Tuesday, May 8, 2018

SOL Tuesday: Writing Funk

Lately, I have been feeling in a bit of a funk, especially in my writing through a professional lens. I have not been able to silence my inner critic. This is poison, ruminating through my veins.

I recently finished reading Jane Yolen's Take Joy: A Book for Writers. Although this book focuses a lot about writing stories, I still loved the wisdom from Jane Yolen. This passage really resonated with me:


For several years now I have a handwritten sign over my desk that reads: "Value the process, not the product." I put it up there one New Year's to remind myself that books are not products, that what I enjoy and do in joy is the writing. If a book is a result, good on me. 

I offer that sign to anyone who needs it.
Write out your own.
Pin it where where you can see it when you lift your eyes from the keyboard.
Read it once a week. More often if the week is a bad one."

Thanks, Jane Yolen. Most of my writing is done in my notebook, so I wrote this on a post-it note and slapped it on the cover:
A much needed reminder from Jane Yolen
I am not out of my funk, but I am grateful for this reminder. 

What do you do to get out of your writing funk? 


  1. This is such a great question! I suspect that the only way out of a writing funk is more writing! I know for me, a writing funk usually comes because I have stopped writing daily and that means I'm getting out of practice when it comes to noticing things to write about, doing some initial drafting/thinking through of ideas in my notebook, just being very engaged in the work of figuring out what I think through writing. I have also noticed that it can only take a few days of not writing daily to sink into a writing funk for me as well. Are you writing every day? Just curious if any of this resonates with you. I know that I find it far more challenging to slice once a week than I do to slice every day! Seems ridiculous, but there it is, every single year! I am struggling this morning to find a slice even though there should be a million possibilities..... Anyway, wonderful food for thought here--and I might have to write about writing funks now!

    1. Hi Elisabeth! Thanks for your thoughts-this really resonates with me! I am writing every day, but not really for a purpose! I have only participated in SOL once (so I don't have a ton of experience), but I felt like I did a better job of noticing what is around me!

  2. "Word by word" is a reminder I like to use. I hope you'll write yourself out of the funk.

    1. That's a great piece of advice - word by word! I hope that I will as well!

  3. Process counts. For a lot. that can be hard to remember sometimes. I've been collating older blog posts and to my surprise, I find lots of things that I like. Strong sentences, some powerful ideas, a personal voice - all out of my own writing most often inspired by what someone else wrote or said or performed. I look back and on occasion, I am amazed. And my inner critic may settle down for a brief nap.

    1. I love this idea of mining through old blog posts! Great idea!

  4. I've never read that particular Yolen book. Sounds like a good one!

    Writing funk? I have written about it on TWT a couple of times. Here are some links (in case there's something useful here):

    1. Thank you for all of these great links, Stacey! This Jane Yolen book is particularly about writing stories. I don't generally write stories, but I loved what she had to say.

      Do you subscribe to Jane Yolen's Poem A Day? it's great!

  5. I'm always in a writing Funk. It's inherent in my name. Ubiquitous in my being. The literal effect of my personal nomenclature.

    And while I like the quote, at the end of the day we do get judged on our product. I'm reminded of this today because tomorrow is the AP Lit and Comp exam, and I'm worried about my students.

    I did not feel like writing today. I did anyway. Despite my stress level. Despite my bad attitude. I wrote anyway.


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