Ho-Hum Days

I’ll admit it…today I have the “Ho-Hums” when it comes to my work…

Photo courtesy of Ontley (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
After a season of no responses and rejections, sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to sit down and write anything. These days come to all of us. But not writing, at least a little each day, is not an option for me. I’ve got weekly deadlines that won’t wait. No, it’s not the fun stuff I’d like to be doing –working on new pictures books, doing research for my class, revising my novel— but it’s all good. So how do dedicated writers stay focused when there’s no wiggle room? Where does the drive come from when the gas tank is empty? Here are three things that help me on days like this, and I hope they inspire you to turn your writing “Ho-Hum” into a writing “Hey Ho!” today!

  • Get organized. If you aren’t inspired to write something new or write something at all, take a few minutes to organize your desk. File things that need filing, pay bills that need paying, put things away and wipe off the dust. You’ll be amazed at how an organized work space can lift your spirits.
  • Keep inspiring quotes handy. I’ve got one on my desk by my computer screen that reads:

“Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel.” – Pablo Casals

Another one I like is by Thomas A. Edison:

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

These two quotes, as well as hundreds of others, can provide hope and encouragement when your writer ego is taking a beating.

  • Be aware of the need for rest and refreshment. Along with the general ups and downs of the writing life, parenting and spouse-ing, I also deal with rheumatoid arthritis. It is well controlled with medication, and I feel blessed each day that the disease does not currently interfere with daily activities. But during my RA journey, I’ve learned the importance of listening to my body and recognizing when I need rest. So if I need an extra hour of sleep after I get my kids off to school, I take it. If I need a short nap in the afternoon to finish the evening strong, I give myself permission. Giving in to rest and refreshment isn’t weakness or laziness. It’s helping your body and mind—and your writing– be the best it can be.

Sensibility- Writing is a joyful, happy and even holy pursuit. Take a moment at the beginning of each writing day and give thanks for the gift.

Sense- Writing is hard work. Recognizing that truth will help you keep going when ideas don’t flow and creativity seems thin.


What do you do with your “Ho-Hum” days?

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