The past week or so has not been anywhere near my most productive writing-wise. By far the biggest problem has been a lack of mental energy/focus. I attribute a lot of that to the fact that I spent Memorial Day weekend simultaneously trying to help run a medium-size convention (classic film, not science fiction) and trying to help an elderly relative deal with issues which temporarily forced this relative out of their home.
Combine that with the fact that I had post-convention duties which became more urgent than usual this year and our oldest child was in the midst of graduating from high school... Well, most nights recently when it's been "writing time" the clock has already rolled over past midnight and I've been feeling fried.
Nevertheless, I've been able to keep up my Daily Writing Chain and make bits of progress here and there. Some of those days it's been a bit challenging to get those 500 words. I've managed, though, through a combination of tactics.
For one thing, I've been willing to work with some story fragments. I have a work that was in progress before hitting this crunch time but rather than trying to get back into the proper frame of mind to keep it going I've gotten introductory portions written on two other stories. Has this been a good decision overall? I think so, because one of these is a story I'd been wanting to get started on and the other is one that I'm particularly excited about after coming up with the concept over Memorial Day weekend. But there's another side to this -- I don't really like having a lot of unfinished work around and I now sort of have three short story WIPs to deal with. It's going to require that I put a bit of extra focus into getting things back in order once I get to the point where I do have that mental focus back.
Another thing I've done is focus on doing some blog-post writing. Again, this lets me not have to try to get back into the mindset of an incomplete work and it also will have a future benefit since there will be days when I can simply pop in and make a post go live on the website and, for that day, have more time to work on my fiction writing.
It hasn't been easy and I may have some extra revising work ahead of me, but I'm glad that I've kept moving forward, getting some new fiction words down and buying myself some time in the future by having blog posts ready to go.
From talking with people on Twitter and other places, it seems like a lot of writers go through rough patches from time to time. How do you deal with them? Do you take a break? Or do you keeping pushing through? If so, what tactics do you use to keep from getting stuck in the rough patch?