Breaking Through the Fog to Write

After moving, settling in, and then trying to establish some kind of schedule or rhythm for my writing, marketing, and blogging, I’ve been thinking about creativity killers—the things that create a fog and prevent writing. I’m always aware of the writers block threat, and so I’d like to share some factors that may cloud my ability to write:

Not taking enough down time. My creativity and ability to write depends on walks, quiet moments in the living room, or hanging around at the dinner table when the meal is over. If I push too hard, I create a cycle of frustration and failure. I’ve learned to recognize my own peaks and valleys, and then adjusted my schedule accordingly.

Not reading books, blogs, and articles. Problogger Darren Rowse mentioned this in a post ages ago, but it has kept with me. Writers need to not only learn from published authors, but to also chew on fresh ideas, current events, and new stories. I never know where a train of thought may take me when I’m reading a book.

Not setting reasonable goals. I often create my own failures, stand in judgment as my own worst critic, and set the bar too high on certain projects. The key for me is breaking large and small projects into manageable chunks. For example, plan on writing a first draft of a blog post in the morning, outline an article proposal in the late morning, and work on two to three pages of a proposal in the afternoon.

Not working on diverse projects. While there’s a danger in spreading myself too thin by taking up too many projects at once, I find it helpful to have at least two different book projects in mind at a time, to say nothing of writing articles or blog posts. If one book isn’t coming together, I can usually revisit the other and find something to work on. In the process I once found the less polished, less developed idea to be a much better possibility for publication!