Writer’s Blues

Hi there,

I think I may have the Writer’s Blues.  (That should totally be a song!)

I just received a comment asking me for tips on how I clear my mind to write.   I realized the biggest tip is to just start writing, and edit later.  (I’ve also discovered how much I hate editing.)

I really do beat myself up a lot over not writing enough, not editing, not being disciplined, for coming home from work with a head ache, and from being tired at night.  (As though I can control a headache or waking up on Saturday morning with a migraine!)

It definitely annoys me though, the feeling that I am not being productive on the days where I can be productive.

I’ve tried to set deadlines for myself.  The problem with being a writer is that it’s all about self-motivation.  And, there’s a million and one other things I can be doing, like watching Stephen Colbert!

I think we all need to set goals, as well.  And, then celebrate the milestones!  Be happy for yourself!!  Pat yourself on the back.  Do something nice for yourself to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small or insignificant you think they are – they are not.  Your accomplishments are worth celebrating!

Find an accountability partner, someone who will check in on you and ask you about your writing.  The person will be completely tickled when you write a little blurb in the back of your book about how you couldn’t have completed your project without their help.  🙂

Writing is hard work.  People don’t realize this.  But, it does make me feel like a real writer when I am talking about the process of writing and the difficulty of letting go – you can always change a word here or there –  the work is never completely finished – EVER!!

Anyway, someone said he was listening to an interview with Leonard Cohen and the poet, singer, songwriter, said the exact same thing.

Yep, me and Leonard – like two peas in a pod!

I think it’s for this reason, I also love going to writer’s festivals.   While others are listening to the plot of the novel, etc., I am listening for the gold nuggets of writing.  How does this author deal with distractions?  How does this other author deal with motivation? etc., etc.

When a friend asked me what Mary Walsh’s book was about, I said, “Uh, it’s kind of about a girl from Newfoundland and Labrador.”  But, Mary said she’s always wanted to write a book ever since she was a little girl and now at 65 years old, she’s published her first novel. Inspiring!  She also talked about the difference between real life and novels.  They’re different, according to her editor.

For instance, the character leaves home to really save herself.  In the original story, Mary Walsh’s character does not return home for her younger sister, but her editor insisted that the character must do this!  Mary argued that in real life people do not go back.  They save themselves.  The editor argued this is a novel, not real life.

I’m guessing the editor won the argument.

At any rate, I picked up a golden nugget – a few in fact.

I would also recommend listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk, called, Your Elusive Creative Genius.  See below.

I hope some of this advice helps you to sit down and write.  You CAN do it!!




About Elizabeth Potvin

Elizabeth was born in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Growing up on a dairy farm gave her plenty of opportunity to develop an imagination, and an appreciation for cheese. Currently, Elizabeth is seeking representation for a screenplay called, Cornelia Mews and the Apostle's Scrolls, an action adventure set in Turkey. She is also working on a second project called, The Great Divorce, about a woman, who discovers her husband is a descendant of the infamous Dunrobinson clan! Will their marriage survive a 400-year old massacre?