Sunday, February 16, 2020

We Should Be Writing

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

Have you ever found yourself with looming writing deadlines and nary a paragraph completed on a page? Whether those deadlines are self-imposed or set by someone else, they seem to nag and agitate you until you get that piece done. Or worse, you panic and freeze.

We sit down to write but can’t think about what we want to say. Why can’t we get started? It’s not fair that the words flood our minds while in the shower or when we’re in a car in super busy traffic. 

Why won’t the words come when needed? I think it’s because the writing I feel we’re called to do, is what the Lord wants us to share. Which means that satan isn’t happy with that and will put major distractions in our paths every chance he gets. Unfortunately, he often succeeds.

So, what is a poor writer to do?  No, seriously—I am asking you.

Below is a list of some of the ways I’m trying to overcome those times I’ve sat staring at the blinking cursor. I hope they might help you. 

7 Ways I Keep Myself Writing

1) I have one calendar that I log all my writing jobs down and on what days they are due. Having them written down, I can see at a glance what pieces are coming up and if I’ve already made a note or two about a thought I had for that item.

2) I created an Excel log sheet I use for pertinent information I have on the piece such as: title, date due, date I sent, where to send and guidelines for the piece. I can look over topics I’ve already written and often another idea comes to mind based on a previous article.

3) I look ahead a couple of weeks to see what’s coming. Not only for the pieces I’m writing, but also what is scheduled outside of writing. Maybe something will be due during a very heavily scheduled week, so I might want to get a start on that. Of course, we all need those margins of time built into each day for the “other” parts of life that could happen!

4) I carry a small tablet that is easy to write in at the red light or I will use my voice memo on my iPhone. Now that I’m staring at the blasted-blinking cursor, I pull out my notes and transfer to the top of the page to get me started. Carry on what I started the other day.

5) I set aside time everyday to open up a Word document and type what’s on my mind about my WIP (work-in-progress). It could be a scene idea or something I thought of that I want to go back and change, but I empty my mind so the muse can begin to roll. Sometimes it might be another story mulling around in my head that won’t leave me alone. I’ll type all the thoughts, then I file it away until I need to retrieve it later.

6) I now use a cute kitchen timer to challenge myself with word sprints. I write down a word count number, set the timer for twenty minutes and take off writing unedited writing. Think NaNo writing. It might be 400 words of mush, but when you edit, you might find some great golden nuggets to add to your WIP. Also, this little timer has been helpful for setting a time limit for surfing Social Media, too. Just sayin’… Maybe I’m the only one with that issue. 

7) I’m grateful for my writing partners who have been valuable to hold me accountable to keep at it. To know they will ask is often the incentive I need to push through. 

I won’t like to you and tell you I have mastered any of the six items above, but I am getting closer to a solid routine that works for me. I do like to read what works for other writers and I often give them a try for myself. I encourage you to seek what will get you into that funky, cool writing groove that is uniquely yours. 

But remember, if you have come up with a great idea or two, we’d love for you to share with the rest of us!

We Should Be Writing - encouragement from @TickledPinkTam on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Her past, filled with bullying and criticism from family, is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and give them The Reason to smile. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 37 years, a mom to their grown daughter, Kristen, and wrapped around the paw of a little dog named Hattie. Born and raised in Ohio, her family now resides in South Carolina. She is the President of Word Weavers Upstate SC, member of ACFW and My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. She’s the Blog Editor for Word Weavers International. A Conference Assistant for Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. A monthly contributor for The Write Conversation. A contributor in the 2018 Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments. Also a regular contributor to several other blogs. 

Connect with Tammy: Blog:  Email:


  1. One of the things I've found is if I take a vague idea and noodle on it a few minute, a couple of thoughts will grow. I jot those down. Then a couple others, etc. It's like trying to run a race without stretching or warming up. You have to get the muscles loose. Writing is like that. Creativity is the same. Noodling (thinking, what-iffing, rabbit-trailing) all work to stretch our brain muscle.

    1. Ane - I love that ... "noodle on it"! That's a good one! Great suggestion.

    2. Ane, I love it ... "noodle on it!" Great idea!

  2. I like to do something Roger Palms taught at a writer’s conference years ago. He would leave a WIP at the end of the day in the middle of a sentence or paragraph, just enough to act as a reminder when he resumed writing the next day. When he began again, he could jump right in and keep on a roll. Has really helped me. I also read the last few paragraphs out loud; the cadence of words often suggest what the next ones should be. Thanks for the tips, Tammy! Blessings ~

    1. I've tried that 'leave it in the middle of a sentence' trick several times, Wendy. Most of the time, when I do get back to the WIP and find where I left off, I'm looking at it and thinking "Where in the world was I going with that?" :-)

    2. That's an interesting idea, Wendy. I may try that!

  3. Great ideas Ms. Tammy. We can all incorporate at least some of these to help get us moving. Well done ma'am. God's blessings in all your writing!

  4. Good post, Tammy! I can share one. Each morning, 7 days a week, I start my day with a fresh-brewed mug of coffee and read Edie's blog. It's always the first or second thing in my inbox since shutting down the night before. Here I find both wisdom and inspiration from sincere writers, like you, on similar journeys. Thanks to you and all the others for greeting me each day with these gifts.
    Jay Wright; Anderson, SC

    1. Thank you, Jay! You're such an encouragement to me and the others who write here each month. Glad you join us each day!