How to keep writing during difficult times

We are finally moving into cooler weather after record-breaking heat. We’ve also had a record number of fires and fire season is just beginning. While I’d like to think that, because we have the ability to write anywhere, these things shouldn’t affect our writing, it would be a mistake. We are not compartmentalized creatures, and when we have concerns and worries in one area of our lives, it spills into others. Many authors I’ve worked with during this season of quarantine and COVID have struggled to keep up with their writing routines and have even felt completely blocked with writing. And it ran the gamut between new writers and experienced writers. Writing during difficult times is hard for every writer.

Woman working at a laptop. How to keep writing during difficult times, from Jennifer Crosswhite at Tandem Services.

My advice over and over for those writing during difficult times was to be gracious to yourself. Being angry or upset doesn’t make the words flow any better. Do what you need to do to help yourself deal with your fears and frustrations.

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Then begin to look at your writing practice. How does it need to change? What is possible? I’ve even recommended just free writing one paragraph at the writing time you are trying to establish. That’s it. Keep the bar low so your brain doesn’t rebel at the idea of One. More. Thing.

Eventually the words will flow again. Just don’t give up completely.

And that’s good advice no matter what’s going on in the world.

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