Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Getting out of a Funk

Lately I’ve been feeling a little in a funk towards my writing. It might be due to a few things. 2013 was a hard year for me writing wise, a lot of things happened, series ended, relationships changed and it’s been a lot for me to handle. It might also may be due to a bunch of personal things happening to me, including the pressure of moving across country for my job in a few months. But whatever the reason, I’ve been feeling in a funk towards my writing for the last few weeks. Needless to say my December close out plan didn’t go very well this year.

So I googled some ideas on how to get out of a funk and here’s what I found. These tips could be used for getting through any kind of funk, including those that occur throughout the year with all those great New Year’s resolutions you’ve already made.

1. Try something different. Pick up a new hobby, switch stories, or take a different class at your gym. Do something you’ve never done before to get those juices flowing. Or new juices.

2. Take a break. Give your mind a bit of time to relax and decompress.

3. Change your scenery. Take a vacation, go to a new different gym or run a different course, or try going to a coffee shop instead of working at home.

4. Make small attainable goals. Don’t try and get back on track all in one day. Create small achievable goals to lead you back to your ultimate destination.

5. Track your progress and take pride in your accomplishments. Maybe you didn’t finish the story, or run that minute faster you were hoping for, but take pride in what you do accomplish. From working out when you’d rather be sitting on the couch and watching TV, to writing only two hundred words a day. Take pride in everything you do, and ever small step you take towards your goals.

6. Try a different tacked. Trying to hit the gym after work just took exhausting, try getting up in the morning to get in your exercise in. Writing chronologically isn’t work, trying writing an outline or out of order instead.

7. Clean up your work space. A messy work space always leads to messy ideas. When you have a clean uncluttered area to work, ideas flow more easily and hopefully your funk will move on as well.

8. Purge the funk. Write a journal entry or letter about what’s bothering you, talk to a friend. Sometimes letting out what the issue is can help you get around it, and take away its power. Another point of view and support might help you see your problem in a whole new way.

9. Pamper yourself. Get a massage, take a nap, take a bubble bath (my personal pamper love is pedicures, so fun and so relaxing). Whatever makes you happy, do it. Doing things that make us happy increase our energy and might just give you the push you need to get through your funk.

10. Give yourself a break. (I’m definitely working on doing this one the most). If you’re trying your best, that’s all you can do. Getting upset at yourself for not meeting your goals won’t help, give yourself a break and understand that you’re doing as much as you can. Lapses in energy happen and the only option is to move through it the best you can.

I’m trying to work on using these tips, to get through my funk and stick with my new year’s resolutions. But like everything else in life, it’s a work in progress. And with much to do personally for the next few months these tips are going to come in real handy.

Ever been in a funk yourself? What do you do to get out of a funk? Any tips to add to my list? Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Just leave it in the comments below.


Tina Donahue said...

Good advice, Willa. And I agree completely with the 'give yourself a break' part. Have been in funks many, many times. Seems there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

Giving yourself a break, being with people who aren't into writing at all, provides a lot of perspective.

Hope your funk ends soon. Believe me, we've all been there. :)

jean hart stewart said...

Funks can be turned productive but it's sometimes VERY difficult. I take a complete break from writing, and let my sub
conscious take over. I read a lot, and that helps.


Fiona McGier said...

I've been doing a lot of sewing, making pajama pants for everyone as gifts, now I'm going to make myself a pair since I deserve warm, fleecy comfy pants too, right? I've agreed to spend more time with the often-feeling-neglected husband, who likes to watch a lot of DVDs. To keep myself from feeling like I'm "wasting" my time, I've crocheted 2 scarves for my sons, and I've finished another afghan for my daughter who's going back to college this weekend, and I'm working on an afghan for our bed.

While I'm doing all of this, my sub-conscious is working out the kinks that were giving me trouble on how to end my WIP, and the plot for the next one is bubbling away, taking form. I've also got another plot I'm considering.

Sometimes you have to just give yourself permission to take a break. Otherwise what was once so fun and fulfilling becomes "just another chore", and the enjoyment gets sucked right out of it.

Willa Edwards said...

Thanks Tina and Jean, its nice to know other people experience these funks too. I've been trying to focus on other things, reading some (and not even romance novels to completely separate from my work), and I'm trying to focus on some other projects. Writing this blog also helped some, funny as that is it helped get some of the anxiety off my chest.

Willa Edwards said...

Fiona you are totally right. I decided on Friday (our snowday here in -9 degree NY) to just throw in the towel and give myself a break. I read a few books, started a new knitting project, watched some movies, and on Sunday all the sudden the solution to a problem I'd been having with an idea bubbled to the surface. Its not the idea I most need to focus on, but beggars can't be choosers.

I also think one of my problems is just everything I have going on right now. I've got an elephant to eat, and I need to start focusing on eating just a bite at a time, instead of worrying about the whole creature.

Thanks so much for stopping by Fiona, and all your great thoughts.