Writing When The Words Don’t Flow

So you know how there’s some days where the words seem to come to you faster than you can possibly write them down?

Yeah, and you know about those other days too, right? The ones when you suddenly find yourself fascinated by laundry, and all the things you’ve happily ignored all week, like housecleaning, email, or tv suddenly strike you as compulsively pleasurable?

I’ve been having a bit of the latter week. And in case you’re running short of time and can’t read all the way through, here’s the part to pay attention to: no matter what kind of week it is, you write anyway.

Ironically, I’d just rocketed through the words the previous week with a much higher word count for the week than I’ve enjoyed in a long time and then … well, let’s say the total wasn’t so spectacular. And this week, I’ve found it difficult to just stay seated in front of the computer, often find myself running off just for the sake of running off.

Here are my ten tips for writing anyway, and how to get through the slow times (or in my case, the mid-section of the first draft.) :

  1. So first, remember that not all days are sunshine and rainbows: you write anyway. And eventually, it will get better. (I promise!)
  2. On the days when it’s especially hard, make yourself a manageable promise, like “I will sit here and write for 1 hour, and if at the end of that time I still don’t want to write, I can shut off the computer.”
  3. Pre-plan. Get yourself into the writing and psyched up to work before you start, maybe by going over notes or reviewing the story and where you want to go before you even sit down to work.
  4. Leave yourself hanging. It can be easier to jump back in if you leave off for the day mid-scene or somewhere that gives you clear direction to start with, rather than just having to start with a brand new chapter / scene.
  5. Spend time brainstorming and letting the ideas flow. If you find a new and exciting idea, it can help re-energize you about the entire project.
  6. Get outside input. Especially when all you can hear are negative internal voices, make sure you hear from someone else to gain a bit more perspective on the situation and the project.
  7. Remember why you started and were so excited about the piece in he beginning. Maybe this means going through those initial “story spark” ideas, or maybe you need to literally write out a list of why this is the project for you, and why you love it – and then make sure you decide how to incorporate more of what you love into what you’re working on right now.
  8. Give yourself a break every now and then. Get up, walk around, do something else for a little while, then come back to work and go hard, then break, come back, etc. It will leave you feeling like you’ve accomplished more, plus, you won’t feel as trapped in the chair or behind the computer.
  9. Give yourself a reward. You know the old saying about the light at the end of the tunnel? Or dangling a reward just out of reach? You’re the only one who can dangle that reward. So choose something, preferably in suitable proportion to whatever you need to accomplish, and promise yourself you get that when you’re done. Like one tiny candy after a chapter is done (that’s my promise, mint chocolate Aero bubbles, yum!).
  10. Remember that writing isn’t easy, and every once in a while, it darned well sucks! BUT, you are a writer, and this will get better. Just keep going. 🙂

So what about you? How do you combat those times when you’re having a difficult time facing the writing? Have I missed some tips? Please do share below.

Otherwise, thanks for reading, wishing you all a great week, and happy writing out there!

Cover Reveal: HIDDEN DEEP by Amy Patrick

I’m so excited and pleased to be able to host one of my Golden Heart sisters and all-around-sweet-human-being, Amy DeLuca writing as Amy Patrick. She’s allowed me to help her reveal the cover of her new YA fantasy paranormal romance: HIDDEN DEEP. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to read it, and let me tell you, I loved it!! Strong writing, sweet but sexy romance, and an immersive world. Be sure to get your copy March 23!

FINAL HIDDEN 1For more information about HIDDEN DEEP visit Amy’s Romance-ish website for a complete synopsis (click here for link).

Amy DeLuca AuthorAmy writes as both Amy DeLuca and Amy Patrick, author of Contemporary, Fantasy, and YA romance. After retiring from working as a news anchor and writing news stories, she opted to write and make up her own — with a lot more kissing. 😉  You can find Amy — and learn more about the book —  at:  http://www.amypatrickbooks.com/

Need a Title? Here’s a Title!

Here’s the thing: I’m not great at coming up with titles. Heck, I suck at coming up with titles. And I have read some great ideas about how to come up with a title. A few weeks ago, a GH sister, Pintip Dunn, had a great post over at Waterworld Mermaids, asking “What’s in a Title” [there’s the link to check it out.]

And I would like to apply her methods and others I’ve seen for a great title (like brainstorming over the theme of your book; brainstorming 100 titles and narrowing it down from there, etc). But I have neither the finished book nor finished series yet; this little guy is still just in formation. And I’m getting really frustrated with it having no name at all.

So, that started me playing. 🙂 (Yes, I’ve been working too, promise.) And I found some interesting title generators that maybe you’d like to try out, too. Some of the titles are ridiculous of course, but some? Some you could write a whole book just for that title. 🙂

Book Title Generator – This one I like because you can choose the genre you want (scroll all the way down to the bottom for the actual generator). Since my book is a bit of a mash-up, I looked at a few generator. And, even if you don’t use the title just as it appears, maybe it will inspire the real one.

The Title Generator by Fiction Alley is probably my favorite, because you get to select the words that create the title. This means you can use some of the major elements or themes in your book and fit them in. I didn’t find a perfect fit yet, but this one generated some of my favorite.

Random Story Title Generator on Mcoorlim.com was another I liked, probably because of the words that came up; the titles were evocative and interesting, even though they’re still totally random.

Random Title Generator by Maygra I liked again because of the words that were used to generate the titles. Again, totally random, but some of these made you pause and wonder what kind of story would go with that title.

Oddly, I’ve never popped up these random name generators before, and I’m not sure I’ll use it to give the final title to my novel, but it certainly was fun to play with and might be fantastic for a piece of short fiction, or inspiration for what eventually becomes the title.

So how do you come up with your titles? Are you one of those people for whom titles come easy? (And if so, can you help me? Can I be reformed??) 😉 Or, like me, are titles a challenge, and if so, how do you cope?

Thanks so much for reading! Have a great week, happy writing, and have fun out there. 🙂