Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Writer's Life: Writing Derailed and 3 Steps to Reclaiming Your Momentum (Katie)

 Writer's Life: Writing Derailed and Reclaiming Your Momentum (Katie)

Show of hands--how many of you have ever had what's known as writer's block? I'm not talking about a little bit of writer's block. No, what I'm really referring to is the major derailment of your writing mojo. 

While I am definitely going somewhere with this, let me start by telling you a story. In 2016, my family experienced a major life upheaval. It was a lifechanging event that shifted the course of our lives forever. Since that time, I have struggled to create. Writing became hard where it once had been easy, and nothing I put together seemed to be right.

The desire to write mixed with my guilt at not actually writing was extremely draining on my emotions. Earlier this year, I made the decision that it was time to put my writing aside for a bit. I recently completed my teaching degree, and I decided to put all my effort into teaching for the foreseeable future. I even spoke with Laurie here at Lands Uncharted to let her know it was time for me to step away from the blog. In fact, this will be my last scheduled blog post with Lands Uncharted, but I hope to visit from time to time in the future!

I am SURE I cannot be the only writer who has experienced this type of writing derailment. 

A Turning Point

Once I had settled on these decisions, and forgiven myself for not being able to create, the most wonderful thing happened. My writing mojo began to ink back into my life. 

I have picked up an abandoned manuscript and made tremendous progress with it. I've begun browsing writing-related websites the way I did in years past. I've even considered attending a writer's conference, which I thought I would never do again. 

So again I pose the question to you. Have you ever faced a major writing derailment? Do you want to get your momentum back but don't know how? Here are a few suggestions that might help you the way they helped me.

1. Give yourself some grace

It can be kind of a joke, but adulting is hard. Living is hard. Life can be H-A-R-D. That grace you'd give to someone else? Save a little for yourself. Your manuscript will still be here. Trends come and go, and your big chance will not pass you by forever. You have permission to take a break.

2. Strongly consider cutting back

It was a difficult choice to step back from Lands Uncharted. Beyond blogging, though, I have also been involved in endorsing several books in the last couple years, as well as critiquing manuscripts for friends. I have stepped back from those things, as well. It was not easy to say no, especially for those who have been very kind and caring to me over the years.

But the truth? The truth is those kind and caring people all understood. (They gave me that grace I mentioned earlier, you see.)

3. Refocus and take off the pressure

Deciding to focus on teaching took pressure off my creative side and refocused it somewhere else. I honestly did not realize how CREATIVE this would make me feel. 

I am now looking forward to the New Year and what I *might* accomplish (NO PRESSURE!!!) It isn't a chore or a requirement, because I'm not setting any goals for myself. While I completely understand the importance of goals, there are times in life where a different strategy is needed. That's what I'm talking about here.

If you have any other tips for getting back your writing momentum after a major life setback, please feel free to share them below. In the meantime, I wish you all a Happy 2021. I will miss contributing to Lands Uncharted on a regular turn, but I'm sure I'll see you all around πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›. Happy New Year!


  1. In the writing world, I feel like we are hammered with advice to be persistent and productive and keep working for a goal. But writers and other artists need a Sabbath once a week like anyone else. And sometimes we might need an extended rest, like a jubilee.

    1. What a great way to look at it! Yes. Thank you!


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