I have an idea of what my perfect writing day would be like. I'd sit down at a desk, preferably facing a window that looks out over some sort of natural landscape, with a pen in hand and a stack of paper ready to be marked nearby.
But having a perfect writing day is about as rare as getting a Kiss of Death in FF7. It's the kind of thing I only ever get to watch other people have (my brother gets every rare item), and never have one of my own.
Something consistently prevents that perfect writing day from appearing.
And through this, I've learned what I need to do to get writing again. It's been two weeks, and I think I've finally found my writing groove. That doesn't mean I'm writing anything worth reading, but it means that I'm writing and that means something.
Actually Write Every Day
This is the advice you've seen on one hundred blogs, heard in every writing seminar, and tried to ignore when you convinced yourself to skip another day of journaling. But, it's actually sound advice.
Write every day.
Even if every day is a bad writing day, when you write every day, you eventually learn how to make the most of even those bad writing days. When you don't write, you quickly lose everything you've worked to build, and probably even faster than you ever built it. Writing every day creates a habit out of which you can form a habit of having more great writing days.
Actually Be Fine With Hating Your Writing
I would say it's pretty normal for people to hate their writing. It's pretty normal to hate other people's writing, too. If you don't hate some writing at least a little bit, you're not going to be able to improve or revise, and you're probably a bit of a narcissistic prick. Now, I'm not saying to blindly hate everything you produce, but being able to see the faults of what you created is actually good for you.
As long as you don't let the fear of these faults keep you from writing! Hating or seeing your work critically provides you much needed perspective to grow as a writer and as your own editor.
Actually Embrace the Stereotypical Image of a Writer
I once told my friend that the reason I love writing and that I'm attracted to other writers is because I like sad things. There's something beautiful about things that are sad, and as morbid or depressing as that may sound, I think it's because I see sadness as a complexity that is infinitely interesting.
People enjoy romanticizing writers as drunks, depressives, or just people who generally hate the world. So, when you're having an off day and writing just isn't happening, embrace that! Pick up your pen or slam your keys to the tune of this natural incoherence! Having a horrible day? Get smashed like you have imagined your favorite classic authors doing and try to write something brilliant.
You may not. Write something brilliant, that is. But you will write something. You never know how much of it will be usable in the end!
Actually Be Fine With Not Giving It Your All
If you're going to hold yourself to writing every day (especially on the days when you would rather chug a bottle of anise-flavored liquor), you're going to have to give yourself some leeway.
Let it suck. Seriously!
Don't worry so much about your writing not being as wonderful as you imagine and just write. Pump out the words even if you know they're easily in the running for your worst ever. You'll be proud you finished writing them, and you can have a ceremonial burning of them later to improve your mood if they're really that horrible.
Just don't light the house on fire.