Monday 27 June 2016

The NOT Writing Habit and How to Break It

by Dee Scully

I gotta be honest. I’m struggling.

Image courtesy of Write NOW

For a while now I’ve had little to no time to write. At first it frustrated me, because of all people, I should be able to schedule time to write. I mean; I’ve blogged about goal setting and committing to those goals too many times to count and I truly believe in what I wrote, but…

Over the last few months, I’ve come to accept the lack of time as the norm and now, now that I actually have a few moments to write, I don’t even know where to begin.

Worse yet, is the fact that I’m actually a little afraid to open my work-in-progress (wip) and get stuck in and I don’t even know why!

What’s wrong with me? 
 I seem to have lost my mojo.

While trying to figure out why I can’t seem to get stuck back in to my wip, I’ve found ten tips that may help others find their lost mojo.

Image courtesy of Google Images
1. Write anything. Write a letter to a friend or to one of your characters. Write a hook to an upcoming chapter end. Write your train of thought. Just get writing. Once the proverbial writing ball is rolling, you’ll find it a lot easier to get stuck into your wip again.

2. Be honest with yourself. Why aren’t you picking up that pen or opening that laptop? Figure out what’s mentally barring you from writing and make the necessary changes to get yourself writing.

3. Review your writing goals. Be SMART about it—are your writing goals:  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, AND Timely?  You might find that one of these was lacking and threw you off-track. Revise your goals with SMART in mind and it will be a lot easier to not only get stuck back in but to keep going in the first place.

4. Imagine your story. Find a comfortable place and let your mind roam around the crevices of your imagination. Really visualize your characters and your story. Feel what they feel. See what they see. Hear what they hear. Make your story real inside your mind and it will seep into your muscles and get those fingers tapping on the keys in no time.

5. Remember why you write. Is it your passion? Do you have stories that need to be told? Do you just like the freedom of putting your thoughts on paper? Has your reason for writing changed?

6. Think about the consequences. What would happen if you never wrote again? How would you feel? What would happen to your story, to your hopes of publication, to your self-esteem?

Image courtesy of Write NOW
7. Engage in story housecleaning. Get your house, or in this sense, story in order. Review your story outline. Revise your synopsis. Outline an upcoming chapter. Re-engage with your story by cleaning up the story basics.

8. Change where you write. Change is as good as a holiday. Ok, so that may not necessarily be true but it can sometimes be motivating. If you usually write at your desk, go to your kitchen table. Maybe go to a café or write at the park. Change your scenery and you just might change your perspective.

9. Connect with a writing friend. Write, email, text, call, do coffee with a writing friend and talk about your struggles. Getting it out in the open might be what you need to move past it and who better to discuss it with than someone who’s probably been in a similar position at some stage in their writing career.

10. Compliment yourself. Yes, you heard me. Compliment yourself. You are a writer. You create stories in your head and commit them to paper (often but not always) in order to share them with others. You are creative and hardworking and generous. Breathe that bit of honesty inside you and let it refresh your writer’s soul.

Funny…after writing this blog article (TIP #1) and being honest with myself (TIP #2), I realize that my writing goals weren’t completely SMART (TIP #3). So, I’ve sat myself down, revamped my goals and really visualized my story (TIP #4), which has reminded me of why I write (TIP #5) in the first place and what the consequences of not writing would be (TIP #6). I’ve engaged in a bit of story housecleaning (TIP # 7) to refocus and re-engage with my characters and story. I’ve changed up my writing space (TIP #8) and here I am…connecting and commiserating with you, my romance writing/reading friends (TIP #9).

Thank you for allowing me to share my frustration and struggles and for helping me to find my writing mojo again.

I love to love…finding inspiration in the world around me. The cockatoos that frequent my front yard inspire the characters that populate my books.

Image courtesy of Google Images
I love to laugh…at the things that I used to think were difficult. With time and experience, they don’t seem so large or painful.

I love to learn…from my friends. They have taught me so much! (LOL—yes, even some things that they shouldn’t have!)

What do you do when your mojo seems to be lost?  Do you have any tips or advice to share?

Until later...happy writing/reading!
Dee Scully
Historical Romance Author
Breathless Blogger

Twitter:  @DeeScullyAuthor


  1. Dee, you've outlined 10 things that I think are universal challenges to writing, and all very normal. It's sometimes a little more complicated than just getting on with writing... But your points are a way back, a way of encouragement to us all. Thankyou!

    1. Thank you Malvina! Sometimes I feel like everyone else is achieving goals and I'm languishing behind. Don't get me wrong; I'm happy for others but dismayed that I haven't kept up. (LOL--kinda like running a marathon and watching everyone else pass you by...kinda makes for a long lonely race.) I know I'll get there, especially with awesome writers and readers like you cheering me on! Thank you!

  2. Thank you for your tips, Dee. My best tip for recovering one's mojo is to give it time and trust that all experiences, reflections, writing and reading make you the person you are today, and give rise to the writer you will be in the future - sometimes it just takes time for your mojo to switch back into create mode. Best wishes from a writer who has definitely been there. Regards, Sharon.

    1. Hey, Sharon!
      Time and trust...two things I have in short supply--LOL.
      So true though...experiences (even the tough ones) make for better writing/writers.
      Thank you!

  3. Thanks for your wonderful insight into the issues we writers can come across as we pursue our goal of being a writer. They sure hit you emotionally, don't they, but anyone pursuing a goal, whatever it is, would go through the same issues. I think that if you really, really, really want that goal, if that is what you know would make your heart happy, then no matter the struggles you have to go through, you will pick yourself up and persevere, even one step at a time if necessary, to get there. That's what keeps me going!

    1. Thank you Enisa!
      One step at a time...excellent advice.
      Thank you!

  4. Some interesting apps here to help get your mojo back...

  5. Oh Dee sometimes no matter how much we schedule and plan life gets in the way. Taking a walk is a good way of getting your thoughts unscattered. I'm a fan of scheduling but sometimes the muse doesn't feel like cooperating when I'm free to write.

    1. I like the 'taking a walk' idea Cassandra Samuels! Nothing like sunshine and clean air to refresh and re-invigorate! LOL--even a walk through the bush on rainy days helps give me a new perspective! Thank you.

      And muse has definitely not liked my schedule of late but as Enisa Haines said if it's important enough (and it is) then I need to get stuck in anyway!

  6. Thank YOU D.D. Line! I hope your writing mojo is with you and you're creating amazing romances as I type this! You are awesome--remember that when your mojo seems to dwindle!

  7. Hi Dee! Thanks for a motivating post. In the past I've found that if my writing isn't coming as easily as I'd like that another creative outlet like drawing or painting can help. I guess getting that right-side of the brain working is what it's all about. Hope your mojo is back for good :)


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