Stay the Course

Writing is hard. It’s hard even when life is going smoothly, when your kids are in school and happy, when your finances are secure, when you have a support system/beta readers/great computer. When you’re not being chased by a pandemic or a fraught political and social climate.


So, if you are struggling right now, please don’t beat yourself up.

A puppy pic. Cause who doesn’t need a puppy pic?

I’ve been watching as my writing friends admit that they haven’t written in weeks (or months). Watching as sometimes they have a breakthrough (yay!) only to fall into despair days later when no more words will come. Watching (and, yes, experiencing myself) as their books march out into the Covid world to be met with a resounding echo of silence, because there are few opportunities to promote, and no one is really interested in paying for anything.

If there ever was a time that a writer might contemplate quitting, this is it.

But, please don’t quit. Kids need us, now more than ever. They need our hope, our tales, our worlds to escape to. Librarians and teachers need us. They need to have a place to send kids to that is safe and fun – and even if it might be scary, it’s still safe and fun. Parents need us, because reading provides a haven, and a book that is enticing may draw in even the reluctant reader.

Take time for self-help. Watch a rom-com. Take a long hike. Take a nap. Read a book just for fun. Exercise. Breathe. Be easy with yourself, especially if the words won’t come.

Write one sentence. Any sentence, about anything. Don’t push too hard, don’t make yourself stare at a blank page.

These are hard times, and yes, writing is hard enough in good times. Go easy on yourself, go easy on your writing. This too shall pass, and when it does, you’ll be ready to write again.

Please share your thoughts.


3 Responses to “Stay the Course”

  1. Linda W.

    Janet, this is such an encouraging post! I haven’t written as much lately either. But I hope to do so in the near future.

    I know others who have been or currently are very discouraged. I so agree that kids need us. They need the stories we craft with them in mind.

  2. Linda W.

    Not sure if my comment went through. If so, please ignore this one.
    Janet, your post is so encouraging. I haven’t written much in the last few months, though I hope to do so in the near future. But I know others who are or have been discouraged. I agree with you that kids need us. They need the stories we craft with them in mind.


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