#OpenBook – What is your writing Kryptonite?


My recollection of kryptonite is that it is a substance that makes Superman weak. So my interpretation of this prompt is therefore, what weakens me with regards to writing.

That is an interesting idea, something that weakens my ability to write is stress, particularly stress over which I have no control. I find it difficult to write when I am in the grip of this kind of stress, but usually the negative impact only lasts a day or two and then I am okay again. I am a bit of a panicker when it comes to uncertainty; politically or economically.

I also find that work stress impacts on the nature of what I write. Last year was a busy (read that as stressed) work year for me and I wrote Through the Nethergate, a supernatural, horror story. This year I am still quite stressed at work and I am writing a dystopian novel (hopefully the first of a trilogy) about the joint impacts of the fourth industrial revolution and climate crisis on society. My children’s books I write over holiday periods when I am relaxed. Light hearted stories do not come easily to me at other times of the year.

Time is the other thing that slows my writing down. I never seem to have enough time although I am exceedingly organised and don’t waste a single minute in my day. I still have to allocate time to work, children and their needs, hubby and his needs, my parents, sisters and my in-laws. After than comes writing, blogging, reading and baking. All this makes for a busy life for me so time is the enemy.

On the whole, I love to write and find it relaxing and entertaining. I enjoy reading and blogging to and regard them as my down time and not work. Writing is energising to me and I haven’t really experienced anything in the writing, developmental editing, editing, proofing and marketing process that I don’t like doing.

What about you? What takes you away from your writing?

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45 thoughts on “#OpenBook – What is your writing Kryptonite?

    1. Gardening is a very relaxing and enjoyable past time, Janet, so you should make the most of it during the short English summer. We have summer to over nine months here so it is a bit different. Someone suggested to me recently that our long summers may be why South Africans don’t read much as a nation.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Time is definitely the enemy for me, followed by stress. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, which is probably why the stress! It’s so hard holding a full time job while balancing home, family and writing. When the job is extra stressful it’s even worse. I except to have a lot of that stress in the coming year and hope my writing won’t suffer as a result!

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    1. I am sorry to hear that, Mae. I hope you at least benefit financially from the increased stress. My job is cyclical with insanely busy periods from Feb to end April and again from Sept to Nov. The rest of the year is better and I try to work that to my advantage. I hope your writing doesn’t suffer too. I will be reading book 2 in the Hode’s Hill series during my upcoming holiday.

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      1. Mine is kind of cyclical too, Robbie, with January to August being the worse, then things slow down. Next year, however, we are moving our physical location and that’s going to be a huge undertaking.

        That’s wonderful to hear about HH #2. I’ll look forward to your reviews!


  2. I can see why it would be difficult to write a happy children’s book when you’re not in your happy place.

    Stress is an issue for me, too. Too much on my plate and not enough time to get it all done. I hope we all have a little less stress moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Staci, writing for children definitely requires a happy and light hearted outlook. Michael and I often think of ideas together when I am on holiday and then it is a bit like a game. Stress is most people’s enemy, as is to little time. It is a side effect of our modern world. I hope things calm down for you soon.

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    1. I can relate to that, Stevie. For me, I just find my brain can’t move onto something else when it is stuck in a stress cycle. I don’t mind marketing, actually, I find it rather fun and a pleasant creative outlet that doesn’t involve writing or baking.

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  3. Robbie, my kryptonite is definitely stress. It drains my creativity. At the job I left this year, the stress-drain became so bad that I couldn’t even function normally. Wishing you a relaxing rest of the week. Wednesday I’m having a blog costume party, so come over and blow off steam. 😉 Hugs on the wing.

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  4. Thought provoking post, Robbie. It certainly got me thinking! I had to smile at your most stressful times, producing dystopian and/or horror-supernatural stories. I think that makes a lot of sense. I tend to tighten up so much during stress that I have difficulty writing at all. So I read to get the stress reduced. Or, if I MAKE myself write from a prompt (needed when I’m stressed) all my worries disappear as I escape into the stresses of my characters. I have a lot better time coping with theirs! 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Pam. Stress seems to be a big problem for all of us. I often find that I unpack the things that really upset me in corporate life, society and politics into my writing so my views will often be reflected either subtlety or even quite blatantly. If I am in real emotional turmoil I also can’t write at all. Fortunately, those times are rare.

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  5. Great post, Robbie. Stress does the same thing to me. I think life’s responsibilities make it heavier. Today is one of those days. I’m thinking some time in nature might help. Hope you get the moments you need for you.

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  6. Oh without a doubt my kryptonite is self-doubt. Terrible, crushing, defeating, self-doubt. It just makes me seize up and become unable to string a sentence together. Stress weakens me too, but nowhere near as much as self-doubt 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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