So you ARE a writer

by Megan Lowe

So you are a writer.

I’ve said before that writing when it’s going well is one of the best things in the world. I didn’t lie, it is. It’s also really cool when you get great feedback or reviews on your work. Trust me, nothing will take away the wonder when you read someone’s review of your work and they like it. Every time I read a review I’m in awe of the fact someone besides me likes my work. But writing and being a writer isn’t all puppies and rainbows.

Writing is a solitary task. Every day I escape to my study, far from the others in the house and sit down and write about characters and worlds that exist solely in my mind. And there are times when those imaginary friends don’t want to talk to me. On the flip side, there’s also times when they talk to me at the most inconvenient times as well. But it’s you they’re talking to, no one else. This whole world you’re creating relies upon you. It’s a heady task. And it’s hard. Sure, you can ask for advice or get beta feedback, but at the end of the day, it’s you who’s in charge of everything. It can get lonely too. And frustrating as all hell when things aren’t going your way or in a way with which you can roll. I’m here to tell you to make sure you look after yourself. Just because some of the great writers advocate suffering for your work doesn’t mean you actually have to!
So here’s my advice.

Join a group.
Writing groups are a great tool. I never thought I’d ever be a person who joined a writing group, but I am. Sometimes I think I’d go insane without it. Every day, or thereabouts, I tell the ladies in the group how my writing day went, or didn’t go and they understand. I think understanding is extremely undervalued in our society. Sure, give me your sympathy, but if you really want to help, understand where I’m coming from. For this reason, writing groups are gold. There’s a heap of them on Facebook, so check them out. As well as understanding they’re also full of tips and tricks.

Take a break.
Sometimes it all gets to be too much. Take a break. Whether it be for fifteen minutes or a couple of days, we all need a break. Of course, the trick is to know when you need to take a break or try to push through. Only you can know that. Just don’t let it get to the point where everything is building up and it gets to be too much. Writing needs to come freely (although a small amount of prodding never hurts), so let it.

Go for a walk.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stuck and been helped while I was taking a quick stroll. So often the act of walking will shake something loose and voila! Unstuck. Just remember to take a piece of paper and pen or your phone with you so you can record everything before it disappears!

Switch to another work.
I don’t do this a lot because I tend to get very involved in my work and I don’t want to confuse the two, but sometimes it is necessary. Switching things up loosens up everything in your mind and gets things flowing again. If you don’t want to switch to a new work, try switching POVs or skipping that chapter and come back to it later.

Writing, in the initial stages, is not a team sport. You can’t sit out a few rounds and tag someone else in (unless you’re collaborating). It’s all you. So take care of yourself. Do what you need to do. Don’t get stuck under an ever increasing mound of pressure. That’s not going to help things. Sometimes we all need something to loosen the connections in our mind or get a clearer view of where everything is going. Take those opportunities. No one ever died or any work suffered, because someone took the time to look after themselves.

Megan Lowe

Megan Lowe is a lost journalism graduate who after many painful years searching for a job in that field, decided if she couldn’t write news stories, she would start listening to the characters whispering stories to her and decided to write them down. She writes primarily New Adult/Contemporary Romance stories with Sport and Music themes


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