- The first place I go is family. Specifically, my sister Bethany Wiggins. She has pulled me through the darkest of times. The fact that she is a writer definitely helps, but it's not a necessity. (I do turn to my non-writer family members as well.)
- Next, I seek out my dearest writing friends. I met my besties on the QueryTracker Forum - the gals who co-author this blog with me, and Patrick, owner of all things QT. We've all been fast friends for nearly three years now, and not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for their presences in my life.
- Blogs. (You didn't think I was going to say that, did you?) Every single time I read blogs, I am moved, touched, and my spirits are lifted. The best place to start? The blogs of people who follow or comment on your blog. They are reading your posts because they feel a connection to you - and it's a connection that goes both ways.
- Hitting the classics is my next stop on the road. More specifically, reading the life stories of classical authors. Man, they struggled...and they didn't even have word processors, poor things. But if they made it, so can we.
- Writing quotes. If anything can make me crack a smile through the gloom, it is these.
- And, to take a little pressure off, try to see creativity in a whole new way. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, has a great take on it:
Who do you turn to when you're weary? Let me know in the comments and I will include your thoughts with this post, plus link to your blog.
- Mostly I whine on my blog, and my blogging buddies are always supportive and encouraging. Mary McDonald
- I've found chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate (sometimes with ice cream) helps tremendously when I'm on the ledge. (like right now) Doesn't do any good for my thighs, but it really does help the rejections. Anne Gallagher
- I actually get offline. I watch movies (Pirates of the Carribean), read a book or simply do nothing. It helps me focus a little. Elana Johnson
- Actually I was there last week. I'd had it and decided it was all a waste of my time if I wasn't any good. I whined and cried to my husband, my blogging buddies and God. Well, I'm back at it determined to find new ways to be better at it:) Terri Tiffany
- Finding comfort in those who understand the twists and turns of being a writer is where it is for me. Other writers, blogging buddies, and inspiring authors or quotes. When I need that break, I turn to family and friends. Of course, in the end chocolate usually helps. S.A. Larsen
- I turn to books, good books. Or really good movies. When I'm weary I need to remind myself why I love writing and that this feeling is just a passing phase. Laura Pauling
- I have a friend who has worked for me in a number of capacities over the years (she was my entertainment editor, features copy editor, niche editor, etc.). She is currently not working outside the home, but she is a fabulous writer and writes YA. Whenever I'm feeling down or SELF DOUBT keeps poking me, I can call Beth and she understands. Also, I follow tons of bloggers who are so inspirational and give me hope and encouragement when I seem to need it most. Also, I have fellow editors at the paper who support and encourage me. And I run. Lots of that, to shake it off. Buffy Andrews
- Yesterday I was having a "woo is me, I totally suck at everything" sort of day. For me, I feel better when I'm productive. Like when I blog or write anything. It's strange but I feel like there's not a lot of time left in my life, after all I'm only going to live for another 80 years, I've got to get cracking. Doing SOMETHING always makes me feel better. Then I complain to my writer friends and they're pretty awesome at cheering me up. Erinn
- How did you know I was about to "jump off the cliff" and was stopped by this post? That's what I love about the blogging community. It's a support group, even though that is not part of any mission statement. So I'm on to more querying and writing, thanks to you. Judith Mercado
- oh - i've been there so many times. so close to the edge of that ledge. but after a good cry, a stop at my favorite ice cream shop and the never-ending support of my family, i get back on track and press onward. as walt disney said, "keep moving forward." Amie Borst
- I usually go to my writing partner, Pamela Hammonds. Neither of us is allowed to be on the ledge at the same time. I also remember how far I've come and the people who've helped me along the way. Joan Mora
- Weary is such a good way of describing it. I've been there more than once. When I find myself getting weary with the whole process, I tend to go back to my roots, which is short stories, a place where I feel comfortable and competent. I've found another great cure for weariness is to participate in a novel-in-a-month challenge (besides the official NaNoWriMo, there are many unofficial writing month challenges throughout the year). Lisa K.
