Surviving Writer Purgatory

Sometimes life outside of being a writer becomes hectic, and juggling the many demands of life takes its toll. In times like these something has to give, and I’ve already cooked too many oven chips for dinner and stopped walking my dog every day.

While no writer wants to sacrifice their writing time, that precious outlet for their sanity, there comes a time (usually around doing our annual taxes or Christmas) when they simply must take a short break.


Here’s my four top tips to help you survive writing purgatory.

Stop berating yourself, this is only temporary: By removing the addition stress of unrealistic goals, you’ll actually increase productivity, be better at problem solving and be back on track before you know it. 

Prioritize your responsibilities: Make a list of all that needs to be done and cut out the unessential. Oh how I wish the world were fair, and that my children would understand that writing was my lifeline, unfortunately they insist being fed and having clean clothes.

Don’t stop planning and plotting: Just because you can’t physically find time to write doesn’t mean you won’t get the opportunity to daydream. Driving somewhere? Use that time to develop a secondary character. Painting a room. Figure out you climactic scene. Stuck waiting in the doctor surgery. Gather inspiration by watching how the receptionist deals with patients, or how the toddle runs his mother ragged, and use those details in your manuscript.

Repeat this mantra: I’m only human. No one’s perfect. I’m a writer, even if I don’t write every day. It’s going to okay.

Fantasy writer Lorraine Ambers blog banner

What do you do when life gets in the way of your writing? I’d love to hear your coping techniques, so please share them with me. 

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and, 2019.

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36 thoughts on “Surviving Writer Purgatory

  1. I love this! The most important part for me is to not berate myself – it just makes everything so much worse. And you’re right, there are so many ways you can continue to think about your story even if you can’t engage in the sorting process. Thanks for posting!


  2. This is so true. It’s easy to get lost in our world. Every now and then we have to step away to see the world around us. Stop and play with your pets, listen to your kids or just take a drive. The backed up e-mails, the story and the worries I should be doing this and that aren’t going anyway. Always keep an eye on the good stuff.

    Excellent as always. Thanks!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Sometimes we, as writers, need to take a break from the craft. Whatever it is, embrace it, don’t fight it. Having vacations ever now and then can improve on your long-term productivity. When you return to writing, your stamina will be full steam; this is known as the vacation effect.

    Here’s an article from a fellow blogger on the very subject. Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Writing things down and prioritizing them is such a good one. I never do this, and allow myself to get swept away with the little niggly jobs that need doing. I’m going to physically write my list and work through priorities – thanks for sharing! Such a simple thing to do, but easy to forget. Great post as always! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this! Spot-on advice. We tend to forget that while we are doing the urgent ‘real life’ things that take us away from our actual writing, there are so many opportunties for thinking about plot and characters, and as we are doing these other things we can be observing all the human things going on around us that add to our writer’s ‘bank’ of info and ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this post! I’m a firm believer in believing you don’t have to write every day to consider yourself a writer. I think “write every day” is good advice for people looking to make writing a habit, but it’s 100% not a requirement to write every day if you want to be a writer.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Very timely for me, as I slept in and didn’t write this morning. But I needed that extra time and I feel better for it (despite the guilt…) Even if I don’t spend time on my revision today, I know I’ll be noting things down that will help me tomorrow. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your mantra. I’m gonna have to use it.
    It is so important to prioritize writing if you want it to get done. Many things will seem important, but then writing just drops to zero. A writer has to prioritize it highly to stay productive.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Tell Again Tuesday Writer Purgatory | C.D. Hersh

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