On the wrong road

Does anyone have any tactics for lifting yourself out of a slump of lethargy that is proven to work? Except that one about giving yourself a metaphorical kick up the behind and just getting on with it – I hate that stoical, tautological piece of advice. If I could do that, wouldn’t I already have tried it?

This week has been one of ‘those’ weeks. Time seems to have been hard to come by and whenever I have found it I have wasted it somehow. Perhaps it’s the late January melancholy that is causing self-doubt and frustration. Whatever the reasons behind it, I have not had a successful week:

To-do List Review

January 28th – February 3rd

1. Complete a final draft for Bingo Short Story Competition – Well, I didn’t manage to complete a final draft of anything this week. Instead I started yet another story for this competition without finishing it. I really need to sit down and motivate myself to actually reach the end of any writing I do.

2. Read Life of Pi (again) before seeing the Movie [looking forward to comparing the two] – I read the book again in around 2 days. I’d forgotten a lot of it, but it was great to re-read and although the movie didn’t live up to my expectations I’m glad I went to see it. 

3. Read-through another 30 pages of NaNo #1 and make initial comments – I didn’t get this item on the list done either. I think I really need to carve out some time to dedicate to this rather than just assume an opportunity to do it will present itself. 

4. Write three blog posts – one of which will be about the short stories I read – At least I managed something this week. I can’t say that I understand why the short stories I read made it into the final cut of their respective competitions, but maybe that will develop the more stories I read.

5. Start typing up missing chunk of NaNo #1 – Cecelia’s Story – Nope. Not even a little bit done.

The only thing to do now, to move on from this week, is to set new goals and try again. I can also admit that maybe I didn’t complete some of the tasks on my list because I simply didn’t want to do them. As a solution to that, I’m going to keep one and scatter the others through the rest of February. In addition, I’m adding something FUN (thanks to The Office of Letters and Light for the motivation!):

To-do List

February 4th – 10th

1. Complete a story that would be suitable for submission in the Bingo Short Story Competition

2. Write three blog posts

3. Write a 250 word synopsis for NaNo #1 for the NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza 

4. Identify three new blogs to add to my Reader

5. Start mind-mapping ideas for other short stories

Hopefully this creative mix of fun, but entirely crucial, tasks will help me get my Mojo back. If not, I don’t have a back-up plan, so any advice would be greatly received and appreciated!


13 responses to “On the wrong road

  1. Hey, Cat. Well, you can scratch off one of your blog posts for your goals :-).

    Looking at your list, it looks mostly like . . . um . . . work. May I suggest you put something fun in there? Like, write something new? Or whatever it is you like about your writing work?

    Its been my experience that a lot of my writing success is based upon momentum. If you can get some success going in on area, you can find some success in other aspects.

    • Hehe, looking back at it I kinda see what you mean. But, what I really love about writing is the ideas pitch: where you day-dream and wonder what if and start that journey of discovery that can lead to a really compelling story – hence my mind-mapping task #5.

      I also really love finding other people who are writing and journalling that process, but find I don’t often have time to just browse blogs and find some kindred soul out there. Thus, task #4 gives me the permission to do this.

      I think you are right about momentum – finding that one thing that you can commit yourself to that makes everything else seem that little bit easier. Hopefully, this will work for me this week.

      Thanks for reading, and commenting: I always keep your advice in mind – that writing is something that I ENJOY and if I’m not enjoying it, then I need to cut myself some slack and get back to what it is I love about the craft.

      Hope the Gideon Plan is going well!?
      Take Care,

      • Cool, Cat. Yep. We can’t forget why we do it all in the first place, can we? The Gideon Plan has been on a bumpy road as of late. I’m not getting to it nearly as much as I would like. I’m going to tell you the truth– I am feeling so guilty about not doing the things that are my family obligations that I am neglecting the story. I haven’t found the balance to do both yet. I hate to say it, but my wife does not support my writing like I wish she was. She is only mildly tolerant of it. I love her, but I wish she were a little more understanding of my passion. It’s always been a disconnect between the two of us. Sorry to drag you into that crap. Nice to get a little of it off my chest, though!

    • I think I might have to write that down and stick it on my fridge in big, bold lettering: The story needs me.
      I like it, Thanks!
      Take Care, Cat

  2. (((((Hugs))))) I’m having one of those weeks too Cat (expect really whiney insecure writers post tomorrow lol).

    I’m a big advocate of picking myself up, dusting myself down, and starting again 🙂

    Good luck honey xx

    • Thanks doll. It’s good to know we’re not alone. I keep meaning to join the Insecure Writer’s clan but never do. Just another thing I haven’t done yet.
      One the plus side, finally managed to finish a short story about Bingo today! It’s 2,000 words too long and fairly mediocre but it’s a start!
      Hopefully we can dust ourselves off together and move forward this week!
      Take Care, Cat x

  3. The only thing that works for me is having a deadline, either a real one or one I have set myself. The real ones work better. You have to be a bit kinder to yourself — you did do some writing and you made a good plan to do some more, and disperse some of the unpleasant stuff with the pleasant, so I would say you are on the right track.
    Sometimes I find the stuff I put off the most rewarding and wonder why I put it off. Hope this helps a little.

    • Ah, well reminded. I have to be kinder to myself. Thank you! Just what I needed! Perhaps I just need the time to get lost in my story in order to finish it. Once I do, I’m sure I’ll feel a rush of satisfaction and adrenaline…
      Hope all is well with you. Take Care – thanks for commenting!

  4. Best way to get your mojo back is to have a fortnight off. Forget writing (or Blood Bowl or Knitting or whatever) and just chill out, do what you want to do, forget your weekly goals, bin them! Most importantly: be bored. There’s nothing like sitting in front of the TV, being bored to get your juices flowing again. After a week you’ll be itching to write something down and to get back into the swing of things.

    • I understand your logic here. That’s kinda what I feel like I’ve been doing for the past week, hence my impatience to add some fun into my week.
      On a positive note, my Writing Magazine just turned up today, so reading that will be my reward and inspiration.
      I do think you might be right though. Perhaps things have been a little crazy and I’m due some time off. It’s a good job I’ll be spending Tuesday evening at the Spa then, huh?
      Hope you’re well hon. Glad you’re still out there reading.
      Take Care,
      Cat x

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