- I hug my husband and my kids. I chat with my writer friends, who are great at kicking me off the ledge (and I don't mean in the deadly direction). Chocolate and exercise are also good. So is hitting the bookstore. :D Stina Lindenblatt
- I do all of the above. I wanted to comment on Elizabeth Gilbert's talk via Youtube. She has given creativity and the process of creating a wonderful spin. Sometimes you really need a new perspective and whether or not I buy into her fairy theory is unimportant. What counts is that I take a step back and get a larger pciture or writing, creating, my role, God's role, who I am in the process and who I am not. Kathy
- I loved the youtube link too. My family is going to wonder what the deal is when they see me talking to empty corners of the room now, but you all know I'm sane...mostly. I'll be back later. I need to go have a chat with my creative fairy now. Wendy Swore
- I do lots of different things, which is to say I don't have a plan for dealing with the weary. Usually I step away and do other things and promise myself that when I get back to my writing I will try for at least one more line. Other times I read. Books, blogs, anything to get back into a writing mind. Corinne O'Flynn
- When I'm weary of revising, I unplug and hang out with family and friends. It helps refresh me so I can start revising...again! Kristi Helvig
- That speech was amazing. I haven't read Eat, Pray, Love. Perhaps I will wait until her next book is published and read that first - do her a little favour :) Jessica Bell
- After fussing and worrying I realized that I need to take a step back, reassess my goals for myself, call my BFF who is also a writer, and do something completely not wiring related. Noble M. Standing
- During my first draft, I watched A&E's Pride & Prejudice or Emma Thompson's Sense & Sensibility. Somehow Jane Austen helped. Taking a walk usually helps. Anymore, I don't seem to have time for any of that. Consequentially, this morning's tour on the cliff edge continues. I need a vacation from writing, but this year's vacation - is to a conference. Victoria Dixon
- I try to get away from the computer. Go for a walk, go play soccer, anything active. It refreshes my brain and makes me realize I would miss it. Patti Nielson
- I also turn to family and friends, but I also turn to God in prayer. I go back and re-read past praise of my writing and work hard at believing it. And I try not to be too hard on myself. Angie Lofthouse
- I have to get outside. The fresh air and being surrounded by nature clears my mind. Usually, I end up running or hiking. Doing something physical reminds me that I'm alive and that I can "feel" things. After a nice break I can come back and my writing is always better. Charity Bradford
- Every-so-often, when I've decided I'll never be a writer and I should instead pursue a past-time like cleaning the house, I reach for a book. There is nothing that inspires me to write like the writing of others. Great books have pulled me off the ledge more times than I care to say. Amy Allgeyer Cook
- I have a very supportive partner and a comfortable garden chair where I can sit and watch the birds. Just getting away from the computer helps. ;-) Kathryn Jankowski
- I think I've tried most of the above. Sometimes I go back and reread the postive feedback I've gotten from my writing. It reminds me that at least some people think I've got talent! :) Jana Hutcheson
- I cry. Just let.it.go. And then, I pick myself up, dry my tears, and start again. Candace Ganger
- I break open a body of QUERY Riesling. Yup, I swear they really do make such a thing. Then I read a great book and it gives me inspiration to dust myself off and try again. Karen Amanda Hooper
- You know, I tend to either crochet, or play the sims. The sims is like writing without writing, and when I crochet, if I'm bummed while I do it, the blanket that comes out of me becomes magic and helps people fall asleep who don't like to sleep. (Strange but true.) Becca
- someone recently gave me the advice to sleep it off. And I realize, it works! Usually when I'm depressed and in a rut, it's because I'm burned out. But if I make myself go to bed at the same time as my kids (which is hard because my only quiet time and writing time is after they are asleep), I'm so much happier the next day! A.L. Sonnichsen
- I walk, long and hard. I look at everything...they sky, the flowers, the ocean, the doorways to the houses I pass. I breath deep and clean out the gloom and usually afterwards I have a sense of accomplishment and can get back to work again. Liza Carens Solarno
- I turn to beer. Yes, beer. The darker the better, and if it's a Black & Tan, then let's sit on the dark side of the moon together and relax. I take plenty of breaks from writing to be with my family -- I don't write while they're awake -- and I exercise regularly, and I try to maintain an overall balance between family and work and writing. But when I need a BIG break, I break from everyone and everything. It is my me-time, and it's the only way I can quiet the voices. I write some of my best stuff after those breaks. Eric W. Trant
- I vented to my husband and took a day to do whatever I wanted. Mainly I read and ate red velvet cake all day yesterday. And then went the gym for a mega workout today! Stephanie Thornton
