Pandemic Ruin Your Plans to Write a Book? 3 Things That Will Change That
You made it through the pandemic. The endless slog of days where work, homeschooling, and your personal life became a giant, muddled mess. You learned to be productive despite the constant chaos, marginal quiet, and space to call your own.
Though things are returning to normal, you’ve noticed something worrisome. You have more time now to dedicate to writing your book but you’re not accomplishing anything.
The words won’t come. You sit down to write and spend the time staring at the blinking cursor or the blank sheet of paper. You feel dry, empty, and completely unproductive.
If that sounds familiar, don’t worry. You’re not alone in this. Free time doesn’t necessarily equate to an automatic ability to write. Why? Because as a writer, you need to have a full well to draw from.
Things to Help You Refill Your Creative Well
Even introverts need time with others and adventures to new places to be inspired. During the pandemic, many of the things that fill us up creatively weren’t available. Time at the local cafe, day trips to new locations, or wandering a museum or art gallery — these haven’t been possible for the past two-plus years.
And when you’re depleted creatively you can’t expect yourself to write.
So, how do you refill that well and restart writing your book? Here are a few things that I’ve found helpful.
#1 Play Games
Sure, it might seem silly to consider Candy Crush or a round of solitaire useful, but it is. After months of feeling completely uninspired and circling burnout as a solopreneur, I sat down and made a list of things that were fun to do. One caveat? They could NOT be productive.
Playing games on my tablet was something I’ve enjoyed in the past. There’s this jewel game where the jewels click together before they “pop!” and disappear. It’s very satisfying. Then there’s “Jeopardy” and word games and solitaire.
Try downloading a new game or picking up one you enjoyed in the past and playing for 10 to 15 minutes a day. I restarted this about a month ago and really look forward to my evening game time. This is a time when I have some plain old fun without any agenda, purpose, or obligation involved.
#2 Carve Out 15 Minutes
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve recommended someone make their book writing plan very simple by paring it down to 15-minute chunks. I wrote a post about it recently, “How to Write Your Book in 15 Minutes a Day (and Why You Should)” that you might find helpful.
Here’s the beauty of writing a book in 15 minutes a day: it’s simple and easy to stick with. The 15-minute writing practice has helped me author 10 books to date with more on the way.
Why it works:
Your goal of writing such a small amount of time seems laughable…and that helps you ease right past resistance and overwhelm, two of the greatest detractors for writers.
#3 Focus on Your Health
I’m not talking about things like physical fitness and complete changes to your diet here. Movement and eating well are important but I bet you already know that.
Instead, let’s take a look at other healthy habits you’ve tried and enjoyed in the past. Think stress reduction, social interaction, and again, fun. Your list might include things like:
- Going for long walks
- Getting three, 10-minute movement sessions throughout the day
- Scheduling a regular coffee date with a friend
- Praying or meditating
- Starting or continuing a nature sketchbook
- Scheduling a massage, manicure, or day off
- Browsing a book store or library
These should be simple, easy, affordable things that make you feel good — like the best version of yourself.
Refilling your creative well is essential. Becca Syme offers a really unique and interesting look at refreshing your creative spirit — specific to writers.
Playing games, carving out mini chunks of time to write, and refilling your creative well — none of these are earth-shattering ideas. But all can help you climb out of a funk this year as you focus on writing your book.
Joy Choquette has written professionally for the past 14 years for clients on four continents. She’s also the author of nine novels and one book for writers. Sign up for her fun monthly newsletter where she shares helpful resources for writers, personal updates on her writing practice, and weird bits of trivia.