Mistake 10: Waiting for the Mood to Strike

70 Solutions to Common Writing Problems by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: While writing is an emotional art form, it is also a business. Too many people, when they are first starting out, think it’s all about working when the mood is right. They might be waiting a very long time. Most writers I’ve talked to say that what they write when the mood is right is pretty much the same as what they write when the mood isn’t. While a large part of a writer’s work consists of thinking, a writer isn’t paid for those thoughts. A writer is paid for the words that are written.

The solution:
Write. That sounds simple, but writers will go to amazing lengths to do anything other than the one thing the job title requires them to do. One of the greatest curses for writers is the Internet. When I taught martial arts, my students’ moods were of no concern to me, and I think it’s the same way with writing. If you force yourself to write, regardless of what you feel, you will begin to see that what you create is of the same quality, no matter your mood. Also, you’ll find that as you make it a habit to write more and more, those other habits that kept you from writing will go away and you will become more efficient.

Sometimes you just have to grind it out. Also, there are other aspects
of the business of writing besides writing that you can do if the muse has truly deserted you. There is research to be done, marketing, making sure your business records are in order, teaching, conferences, notes to be put in order, presentations to be updated, outlines to be prepared for future books, previous books to be edited, etc.

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