- The online writing community is filled with the most supportive, funny, awesome, cool people ever. And Elizabeth Gilbert's speech is one of my go-tos for just such a moment. That bit when she says she only promised the universe that she would write - not that she'd write WELL--man. Words of wisdom that help me keep plugging away, even when it's not coming. Zoe C. Courtman
- I guess I need to second the blog thing--it seems to be working right now! Aimee
- I am having one of those "want to jump of the writing ledge" days, too. I called a writing buddy of mine who encouraged me to keep going, and now reading your blog was the inspiring icing on the cake. Kim Rogers
- There's this wonderful book, The Courage to Write by Ralph Keys. Years ago when I just started out and writing seemed like lots of fun, I used to sneer at it. Now it's a lifesaver! I recommend it to everyone who considers giving up writing: it saved me. Oh, and going off line does one a lot of good :-)))) Irene W. Galatio-Nova
- When I'm weary and see no end in sight for my wip, my queries, etc, I tend to drink. My alcohol of choice is usually based on what is available in the liquor cabinet. And then I engage in stream of consciousness writing that is usually really funny or embarrassing the next day -- but is more real than what I'm writing when I force myself. That honest writing often serves as an inspiration for the resultant non-alcohol induced quality stuff that follows. My heroines frequently have a goblet of mead or a tankard of cider. When I'm writing those scenes, I like to have a drink with them -- but that is not a pity-party drunk-fest. Right now I'm drinking Crystal Light Lemonade. Erin Kane Spock
- When I get down, I have a tendency to reach out to other people who might also be feeling down. I remind myself that rejection is not the end of the world. My family will still be here for me, my friends will still be here for me, and my life--as it is--won't be any different than it was yesterday. Then I point that out to other people who I know are also going through similar things. It really, really helps to put things in perspective. Also, I give myself permission to take a day off, or even a weekend. I get a pedicure, go shopping, hang out with my family or my friends and forget about my writing life for a while. After a break, my creative self is rested and much easier to face with renewed perspective. Nichole Giles
- Mostly my family, and Tank, my dog. He's a good listener. :) Once in awhile I post something on the blog. Other writers are always so fantastic about lifting your spirits. Blee Bonn
- I get into a funk at times (usually when it rains rejections) and I want to throw it all away.
My critique partners are worth their weight in gold. Actually, sod gold, they are worth their weight in diamonds.
They let me rant and let loose with primal screams, some get on Skype with me, and it all helps. There's my other half, who, when I say "I'm going to quit this writing thing, it sucks!" gets those big scared eyes. "But... you'll go insane if you don't write. So, you can't chuck it in." Then he tries to look innocent and goes "But if you're in a funk... You could start a relationship with the vacuum cleaner. You know, that thing making lots of noise, while it sucks up dust?" (He's such a charmer... *cough*) But really, I read. A lot. There is nothing like reading a good book to remind you why you can't let this get you down. :) Silke
- The epic brevity of poetry always helps me when I am in a funk.
That and my family and friends. I think it is good to get out of our own heads at times, and live in the real world. We are more than just what we write. Others need and love us. That's always a breath of fresh air to me. Caleb Mannan
- I pray. I read a good book. I read inspirational quotes and I tell myself that I can't quit. I also take breaks- maybe that's why I'm still revising? Kelly Lyman
- No matter how many hurdles I've overcome, years and years of work, publishing successes, every day is like new in keeping myself motivated and off the ledge of self-doubt and insecurity. I need daily self pep talks and I'm blessed to have a very supportive family. Shiny new projects, reading great books, GREAT writer friends--those things help the most. Kimberly Griffiths Little
- The online community is a Godsend, isn't it? When I feel down or need to revisit my priorities, reading blogs really helps. And your #4 is one of my favorites. Reading about how other writers have lived and worked makes me feel very fortunate about my life and my way of writing. I wish for the romantic life so many writers seem to have had, but I realize that my life might look romantic to someone else. That helps. Valerie Demetros
- It's weird, without knowing this post existed, on June 4th I did a bang-up job boo-hooing with a post I titled, "Enough. Or maybe I just need a break." The comfort I felt after reading the comments above from fellow writers - people feeling the same ugh'ness as me - at the same time, well, it was powerful. It has definitely been one heck of a ride so far, filled with exhilarating highs followed by, "That's it! I've had enough! I'm jumping!" lows. Thank you, Suzette, for providing this venue and encouraging us to support each other. I am going to take it as a sign that I should remain tenacious on my quest to land my agent. And never give up. K.M. Walton
- I know it's a cliche but I listen to music. I normally start with sad songs and then I move my way up to happier songs and then I end with songs that fit the themes of my novel in order to inspire myself to have at it once more. Shannon Farrell
Wishing you all a day of lifted spirits and newfound friends.