Singing the Writing Blues
When I set out at the start of the year to create a regular writing habit, and submit more of my work, I anticipated it would be an experience of ups and downs. What I didn’t anticipate was just how challenging the downs would be, and April was the month where I got to find out just how hard the writing blues can be.
On my blog Beautiful Misbehaviour, I recently wrote about the idea of playing hurt, of finding ways to keep going through those dark writing moments. I know all writers face them, the times where your work feels pointless, hopeless and dreadful – and what’s worse, you feel that you are pointless, hopeless and dreadful too.
I would like to say I’ve found a cure for these difficult periods where writing feels wretched, but I fear there is no such thing other than the very simple ‘just keep going’ which I have somehow managed to do throughout this rather bleak month.
So no answers, but here are a few thoughts on things that helped:
Sticking to routine
I kept writing every day even though much of it felt like walking through treacle and most of it was utter, utter junk. Still I was writing and this felt important. I think if I had stopped then I would have felt even worse than I already did.
Letting failure go
I made a point of not dwelling on those failed mornings, and just started again the next day – a bit like being on a diet, I didn’t blow it all out of the water because I had eaten a bar of didn’t write today chocolate.
Reaching out to Friends
While I sadly don’t have a local writing group to attend, I am lucky enough to have a wonderful group of online writers who are very supportive. I reached out to them when I was feeling low and they rallied round to pick me and my pen back up.
I read a lot of poetry but not as much fiction as I would like. This month I made sure I created space for a good story, something that had nothing to do with writing poetry. It was just food for the soul.
So no major pearls of wisdom, just a few tricks that have dragged me through the last difficult month. I am sure it won’t be the last time I face a low period when it comes to my writing, but I hope that when the next dose of writing blues hits I can remember my own advice and find a way to keep writing regardless.
Stephanie Arsoska lives on the east coast of Scotland with her husband and two children. She originally trained as an actor before gaining a BA Hons in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education from the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has worked extensively in theatre and education, and trained to be a Drama Teacher in 2005. More recently she gained a post
graduate certificate in Physical Theatre from Royal Holloway University.
Stephanie writes at her own blog Beautiful Misbehaviour where she runs a monthly virtual open mic night for mothers to perform their creative writing without the need of a babysitter. She was featured in Word Bohemia’s first quarterly journal and in February 2014 she will have a poem published by the Emma Press in their Anthology on Motherhood.