Wednesday, June 1, 2022

IWSG June 2022: When the Going Gets Tough


The Insecure Writer's Support Group

This is a place to vent fear, encourage one another, and consider the ups and downs of the writing life!

Many thanks to founder Alex J. Cavanaugh and all of the co-hosts this month!

OPTIONAL June 1 question - When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

When The Going Gets Tough

I can't help but hear the little tune to "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" when I write that phrase. Some tunes stick in our heads like that partly because of the music, and partly because of their truth. 

When the going gets tough for me, I get going by:

  •  Going for a walk/bike ride.
  •  Getting on my feet and stretching.
  •  Cleaning something - if this doesn't make me want to write more, it's a super tough day.
  • Singing, dancing, moving somehow.
  •  Changing the scene I'm writing.
  • Creating a list of questions about what I'm writing to help me consider all possible angles.
  • Changing the project I'm working with. I have a bouncy brain and sometimes I get more done in the course of a week by allowing myself to change up the projects I'm working on. It might go something like this each day: Project 1 - 25 minutes, stretch 5, 25 more minutes. Later (after other life stuff) - Project 2 - 25 minutes, stretch 5, 25 more minutes. Even later (if possible) - Project 3 - 25 minutes, stretch 20, then Project 4 - 25 minutes. That's actually my favorite schedule.  
  • Reading something completely different from what I'm writing, like poetry, or a craft book that inspires me but doesn't make me feel as if I need to change my current WIPs on their heads and make them walk on their hands. I found one of those craft books last year, put it on my wish list, and received it for Christmas. I have been pleasantly inspired by Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, certainly not a new title, but one that always inspires me to write. 
  • Sometimes, I do read those craft books that make me flip my WIPs upside down and get them dancing to a different tune.

It really depends on what seems to work.

One tried and true method which has helped me, whether any of these others do is to celebrate the work I have done, good or bad. 

Taking time to see the work already done as an accomplishment, reminding myself that it is, and celebrating it accordingly, usually puts me in a healthier, happier mindset about writing, which means I can return to it.

To read more about why I decided I needed to celebrate, go here: Writing Productivity: Why celebrate every word and moment? – Tyrean’s Tales (

A lesson I have learned: I need to write as I write and not how anyone/everyone else writes. My brain is bouncy, so I need to celebrate the way it works and not try to fit it into someone else's mold. 

So, please use any of the above methods if they help you. If they don't, chuck them and create your own list of what works for you. 

What helps you when the going gets tough?

My newsletter goes out once or twice a month, if you would like to know more about my writing and reading life. Sign up: Tyrean Martinson, Author (


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I definitely do not have a bouncy brain...
But there are things we can go do to recharge us.

Fundy Blue said...

Great ideas, Tyrean! Cleaning or performing some other household task sometimes helps me. Not that it drives me back to writing. Instead chopping veggies or cleaning a closet distracts me, calms me, and ideas emerge. Kudos to you for taking breaks. Sometimes I just get stubborn, and then my husband has to plunk food in front of me and remind me to sleep and shower. That process is usually initiated by an approaching deadline which is very motivating to get me to the end.

Natalie Aguirre said...

It's great that you know the different ways to cope wth struggles in your writing and you use them.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I also have a bouncy brain. Goes well with my chaotic schedule.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Cleaning is the best way to plot a book!

Lori L. MacLaughlin said...

Lots of helpful tips, there. Mindless chores are great for plotting since you can be on autopilot and your brain doesn't have to be engaged in what you're doing. And I agree — you have to write in the way that works best for you, regardless of how others write. (I hear that song in my head, too. :) )

Michelle Wallace said...

I like your long list that offers all sorts of activities as inspiration!
With a list like that, I'm sure you never stay uninspired/blocked for very long.
Happy Writing!