I have fallen off my writing bike a couple of times during these past few weeks.
All sorts of writing related issues can send you flying off your writing bike; crisis of confidence, rejection, fear of failure etc.
Coming off can result in you storming off out of the living room, slamming a door, having a hissy fit, texting writer friends a long-winded account of your writing situation (heavy usage of either weeping emojis and angry faced emojis) or even threatening to jack it all in.
Getting back on your writing bike requires strength and bravery.
Here are some recent situations from my writing life:
I made the mistake of reading through my 52k word unfinished first draft. Instead of doing happy star jumps I found myself cringe with embarrassment, scream and go hide under the bed. So, I went and meditated for 10 minutes. This is my new approach to handling writer stress levels. Came back to my first draft feeling refreshed, relaxed and telling myself that things couldn’t be that bad. Read through some of the parts that had made me raise my eyebrows in horror earlier and…had to rush off to meditate for ANOTHER 10 minutes.
After I fell off my writing bike! I was embarrassed by my unfinished first draft. I didn’t want to carry on writing it.
I entered a writing competition a few months ago with something that could have been better. It wasn’t a quality entry. Deep down I knew this but instead I chose to start daydreaming about winning, visualising myself winning and writing out my winning acceptance speech. So when the ‘sorry you didn’t win’ email came through I rushed off to meditate for a good 20 minutes AND I filled 3 pages (both sides) of my new ‘Writer Diary’ (another new approach to dealing with writer stress. It is like a paper writer friend who is always there for me 24-7).
Despite the meditating and writer diary I fell off my writing bike! Not winning a writing competition made my demons tell me that it would be for the best if I just gave up.
I was doing some light reading on writing romantic comedy. In one article it listed out the top 10 problems and at no.1 was ‘when no one gets your humour’. Cue the self-doubt demons. What if no one finds my romantic comedy novel funny? I meditated for a good 20 minutes, filled out 5 pages (both sides) of my new ‘Writer Diary’ and had a large glass of wine.
Ten minutes later I fell off my writing bike! The fear of writing something not funny made me want to run away from my writing.
You will be glad to know that each of these situations led to a change in me. After each episode of falling off my writing bike I got back on and started writing again.
It has been hard to crawl back to my laptop however each time I have done it – I have felt a little bit stronger!
I have now finished my first draft and it feels great. There is a long road ahead of me but I feel I have accomplished something. If I had not climbed back on my writing bike I would not be here now.
So folks, if you fall off your writing bike this week, grit your teeth and get straight back on!
Meditating, frantically scribbling in a Writer Diary and drinking large glasses of wine are optional extras.
Have a fabulous week!