10 Things to Do for Your Writing Career When You Don't Feel Like Writing a Book
It’s impossible to be inspired 24/7.
Organize your writing space. This is an important task that will help you get so much more writing done once you feel ready to look at your book again. Find a designated writing space in your home, whether it’s an entire room or just a certain chair. Surround it with both practical and inspiring things: your favourite pens, a notebook, a warm blanket, framed photos, maybe even throw some aromatherapy into the mix (I personally have a slight obsession with candles and incense to help me focus, but it’s not for everyone). If you have an established space already, change it up to make yourself just a tiny bit uncomfortable.
Schedule a call with your agent. Did you know that you don’t need to wait for your agent to contact you? Schedule a time to talk about your current work-in-progress, future book ideas, or that really cool short story that you’re publishing in a literary magazine. Whatever! Updating your agent on your career is always a good thing. If you don’t have an agent, then schedule a call or online chat with a critique partner or beta reader.
Re-design your website. I mean, why not? It can always use improvements. You want to avoid clutter, include important information, and make it useful. If you want more website ideas, read this post: 10 Things You Need on Your Author Website.
Make an inspiration board on Pinterest. I know, I know, this sounds really lame but it is actually a life-saver when you have too many ideas to keep track of. An inspiration board can help you notice patterns in your thinking and spot what the true focus of your book is. It’s great for brainstorming the physical descriptions of characters and settings… helpful research that will impact your book in the end.
Attend a local event. Most cities have some sort of literary events every once in awhile. Whether it’s a book signing, a poetry reading, or an industry-related event, meeting with other writers and publishing professionals is an excellent use of your time. You’ll also be exposed to books you may not have heard of otherwise. If there’s nothing going on in your town and you’re desperate to do something (but not write), head to a local bookstore and spend an hour or two browsing the shelves.
Listen to a podcast. The best thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them while getting other things done. You can find a podcast for every topic under the sun, but these are some of my personal favourites that I’d recommend to writers (in a general sense, without knowing any of your personal interests): The Writers Panel, Book Riot, Let’s Get Busy, Being Boss, Books on the Nightstand, #Girlboss Radio, and The Minimalists Podcast. A completely unrelated-to-writing podcast that I love (and you should definitely listen to if you’re Canadian and interested in anything media-related whatsoever): CANADALAND.
Take new author photos. You never know when you’ll need a great author photo! You should probably update these every six months or so to reflect your current look. This post shares a simple way that you can take these photos yourself instead of paying a photographer.
Read a book in one sitting. If you’re dreading the idea of writing today and you have a lot of spare time on your hands, then pick up a book on your TBR list and read it from cover to cover. There’s no better way to learn about the craft of writing than reading other writers’ writing.
Register for a conference or workshop. You obviously won’t be able to do this right away, but take the time now to research conferences, workshops, and webinars and make a list of the ones you’d like to attend. Bite the bullet and register for something and get it written on your calendar. You’re making a future investment in your career by registering for these events, and you can decide if a local workshop or an online webinar works better for you, or if you want to make a trip of it and attend a big conference held elsewhere.
Join a chat on Twitter. Find some other writers on Twitter and start talking! Or join in on an established chat, like #mglitchat or #wattpad4. There are a ton of hashtags and time-specific chats on Twitter, so do some research to find something that fits your interests and start learning from what others have to say.