I can't claim to be an advocate of writing through tough times. I didn't write anything much for almost a decade after my mum's death when I was nineteen, despite it having been my everyday escape and my way of processing real life until then.
Real life did get in the way after that: having to get a job to support myself as my dad had done a bunk to Australia before my mum died, finding somewhere to live, falling in love and getting married. It was only when my third child gained his feet and was old enough to keep up with his older siblings a bit that I found time to rediscover my passion (and boy, did I have a lot of catching up to do!).
So on the positive side, I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me when I want to write but need some inspiration.
1. Go for a walk. Even if it doesn't clear your mind, it's good exercise, gets you some fresh air, and let's face it writing is a pretty sedentary profession so it's good to get out and moving.
2. Listen to some music. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm addicted to my mp3 player and plug into it every moment I can. Probably not good for my hearing and definitely not good for editing, but almost essential when I write.
3. Sound effects. Just lately I've used YouTube for some background noises to set the scene. I was struggling with edits on an underwater scene, and a ten hour video of sounds of the reef definitely helped!
4. Cover art. When looking for inspiration, searching through premade cover art has sparked a couple of shorts (and given me incentive to finish so I can buy them). I know some authors love Pinterest for this reason but I find it too much of a rabbit hole. I want inspiration, not total distraction!
|My latest release, inspired by the cover image.|
But most of all, be kind to yourself. Self care should come first in times of trial, otherwise you can't be there for others...and that includes your characters.