I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Monday, January 30, 2012

How do you deal with a case of the Bleh???

Only a short post today in anticipation of the kick-off of my Fourth Writers' Platform-Building Campaign next Monday, yay! Make sure you all come back then and sign up, so you don't miss out on joining. Instructions will be in my post next Monday.

(Source)
I've been struck down with a bad case of the Bleh over the last few weeks. You all know the symptoms I'm sure: general lethargy, inability to write much, the beloved manuscript you've worked on for months (years?) looks like it has a bad case of Spotty Needsmorerevision-itis and you simply don't know where to start, shiny new ideas start creeping around the house and whispering to you that you should drop everything and work on them, emails get backed up because you haven't responded, you're behind on visiting all the places your friends hang out on the interweb, etc etc etc.

Hmm.

Do you all have these days as well? What do you do when (if?) you get like this? Is there a magic potion I can take to cure myself, or do I just have to keep pushing through? Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

40 comments:

Alleged Author said...

I tell myself to hurry up and revise because my CPs are waiting to read the new version. :)

Christine Rains said...

Oh, I know those days. I usually try to be productive in something else like getting housework done or other little errands. Usually that will jolt me out of my bleh so I can do something with my writing. The last resort is chocolate, cookies, and/or ice cream!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Go back and read something you wrote previously - maybe that will inspire you.
Good luck on Monday! Hope you have a lot of sign-ups. The A to Z sign-ups opened today and we already have about three hundred participants.

Miranda Hardy said...

Those are the worst days. I usually have someone around to kick me in the rear. It helps to have motivators standing by.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I do have those days, I just didn't have a name for them. May I borrow yours?

Juliemybird said...

When the shiny-news are getting me down, I've found that purging the basic idea from my system (via freewriting, generally) helps a ton. I eventually get the point where I realize my true MS is better, has a more solid direction, is more worth the time (for now). And then I go back. I don't know how that always happens, but it does.

As for the other, general blehs, what helps me is to get out of the house. Exercise! Maybe go on a walk. Drink a lot of water. Allow yourself to dance in public, if the music is right (yesterday I found myself dancing in a bookstore-- how appropriate).

Hope it gets better, soon!

Rachele Alpine said...

Hang in there! Hopefully the blehs will go away fast! I'm sending good thoughts your way!

Kelley said...

Hmmm, not sure you're going to like this answer but.

I listen to the voices. If my head and heart are with another story that's where I'm supposed to be. The time you spent no the other MS is not wasted, even if you never go back to them. They have helped you grow as a writer and you might even get to use scenes from a piece already written.

But if you're not into the story anymore, write something you are into. That's when we do our best work...I think at least.

Good luck getting out of the Blehs!

Angela Brown said...

Sometimes, when the Bleh comes around, I take a step back. I channel my energies into something else for maybe a day. Then I'm craving my normal MS fix or interwebz jones.

But, if I don't feel my MS, I try to get a shiney-new on paper. I've found that free writing or outlining something else can cause unexpected thoughts to pop up regarding that MS you hadn't realized you missed so much.

Jessie Humphries said...

I didn't know this sickness has such a scientific name! If you find the cure, let me know.

Trisha said...

Yes, I do know this feeling. I think it's why I have so many rough drafts. haha

Jules said...

Loved this post, I'm suffering from some moments of bleh myself. My writing pace just seems to have almost halted!

I usually just try and forget about it for a few days and read lots to try and get some inspiration to move forwards and remember why I love writing so much.

Theresa Milstein said...

We all get stuck. When there are big revisions to do it's daunting. Shiny new ideas are more tempting than the work we need to do to make a manuscript sparkle. I usually won't let myself work on something new unless the old thing is done. If the new idea is calling, I open up a Word file, jot some notes so I don't forget, and tell myself if I really want to do more I've gotta finish the thing I've got.

Or I sleep.

Damyanti said...

I have them sometimes. I just watch re-runs of my fave soap and curl up in bed!
Hope you feel chirpy soon :)

#atozchallenge
A to Z Challenge April 2012

Donna Martin said...

Sorry, Rachel, that you are caught up in the blah moment...there are so many wonderful suggestions here that I don't know if I have anything to add except a hug...(((hugs)))

SA Larsenッ said...

Thanks for the reminder about sign ups.

So sorry you've been ill. Honestly, I hope you don't have what I had in December/January. I was sick for 4 weeks, with 2 of those weeks totally spent in bed, sleeping. It killed my writing mojo. Need to regain that, soon.

Feel better.

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Mine usualy lasts a couple of weeks. ride it out and read, read read!

Candy Lynn Fite said...

I'm just coming out of a bad case of the blehs. (To be honest, I'm still fighting them.) My sister recently told me that I was being negative and attracting negativity my way by doing so. I started last week by making a list of all that I am grateful for and mentally showed my gratitude for those things. I read it everyday, and it's helping!

On days when you feel most cruddy, pamper yourself. Do your favorite things, take an alone walk, drink your favorite tea/coffee, curl up with a book, get a pedi-and close your eyes so you can just enjoy it, wear soft clothes, watch a funny movie, have lunch with a good friend, volunteer for the day somewhere meaningful, take a yoga class, kiss a puppy! These are a few things that brighten my spirit.

