Sunday, October 4, 2020

Writing through Tough Times

 These are tough days for all of us, but having  a deadline can make life even more tense. Try having two or three. Yikes! Deadlines were a part of my life for years. Working in a television newsroom with a daily deadline that didn’t allow for a delay was both a curse and a blessing. It taught me to have to think fast, and it taught me to get my writing done or it probably would never see the light of day. Today’s news stories are not useful tomorrow afternoon. 

Having and using that mentality has gotten me through the past few weeks as I worked on a new fiction book, finishing up editing it for submission, having two non-fiction books that needed  editing and working on a class that needed editing to remain timely.

As I set out to write on this week’s blog,  I thought about those days of daily deadlines and how knowing I had to get things done kept me going despite the daily stress.  The work had to be done and I had to summon the words to write my stories.  These days we are all under a lot of stress and it occurred to me perhaps it might help other writers to go through how we can all get through this by using our creative juices. 

Yes, we all feel the frustration of the times, which can lead to fear and anger. Many of us are feeling lonely as we try to get through days without our normal visits with friends or going out to eat or socialize with friends. 

Many people might feel anger over how things are being handled or things we can’t do. 

It’s a good time to look for other outlets for our frustration and anger. What better time to look for either new writing outlets or look for new genres to try. Put that frustration into your writing by making a new beginning. For many years that Creative writing during low times kept me going to face my daily news output.

Here are some ideas for you to try to keep your writing going:

1. Re-read old favorite authors or if you are writing yourself, pull out old manuscripts and see if they can be changed or salvaged. Sometimes a good editing job can be all that is needed.

2. Try a new genre—either by  reading something new or writing in a new genre. Sometimes that can open you up to a whole new style. Study up on the genre and get to know it and if it might work for you. Then, simply sit down and try writing in it. Not only might you find a new love, but you might also sharpen some of your old writing skills that you haven’t been using.

3. Dig out your own old writing. Was there a story you once loved but didn’t finish? Is th/ere some new way you can work the storyline that wasn’t working when you first set out to write the story?

4. Try creating a new character —either for a story you’re writing now or one you may ant to write in the future. Look for a different way to create that character and then go for it.

5. Take a writing class. Yes, if you’ve been writing you should know what you’re doing, but why not try a review of writing techniques. There might be something you’ve been wanting to learn but haven’t had the time. Why not take it now. It might not only get you through the current tough times but it might refresh your knowledge or give you new ideas for  a story.

6. Do research for a story you’ve been wanting to write. Though you might not be able to visit a library or a location this is a wonderful time to get online and look up all those details you were going to get back to later. 

Don’t let the current tense times get you down. You might even write up a scene with one of your characters utilizing all the frustrations you are currently feeling. Let them suffer and perhaps solve a problem. Then you can rejoice with them. It might make your day a bit brighter and give you a scene for a story.

Good luck and let’s keep on writing

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