Oftentimes we just have to write through the pain of not wanting too. Those moments of blockage that completely turns us away from our stories. Those brief moments of uncertainty should be pushed through, you'll come through it stronger, with a better appreciation for the moments of inspiration and ideas.
But what about that desert without a drop of water in sight? What about the days that turn into weeks and the weeks that turn into months when you could care less about anything writing related or even novel related?
What are you doing to sustain the good and keep the devil of the desert at bay?
Are you praying about your writing? Are you praying about where God wants for you? Restore your confidence in your writing by trusting that God is teaching you even through this point of no water, even when it feels as though you aren't being led or taught.
Are you talking with writer friends? This is so very important to your writing health. Spend time every couple of weeks skyping or chatting over the phone or through email with friends. Knowing you aren't the only one "out there" will give you a boost of confidence and ambition to do your very best.
Invest in writing conferences, especially the face to face kind. Even if it's just a small one near you, find a way and attend it. Make the effort to connect with other writers and don't be afraid to share your struggles. Life isn't always "fine" and you might encourage or be encouraged by someone in a similar situation. There are no new writing problems under the sun. We've all been at one time or another.
Don't be afraid to talk about what is wrong. This doesn't mean on Facebook or other social media. But find a confidant who is willing to listen and pray with you. Pray for this confidant and be willing to return the favor.
During the desert, take a break from your writing for at least two weeks. But during that time, be willing to pray even when it's hard about your writing. During the last week, slowly start bringing the story back to your attention. Reading the parts of the book you love, just for the sake of reading. Leave the editing side of your brain far, far away. Fall in love with the story.
Learn to enjoy your stories again. Not just writing for the sake of writing. Or editing for the sake of making the story better. But reading because you love these characters. Remind yourself why you wrote the story in the first place and you'll find yourself wanting to make it better.
Spend a portion of every writing day reminding yourself why you love writing and/or the writing community. This looks different for every individual writer, but I encourage you take the time to make a list. Rediscover why you love this craft and then post this list right where you can see it every time you write.
Be encouraged. Be inspired. Remember why you love to write. And that is the most important thing of all.
Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in rural Eastern Oregon in a town more densely populated with cows than people.