One of Those Days

- by Elaine Isaak

Every writer has *those* days sometimes.  Those days when the words don’t flow, when we’re waiting to hear from an agent or editor before we can move on, when we have time we want to use for writing, but no pressing project– or no idea how to press forward on the project at hand!

It can help, for those creative down days, to have a list at hand of things to do that can keep you moving forward, even if you’re not at your best.  I’m going to share some of my ideas–what are yours?

Maintain your social networks.  Yep, we all fall behind on this sometimes.  Maybe it’s a good day to update your profiles on Facebook or Twitter, to send a few extra messages, post those conference pictures, or find some new friends.

Keep a file of websites to check out, whether for promotional and marketing ideas or research resources.  When you have an off-day, visit the sites and bookmark the good ones–but don’t be surprised if the spark ideas for writing instead!

Prepare your promotional plan.  Need to contact some bookstores about visits? maybe talk to a local school or book group?  It’s a good day to drop them a line.

Write some extra blog entries.  Pile up a few reserve non-fiction pieces against those times you need to post but you’re too busy to write something new.  Many blog sites will even let you schedule them in advance if you know when you’ll need them.

Try a writing challenge.  I like to cruise the anthology themes and guidelines on-line and start a story or write a whole flash-ficiton (less than 1000 words) in response to them.  Even if I don’t submit the piece, it’s great to keep the writing muscles active.

And speaking of active–maybe what you really need is a break from your desk!  Take a walk, go to the gym, or try a workout video at home.  You can even find workouts on line to try.  Most of us need a nudge to keep in shape–and exercise can be just the thing to snap you out of a slump!

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