Yesterday I wrote about writing while you still have a day job, and how we should all be enjoying the writing process. Unfortunately, you may sometimes have trouble enjoying the writing process or your current project. There will certainly be days when you sit down at your computer or notebook and the words simply won’t come, or you keep feeling like you would rather be doing something else. There will also probably be days when you feel bogged down by the project you’re working on.
Back at the beginning of the summer, I was working on a novel-length project that is still in the editing stage. I had written the first draft as part of National Novel Writing Month in November of 2013, and was working on editing and re-writing. For some reason, when the seasons changed and it was summertime, I felt completely annoyed by my project. I no longer liked the story, I felt I wasn’t using my time very well, and I felt like I was simply going through the motions each evening rather than enjoying the process of working on this story.
In this situation, my solution was to switch writing projects and work on something that had lower stakes. The novel-length project was something I’d put a lot of pressure on myself to finish, and that took some of the fun out of it. I still have a finished first draft waiting for me, and the beginnings of re-writes, but right now I need to work on something else. For now, I’m enjoying working on something that’s a little more “frivolous.”
So, what do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed or uninspired by a project? When you find that you’re no longer enjoying the writing project you’re working on, what do you do? Do you stick with it, trusting that you’ll enjoy it again soon, or do you switch over to something new? Do you have any secret techniques for reawakening that enjoyment? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan