not, I would write in my college's library in between classes.
I didn't really realize it, but that became a very regular thing for me. In fact, by my final semester, I was going to the library to write every single day.
And then, I graduated. And suddenly I wasn't on campus every day. Suddenly my bedroom was my only place I would write.
I didn't think that would affect me very much considering I have my own room and a really great writing desk, but as you guys have seen from me venting about it on the blog, I have not been able to get into a writing groove! It's been very on and off, and nothing has seemed to stick.
I realize now that when I get home from work, my mind immediately thinks "Oh, done working! Time to relax." And no matter how much I try, I can't seem to get myself out of that way of thinking. Because when I was in school, I would go from class to the library and then back to class again; my brain never got the chance to think it was time to relax.
Sometimes it's really good to take a step back and analyze the way you're writing. Ask yourself things like . . .

  • Is my writing improving, or is it the same as it was six months ago?
  • Am I meeting my goals?
  • Am I motivated to write?
  • Is writing my book enjoyable?
  • Have I changed anything about my writing methods lately?
  • Etc.
Ask yourself why you got the answers that you did. Then, try to fix them! When I asked myself what was different about my writing method, and realized that I had changed my writing space up, I decided to make an effort to change that. Now when I finish nannying for the day, I go to the campus library and sit for a few hours! It's a quiet place that my brain labels as a writing zone, and it helps me get out of the awful rut that I've been in for so long. 
In fact, the very first day I came back to the library, I knocked out an entire chapter in Unperfected that would have taken me days to do in my bedroom.
And that's the best part about getting stuck as a writer--someway, somehow, you will always gets yourself unstuck. It might take seconds or it might take months, but you'll get there!
"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22