Know that sometimes the blehs indicate that you just need some "you" pampering and attention. Honor yourself.

I've missed you since the last campaign!!!

Savannah Chase said...

I think it is just going around..Try to do something that might inspire you..I listen to music...Watch a movie...

Sarah Pearson said...

Oh, so that's what I have? Thank you for the diagnosis :-)

KSCollier said...

Most of us are coming down from the holiday rush that lasted from October to December. Then bleh, January disappears and you haven't accomplished a thing, and there aren't enough hours in the day to catch up.
I get out the hot chocolate, snuggle on the sofa and watch my favorite, inspirational movie(s) (like Harry Potter or Twilight) then I sit down to the computer, turn on music that inspires me when I write, rub my Muse on the head, (a hawaiian wooden doll), make a wish, and get down to business (staring at the computer). I could get sidetracked and come to Rach Writes and wallow with you guys. That's more fun anyway. So here I am wishing and hoping and praying I will leave the bleh's behind. I look forward to February and the new light of another month. Yay 2012! Write on!

Nancy Thompson said...

I take a big step back, read, and listen to a lot of music.

Cindy Thrasher said...

I wallow in them. Deeply Defiantly. Unashamedly. I mentally throw a pillow over my head and crawl under my desk...and wait. And when that doesn't work, I'l get out my Nook and get into a good book. I figure I need the mini-vacation, and if you've been going ninety-to-nothing like me, you need one, too.

Richard said...

Maybe it's time for a vacation, a change of scenery, forget for a while that you're a writer. Live for the pure joy of it. That usually helps.

Claire Hennessy said...

Go do something really lovely for yourself. The writing will come. If it doesn't, self-flagellation is the only option! Looking forward to Monday :)

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Rach go and sign up for the A to Z thing in April! That will get you out of the bleh!

Rachael Harrie said...

Thanks for your comments guys, you've put a smile on my face just reading them. I think I'll definitely get in some "me" time, treat myself, and let my mojo come floating back without forcing it :)

Big hugs back,

Rach

Rachel Morgan said...

Um... usually I just go to bed and hope for a better day the next day! But I think when this happens it means you need a break... So enjoy your "me" time :-)

Kerri Cuev said...

I think it's contagious. I'm forcing myself to edit and it sparked me to move on in my ms. *sigh* It will pass.

Carol Riggs said...

Good luck pulling out of your bleh. It happens, don't worry. But I always find having a deadline or CPs to show my work to spurs me onward. Like--yikes! I'd better do something! and then once I force myself to get into the ms, I find I get my groove back fairly easily.

jony parker said...

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Sherri said...

Yep, just keeping pushing through. I don't write/revise over the weekend and getting back into the writing groove on Mondays is terrible for me. But as soon as I sit down and start editing my current WIP, I get engaged with my writing pretty fast after that. Then, I don't want to do anything else I need to do. Do people really need to eat three times a day? Is it really necessary? And sleep too! I could get a lot more writing done if I didn't have to eat and sleep!

Kris Atkins said...

Oh man, I'm in the middle of the Blehs right now. Which is why I haven't been posting much. I usually try to push myself, but not much. Mostly, I just weather them until they go away. So I don't have any great advice--I'm sorry! But they'll go away--promise!

digillette said...

I frequently get the blehs and I wish there was a magic cure. I find reading an old favorite book can help. And sometimes just forcing myself to sit down and write is the best thing I can do. But usually I just sit and watch a lot of bad TV until I am so disgusted with myself I have not choice but to snap out of it! Good luck!

LadyJai said...

Oh I know this ALL TOO WELL! I recently wrote a couple of blog posts about it myself. But the one I want to share is this one: http://writebackwards.we3dements.com/wordpress/2012/01/09/positivity/

It's positive energy you need to surround yourself with. If you can't get this naturally, then maybe an intervention of others is needed. I am a very strong supporter of KT Hanna's #WriteMotivation efforts. It really does help. If you get a chance, check it out! Even if you can't get the energy, they will cheer you on regardless, until you get that energy...and then beyond!

Kittie Howard said...

Yep, it happens. *sighs* I usually back off and find other stuff to do until the mental energy returns. Enjoy your 'me' time!

Super Happy Jen said...

I've been feeling the same way. Must be the weather. I usually love winter but there hasn't been nearly enough snow this year. The only thing that helps is forcing myself to do stuff even when I'm not motivated. Then I can say "well, at least I did X"

Angela Scott said...

I have those days ALL the time. I feel as though I am only one person so how in the heck can I do EVERYTHING myself? Emails, twitter, facebook, blogs, writing, editing, etc...

But then I remember the question: How do you eat an elephant?

A: One bite at a time.

I pick one thing and work on that until I feel as though I can move to the next thing.

I wish you the best getting out of your funk. Hang in there. You can do it. Pick one paragraph on your WIP and go from there.

Donna Martin said...

Rachel

I just wanted to mention that I gave you the Kreative Blogger Award yesterday and did a shout-out for your blog on MY blog
( http://www.donasdays.blogspot.com ). Thanks for all you do for the writing community!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

The gym is my answer to these kinds of days. Fresh air is option #2. I hope you find what works for you.

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