Monday, 24 June 2013

When the Writing Spirit Falters

"The majority of people perform well in a crisis and when the spotlight is on them; it's on the Sunday afternoons of this life, when nobody is looking, that the spirit falters." Alan Bennett
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

This quote seems to sum me up pretty well. I have always performed so much better when I am under pressure and when there is a deadline to work to. Without that pressure it is all too easy to let things slide.

I have tried imposing my own deadlines but they never seem to work, it is too easy to keep moving the boundaries. I have also tried setting a joint deadline with my brother (also a writer), our own little version of NaNoWriMo with spreadsheets and daily reporting and pep talks. We lasted about two weeks before things began to slide again as we let life get in the way.

I tried keeping my word count displayed in the side bar of this blog but I kept forgetting to update it and then when my computer died I lost the spreadsheet with all the data on it, so now I have had to remove the widgets. (Thankfully I always save my writing in dropbox so that was saved.)

When it comes down to it though, I don't think there is any magic formula that you can follow that will give you more self-discipline. I think it is more like a muscle and the more we use/exercise it, the stronger it becomes.

How about you? What methods have you used to get yourself writing when the 'spirit falters'? Have any of them worked? Let me know in the comments section below, I'd love to hear from you.


  1. I keep a diary in which I note the daily word count on my novel, but it ceases periodically when I'm kidnapped by life and work intervenes! I guess it becomes more a case then of not giving up, and getting back to it as soon as I can. I wouldn't say that I ever stop thinking about writing even if I can't get the words on the laptop.

    1. That's very true Sharon, even when not writing we rarely switch off!