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Getting over the unproductive blues

Feeling unproductive; but not unproductive?


As a writer there are times when you don’t get as much done as you like; life and other work commitments get in the way, and a few days may go by without you doing anything at all. I’m not talking about that today. I’m talking about when you have been working on a writing project – whether it be research, planning, writing or editing: or a combination of them. When you’ve been working and when the end of the day comes you feel – ‘What on earth have I done today?’

When you’ve worked all day – or for as much of the day as you possibly can – and have nothing really to show for it.

You know you have done something but you don’t feel that there’s any prove to back this up.

And this is not just a writer’s problem. My other half said to me last night, basically the thing I’m suffering with this week, that he’s been working all day, time has flown by and yet what has he actually done. So I know I’m not alone in this. The solution to not having done anything is simple: do something. But what if you have. The solution for the feeling of non-production is a little trickier; its psychological.

So I’m compiling a list explaining to myself what to do.

One. Don’t worry so much.

Two. Sit back at the end of each day and make a mental list of what you have actually achieved.

Three. Sit back and think of what you wanted to achieve – these lists are probably not as dissimilar as you think – and if they are – think about how to achieve the points on your list and get on and do them.

Four. Don’t worry so much. You’ve done more than you think you have.

The reason for my ‘unproductive blues’: I’m in the middle of things. I’m in the middle of editing. I’m in the middle of researching and planning the next project. Another solution is just to concentrate on one project at a time. But that’s not me. I’m not at the writing stage of both projects. Just at the beginning and end of each. It’s the ‘in the middle’ phase that is the most difficult stage. With nothing to show (as yet) for your efforts it is a little demoralising. But you’ve got to stride over the middle before you see the finish line.

writing blues

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