The 3-inch snowman sits outside the Sheraton West Denver hotel following the Dec. 31, 2021, snowstorm that broke records falling so late in the winter season. The snowman can serve as inspiration for lucky writing. (Photo by Shelley Widhalm/Shell’s Ink Services)
By Shelley Widhalm
In 2021, I pumped out a poetry collection in one month, writing all the poems afresh.
But then I got stuck. I kept writing poetry for my daily poem challenge, but I didn’t do any other type of writing.
Whether writer’s block is real is debatable. But motivation is as is doing something about it. That’s why I’m picking up Lisa Cron’s Story Genius and working through the plotting workbook for my next novel. Maybe I’ll figure out why I’m not writing anything longer than a few hundred words.
Part of it might be the “rejection effect”—I’ve submitted my novels to agents but have gotten the “not yet” or “not for me” responses. I moved past calling the responses hard and fast “no’s,” since getting traditionally published is a subjective, uphill trial requiring toughness and persistence.
With all of this “negativity,” I figured I need to get lucky. Here’s how:
Top 7 Writing Tips
- Create inspiration by doing the writing. Don’t wait for the feeling you want to write. Just start.
- Identify a place to write to establish comfort and routine. Then write in odd places to add variety.
- Make writing a plan with daily, weekly or monthly goals. Write for a set amount of time, such as one hour, or until a certain word count, starting with 500 or 1,000 words.
- Give up some of the control. Trust your subconscious to make connections your conscious mind isn’t ready to or won’t necessarily be able to make.
- Don’t be a perfectionist. Rough or first drafts are called that for a reason—the story or message unfolds and isn’t readily formed until it’s written.
- Accept that writing is supposed to be hard. Focus on the process instead of the results to make it more fun and enjoyable.
- Read and to analyze what you read. Identify what works and what doesn’t work and why. Apply what you learn to your own writing.
Get Lucky with Words
Once writing becomes a regular part of your schedule, it can feel like luck. You write. You produce. You have finished work as a result.
That’s my plan for 2022. To write another book and get unstuck.