The Importance of the Writer’s Whine—A Primer

Sunday, 10 AM—I don’t feel like writing.

Done the laundry, chilled the hell out over several of my journals, had breakfast. Decided it was time to start with the writing part of the day.

Opened the current file for the WIP, realized I have no interest in getting back into the plot at the moment I left it—the plot for this one, generally, is a mess—and tried finding another section of the novel I could work on. Didn’t work.

Opened the novella which I would really like to publish in the next few months, but which is at around 20%. No wish to get back into this one, either.

Since my favorite motivational youtubers (mostly Courtney Young) have nothing new out, I remembered how much the blog of Dean Wesley Smith used to give me the kick in the rear I need to get typing. Didn’t work this time, though, either.

What’s next? Goodreads. Let’s see what’s going on in people’s TBRs. Nothing fun this time, as it turns out.

And all along, I’m thinking that, maybe, the problem is what I’ve done with my writing schedule for this year and the publishing schedule for next one. I have such big plans. But I’m so over writing in the breaks, or after work, or before work, and, at the same time, worrying over other people’s books, too. I’m not yet at the stage of my writing life where I only get to do what I want to do, though (although it’s not nearly as bad as today made me feel like).

Realized I could maybe make a post of this morning—and here I am, halfway into yet another post whining about how hard writing is, because we really need more of these out in the wild. Most of the time, especially since I’ve started working more on my writing last year, I try not to whine too much and, most of all, I try not to write how hard writing fiction is. Because, most of the time, it’s not all that hard for me. Plotting is hard, yes, and keeping focus on a single set of characters and handful of subplots necessary to pull a novel is hard (at least to my short-story-loving brain), but writing, on its own, is really not that hard.

And yet, everything else—the day-to-day things, the day job things, the admin things (don’t get me started on the admin things!), the marketing—makes it hard to even get into writing, some days. Say, today.

Went back into the big bad spreadsheet of doom and opened a new day in the stats of the WIP novel, hoping to get my brain on the same page as the rest of me, because silly little routines like that—new day in the spreadsheet, opening the tracking notebook, putting new music on—actually helps a lot. But my brain is still not there. My brain is still a little foggy from everything going on around me, mostly because last week was so… pivoting. (Yup. There, I said it. I’m still processing stuff which isn’t connected to my writing, in any way, but I only have one brain, you know?)

Alright, I actually feel a little more motivated now. I’ve poured myself a second coffee, opened the tracking notebook—marked everything in the yearly, monthly and weekly spread as if I’d already written words in the WIP; I hate to make myself a liar, and use whiteout, too—and all we need now is the music. (AlexrainbirdMusic never fails.)

So this is it. Let’s bring up the current document… and liftoff.

Wrote 44 words and ended up on Instagram. Back at it again any minute now.


I know it sounds strange, but… I’ve not only managed to get 1047 words in the WIP, but I’ve finished a chapter, finished two scenes in said chapter, and managed to finish the third section of the novel! It doesn’t sound like much—I’m only at cca 45k at this point, after all, and I’ve made the bravest projection of my life so far by putting the expected length of this novel at 90k—but I think I’ve managed to lessen the blow of the Curse of the Patchwork Novel, at this point, at least for a while. Where we’re going next, we’ll have plenty of action and almost no discussions at all. (Most of my problems with this novel—apart from the lingering ‘weird plot’ issues—stem from the sheer amount of exposition dialogue in the first part of the book.)

The next few sections have less characters, too—I’ve no idea why I even bother writing ensemble casts these days, since it’s killing me (actually, I do know—it’s one of my all time favorite things in any fiction—it’s just hard to write at this point), but hey.

If you’ve managed to read this far, here’s the catch—which you’re probably already aware of.

Had I just given up this morning, said ‘not today’ and gone on to do something else, anything else, even more dishes, it would’ve been a splendid, sunny Sunday, with lots of reading, some YouTube, some pet cuddles, maybe even some more cleaning around the house.

But no new words. And tomorrow I’d be right back where I was today—with the exception of the time to whine, because Mondays are… different.

Thus, by whining here, to you, to the universe at large, I’ve actually… done something good for my writing?

It’s the weirdest thing—but it’s true. Sometimes we just have to whine before we get the writing—if only a lonely 1k of words—done. We didn’t become writers because we couldn’t express ourselves, right?

Happy whining, writer friends!   

Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash.

%d bloggers like this: