Five Ways to be Kind to Yourself When You Can’t Write

#1 Remember that not writing now still means you have written

Look at all the shit you’ve done so far in you writing life. Yes, even the early, actual shit. Remember what it felt like to recieve reader input on your stories. Remember how often, during writing, you thought that you draft is shit and that, not matter what you did, there was no saving it. And it turned out alright in the end, didn’t it?

Oh, and having written probably means you will write again, too. To me, at the very least, writing’s an addiction, and the longest I’ve stayed away so far was for a few years or so. I don’t plan on taking breaks nearly as long ever again. (Fingers and toes crossed.)

#2 Don’t participate in the ‘writer in block’ cinematic narrative

Sitting and staring at a blank page of any kind never helped anyone. If this story isn’t working for you, go work on, or at least plan, another one. Or put together a puzzle or something.

Having writer’s block is not an excuse. Not getting the emotional and phsychological help and support you need is a problem. Instead of bringing yourself down, try another approach, one taking into account the fact that in times of great stress some of our actions just have to give. It doesn’t mean this is it, this is the end, punto, kaputt.

Also, arrrrt isn’t sufferrrring, and when you’re actually down, it’s no wonder you can’t write. Try something else or, at the very least, wait it out and live to tell the tale.

(And if you haven’t yet, go read this post by KJ Charles.)

#3 Remember that there’s no way for you to magically forget the skill of writing

Nope. There might be slight adjustments to be made every time you sit down to write after a break (adjustments=paragraphs and/or pages cut), but I’ve never heard of anyone actually losing the skill of writing this way.

You and your writing will be fine. Trust me on this.

#4 Don’t forget to dream

It doesn’t have to be several novels ahead (though it can be), but dreaming about writing exciting new shit is not something you magically lose the privilege of if you take a break from writing in 2020 or at any other time.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again—dreaming keeps us alive.

#5 Remember that you’re not alone

Not at this time, not at any time. There are so many of us out there, and we have so many different and varied approaches to writing, and we’ve all faced the inability to produce fiction on many separate occasions.

A lot of us are going through a ‘dry’ period right now, nearing the middle of 2020. And it’s no wonder, frankly. Retreat to recouperate is a natural human reaction to high levels of stress.

Which is to say, it is not a tool for us to bring ourselves down with just for being unable to shut off the parts of our brain which make us writers—empathy and imagination.

Hang in there, dream, read, and never ever forget to be kind to yourself, too!

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Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash.