You’re in a writer’s funk. Self-doubt…questioning each word on the page…not sure you’re good enough at all.
Sounds to me like a regular day for most writers. 🙂
Seriously, Fear does seem to be our constant companion. Last week, we talked about the awesomeness of writers’ conferences (click here to read). While such gatherings do help to de-funk yourself and hopefully, find a strong writing groove, they’re not the only option for us.
What other ways are there to lose those writer’s blues?
Go to Plan D.
“D” as in “Do It Yourself”.
The Dark Side of Conferences
Yes, conferences are great. I love them. In fact, if I had the time and cash, I’d be a conference junkie. There’s nothing better than a writer’s high.
However, conferences are also time-consuming, expensive and emotionally draining. The outstanding conferences aren’t cheap. Add airfare, lodging and meals, to that and they get pricey fast.
You also leave with so much incredible information you feel like your head may explode.
Or, maybe time is of the essence. You might be in a funk NOW, but your favorite conference is months away. You need help ASAP.
There are options to get the same results without all the fuss.
That’s right. Create your own mini-conference. They’re fantastic to kick-start your mojo; plus, so much more intimate. Not to mention they can be done for almost nothing. Here’s how:
1. Gather Your Posse – get however many of your writer friends together for a day, or better yet a weekend. Make SURE these are people you want to spend concentrated time with — leave Grumpy Gus and Negative Nellie behind. If you go away somewhere, you can split the costs. Rent a cool place and cook your meals as a group. You can’t put a price tag on that kind of bonding.
However, it works just as well if you stay in town. Meet at one person’s house. I’ve had potluck meals, where everyone knows ahead what to bring, so there’s plenty of food for dirt cheap. One person should be the ringleader to help keep everyone organized.
2. Conference Focus – how will you spend your time together — work, inspiration, or both? I’ve done all three.
Work – sometimes, we each bring chapters of our manuscripts to read out loud for critique. Other times, we each write in separate rooms for a determined amount of time, then read to each other. These latter sessions are much more raw, but so cool. We help each other find those golden nuggets in our stories.
Inspiration – watch a movie together. I LOVE films about writing, or other movies about pursuing your dreams: Freedom Writers (Hillary Swank), Finding Forrester (Sean Connery), The Pursuit of Happyness (Will Smith), and The Soloist (Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller).
Consider writing out your goals/intentions/whatever the heck you want to call them, then share them with the group. There’s something magical and practical about voicing your aspirations to others because it provides both support and accountability.
Maybe you can’t get your posse together. Maybe you’re not ready to show your work to others, or you don’t know any other writers yet.
Whatever the case may be, you can do all of the above yourself. Go away somewhere alone. Stay at a friend’s place while he/she is out of town. A change of scenery shakes up your brain in a great way. Taps into new creativity. Banishes writer’s block.
Spend time on your work-in-progress…give yourself space to daydream about what you want from your writing…have your own movie marathon.
Books or Blogs – here’s a list of book resources at Mudpie Writing. I’ve read each volume multiple times. A few BIG blogs I frequent to amuse my Muse are: Goins Writer, Write to Done, Writer Unboxed.
There’s more than one way to de-funk a writer. Your literary soul is so worth it. Good luck!
What do you when you’re in a writer’s funk? Please tell me about it in the comments. If you like this post, please share with friends.
Pick up your FREE copy today of the mystery, The Moon Rises at Dawn (SkipJack Publishing). Read, enjoy, repeat.
I love Plan D Marcy
A writer’s life is a lonely one and I plan to go away for a week on my own next month and to get 10 x the amount of work done that I would at home with constant interruptions
Marcy Mason McKay
I love Plan D, too, Phil. It’s “D” as in DYNAMITE! I’m so jealous you’re going away for a week. Where will you be going? Please send me an email afterwards. I’d love to hear all about it.
April Myers Redmon
I got thrown into a funk ages ago. I actually made it through and assistant editor onto an editor’s desk with one of my manuscripts. She had it FOREVER. I thought I had made it. Then…the big R. Rejected. Refused.
I guess I let it get to me more than I should have.
To motivate myself these days I have to literally lock the world away by going into my office and locking the door,.
Marcy Mason McKay
I’m right there with you on the Rejection front, April. Good for you trying to re-motivate yourself. You’re not being selfish. When you actively pursue your dreams, it makes you a happier, healthier wife, mom, person. Keep it up!