Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Weather or Not

It's August. In my little corner of the world, that means hot, sunny, parched-dry days. One after another.

Except Mother Nature doesn't seem to realize it's August. The last few days have been as dark as an overcast winter day, with drizzling rain, and we were lucky to reach a high of 60 degrees yesterday, forget about a seasonal normal of 80 degrees. And it's making me cranky.

Yeah, I'm whining, but I'm getting to my point, and it's even related to the BUSINESS of writing. Namely -- life happens, and we need to be prepared for it. Weather or rejections or day jobs or family demands or health or whatever gets to you. From time to time, it's pretty much guaranteed that whatever it is that shuts you down as an author is going to happen.

I know the weather will improve, and I'll get over my current shut-down, but in the meantime, I've been thinking about the havoc that this sort of unpredictable shut-down can wreak on a writer's business plan. And, since I hate havoc almost as much as I hate the current miserable weather, I'd like to account for creative meltdowns in the business plan I'm devising.

Sometimes, of course, the answer is "just do it" -- just sit at the keyboard and type, no matter how impossible it seems. Other times, though, I think that won't work, and the author needs some other coping mechanism to get back on track before returning to the keyboard with renewed energy, enthusiasm and ideas.

At the moment, my coping mechanism consists of wallowing in the misery a bit, but I'd like to think there are better options, and that it might be helpful when setting up a business plan to: 1) be aware that these meltdowns can occur, 2) know the triggers, and 3) have an action plan for coping with them.

So, tell me: what's your worst trigger and what's your most successful coping mechanism?


Barrie Abalard said...

Hmmm, worst trigger. Cloudy, wet, cold, dark days really depress me. I find it hard to do much more than curl up with a book. (Such weather makes me hurt, so that's part of it.) I do tend to write more when the weather is nice. Isn't that odd? You'd think I'd rather write on the dark days so I could play on the nice ones. :-)

Emotional upset also triggers a desire not to write. I'm talking stuff that pushes old buttons. Fortunately, it doesn't happen very often.

When the words won't come, I do any number of things to get myself rolling: mindless physical activity, like walking or cleaning house; or, writing on a blog, because sometimes writing breeds more writing. If I'm really blocked, I will sometimes do useful stuff that's not writing, like update my web site, brainstorm a contest, post on my yahoogroup, etc.


veinglory said...

I fluctuate more based on the frequency of repeats on TV. ;)

Kis Lee said...

I go through short phases where I feel like this writing thing will amount to nothing. I throw myself a pity party and wallow for an evening. Then I get over it. :)

As for coping, I work on something else. If I'm stuck in an editing project, I write something new. If the words don't come, I work on a book review or read a new book.