#IWSG: When the going gets tough, I want to smack Billy Ocean!

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. It’s an opportunity to talk about doubts and fears you have conquered. To discuss your struggles and triumphs and to offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

June 1 question – When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

External deadlines. Plain and simple, that’s the only way I’ve ever managed to tough it out. And seriously, whenever anyone suggests that I tough anything out, what I hear is Billy Ocean singing that song, and I want to give him a smack.

My reaction may be because the only reasons why writing gets tough for me is that either I’m struggling with my mental health, or with lack of time. I have an (almost) full-time administration job which pays the bills, and a part-time life coaching job which feeds the soul and will – hopefully, one day – also pay the bills instead of the admin job. There’s the usual family stuff, a blogging and photography hobby, and you have me in a time crunch. When I try to cut out the extraneous hobbies, it impacts in a negative way on my mental health. So, I’m never going to tough it out without an external deadline.

With an external deadline, what I find helps to keep the story moving along is to go to bed at night with the intention of dreaming about it. Even if I hit a troublesome spot and don’t know how to resolve it, my dreams have (so far) provided the answer. It does mean I have to be living the story in a pretty high intensity manner and writing for long periods every day – but that’s what works for me.

I’d love to learn what methods you use to tough it out – hit me up my fellow writers!

The awesome co-hosts are SE White, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguire, Joylene Nowell Butler, and Jacqui Murray! – do take a moment to visit them.

© Debra Carey, 2022


Author: debscarey

Tweets @debsdespatches My personal blog is Debs Despatches, where I ramble on a variety of topics. I write fiction on co-hosted site Fiction Can Be Fun, where my #IWSG reflections can be found; and my Life Coaching business can be found on DebsCarey.com.

21 thoughts on “#IWSG: When the going gets tough, I want to smack Billy Ocean!”

  1. External deadlines are good. I’ve been submitting a chapter a month to my critique group for quite a while. It’s helped me to keep moving on my current manuscript. I’m busy like you, and it can get hard to get enough writing done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Natalie, that is one impressive writing practice you have there. I’ve been considering seeking out a writing group. Can’t decide whether to go local & in person, or online. But this facility could be an interesting aspect to throw into the decision making mix. Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I sometimes say napping is a writing exercise. It’s like what you said about dreaming. If I’m really struggling to write something, sometimes a quick nap helps. Thirty to forty minutes later, I wake up knowing exactly what I need to do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh James, I wish I could nap successfully. If I allow myself to drop off, I’m gone for 2 hours. Not always helpful. But yes, the problem is always solved on wake up. I envy your napping process though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To be honest, I sometimes end up napping for a good two hours too. I don’t want to make it sound like my naps are perfectly timed out all the time. But however long the nap takes, it can help clear up a case of writer’s block.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, and they have to be external. I can ignore my deadlines I set myself with totally ease. Shameful really when I’m a life coach 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, me too emaginette – they always have to be external. Otherwise, they go whishing right by without my giving them barely a glance 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Alex – thank you! If I ever get near enough to him, I will. I discovered the dreaming by chance during an A-Z write-a-thon. But I can make it happen too, which is fabulous.

      BTW, I couldn’t comment on your blog this month – am I doing something wrong or have you not allowed the name & website comment option?


  3. I agree. I often take my characters to bed with me and ask them to do me a favour and tell me what happens next. Sometimes they oblige, sometimes they don’t. But either way it’s okay because, you’re right, fiction can be fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your characters are more polite than mine Joylene 😉 And thank you for appreciating the site name. My co-host came up with it, so I can’t take any kudos for it sadly.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. External deadlines are the only thing that motivates me to a conclusion. My personal deadlines are like Jack Sparrow’s pirate’s rules – they’re really more guidelines, that shift like sand in the wind. And too funny that we both referenced Billy Ocean!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Isn’t it funny. I tried to comment on your site first thing, not sure that it worked. Will try again as I made that remark too! But yes, external deadlines – always external. I may have to steal your Jack Sparrow line – it’s a corker Lee 😉


    1. CD, I’m totally rubbish when I set my own deadlines. They just whoosh past, often times without my even noticing. But external ones, or the prospect of letting another person down – they work 🙂


    1. SE, I’d have never known about it if it hadn’t happened. I was so pleased to be able to actively switch it on if I was deeply in the right headspace during the day. Do give it a go, if you can actively stay in the headspace during the day.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on the flash fiction. It’s been a while since I did it just because rather than because of a deadline. Thanks for the reminder.

      And I’m SO SORRY about the song being stuck in your head. I’ll give him a smack for you too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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