Thursday, February 7, 2013

Building Your Writing Muscle

Building your writing muscle

I sometimes have those moments that I just can’t face writing. It almost like a phobia. I desperately want to write because I know once it I will feel better but the dread of opening a manuscript and being faced by blank space.

I had it bad at the beginning of the year, I have a part started YA novel which I love but I have no idea where it is going. Added to this was a lack of space in my head to hold a whole new world in it to work out what to do with it.  Every time I opened the file I panicked and started gradually to lose my confidence.

I was telling Liz about this, about how I knew I needed to write for my own sanity but that the book was just making me more insane. She came up with a brilliant suggestion. For January I should use a story prompt every day and try and write something. It didn’t matter what it was, a story, a piece of description I just needed to write.

Now this sounded good, I would be working my writing muscles but there was no pressure of trying to create a novel. So I started slowly first with a suggestion from Liz and then with suggestions from my blog and Facebook.

I found myself writing in bed at night and looking forward to what prompt I had and where it would take me.

The freedom was amazing, I created characters and stories and places. The pieces ranged from sexy short stories to dystopian futures; from the heart breaking to the silly. And weirdly most were adult rather than YA.

Now it is February I have completed two of the short stories and they need some polishing before I send them out into the world. I am working on a novella set in Colorado and I have the start of a dystopian novel. Hopefully by the time my non-writing life calms down I’ll be ready and in shape to carry on my YA novel.

How do you keep your writing muscle strong?

Come back on Sunday and hear from Susanna


  1. Great post and I'm glad it's working so well! Whenever I can't get on with my WIP I either give myself permission to do other things or I write something completely different in another genre for a while. Like you said, that flexes the writing muscles and you can come back fresh to the original m/s!

  2. Thanks Pia! It feels like I'm coming out of the deep dark hole. And it is interesting the way we both feel we have to 'give ourselves permission' to do other things. The writers guilt getting in the way.

    1. LOL yes! I didn't even think about how I phrased that :-)