Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

How to Keep Writing when the World Seems Against You

with 8 comments

Folks, it’s no secret that the last few weeks for me have been difficult, complex, and frustrating.

In other words, they’ve been a long slog.

How are you supposed to keep writing when the world seems against you? When life circumstances jump up, and impede your work, and derail your progress…how can you keep going anyway?

Today’s blog is about how to get through one of these fallow periods, as a writer. (Or at least what I try to do to keep my head in the game, even when most of the rest of me can’t do much.)

What I try to do, with my writing, is to make prose notes. If nothing else, I usually can write one-sentence ideas, and that allows me to continue making a small amount of progress.

See, every day you have to make a little progress, if you can. It may be tiny. It may even be infinitesimal. But if you make that small amount of progress — even during difficult times — it gives you the confidence to keep trying.

Sometimes, I think creativity is all about confidence. Or at least all about the thought that if you try, if you think hard, if you are able to continue, then you can create with a whole heart.

It’s not easy to find time to write when you’re in the crux of a crisis, mind. But take a few minutes here, a few minutes there — I like using the minutes before going to bed, personally, but my late husband was a morning person; whatever works for you — and keep writing.

In other words…the only way through a long slog is forward.


As for me? I’m still hanging in there…but I still don’t have a clue where I’ll end up. I’ll keep you posted. (If you want to help me, see this post and act accordingly.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 27, 2016 at 4:33 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Hope things are getting better.


    April 27, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    • I don’t know if they are or aren’t. The house has been sold but we don’t know who bought it. And we’ve heard nothing as to when we must get out. So it’s kind of a mess…but I’m continuing onward.

      Barb Caffrey

      April 28, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      • Well, it might buy you a little time.


        April 28, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      • That’s true. And we’re going to need every last bit of that, for sure… 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        April 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Kate McClelland.

    Kate McClelland

    April 28, 2016 at 1:56 am

  3. This is great advice. It’s surprising how much difference just jotting down a few ideas can make, especially if you think of them as seeds that will eventually grow into stories, with a bit of encouragement. I once met a successful writer on holiday, and he told me that the material is all there in the subconscious but sometimes it takes the conscious mind a little time to catch up.
    I hope things get better for you soon. I’ve often come across the saying ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going’ – I like that one, because it implies that if you keep going you’ll come out the other end.


    April 28, 2016 at 6:29 am

    • Thanks, Annabelle. I’m glad my post made sense to you, and I agree with that saying — hope I get to the end of my troubles soon.

      Barb Caffrey

      April 28, 2016 at 3:04 pm

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