Hey everyone! Sorry about the delayed post, my internet was down on Monday.
Anyways, we’re back today with a brand new post. Enjoy!
It happens to all of us at one point or another.
We don’t enjoy writing any more, or we take an extended break, and when we try to start writing again, we feel stuck.
I find myself in this situation a lot. Suddenly, I look up and I realize that I haven’t written anything in weeks, and I don’t have any motivation to keep going.
Since I’m currently in one of these slumps, I figured I would write about how to rediscover your love for writing. (Hopefully I can benefit from these ideas too!)
So let’s get back into our writing habits!
Take A Day Off
It’s okay to take a break sometimes.
(Unless, of course, you’re on a tight deadline. In which case… sorry.)
Our brains work better when we have a break every once in a while, so if you’re struggling to enjoy yourself, mark a day on your calendar to rest.
Also, rest and procrastination are not the same thing. Procrastinating for a whole day doesn’t count as a day of rest.
When you take a day off from your writing, go ahead and try some of these things to get your brain working again:
- Take a walk outside.
- Pick up five books in your house and read the first line, then rank the first lines from best to worst.
- Make a nice meal for yourself.
- Eat some peppermints, and rub peppermint oil (if you have some) under your nose. Peppermint will make you feel refreshed.
- Don’t work on your projects. Not even a little bit.
When you do this, you’re resetting your brain and giving it a chance to rest.
Spice Up Your Writing Routine
Variety is the spice of life.
I know this might not sound like much, but it works. If you switch up your routine and try something new, it’s like you’re catching your brain by surprise so it doesn’t have time to think of an excuse.
I like switching up the spot where I write. I’ll go to a local park and sit on a bench, or sit in my closet and write.
Also, change your font size and color. It’s easier for me to write in pink comic sans for some reason.
Some writers like to set their alarms for 3 in the morning, write for an hour, and go back to sleep. However, I love and cherish my sleep, and that’s where I draw the line. But if it works for you, more power to ya.
- 3 Ways to Find the Perfect Words for Your Story: Verb Edition!
- No More Wimps: How To Make Your Characters Fight Back
- How to Create the Perfect Short Story
You might also try writing by hand, or switching up the device that you write with. (I.e. switching from your laptop to a notebook, or voice typing on your phone.)
Write Some Drabble
About 5 months ago, I wrote an entire post about fanfiction. You can read it for yourself by clicking THIS LINK.
However, if you don’t feel like using someone else’s characters, you could always try some quick drabbles.
A Drabble is traditionally a piece of fanfiction that is exactly 100 words long. However, I use the word Drabble for any piece of writing that is short and doesn’t have a plot.
Make up a new character and write about them eating lunch. Write a snippet of conversation. Describe a very specific detail in the setting. Write about your favorite ships (you choose which kind of ship I’m talking about).
Heck, I wrote a Drabble last week about my characters playing Among Us, even though video games technically don’t exist in their world.
It was a lot of fun to write. Plus, it got me back in the mood to be creative.
Don’t be afraid to write something dumb. The important thing is that you start putting words on the page again.
Time for a Plot Twist!
If you’re on a deadline and you can’t stop working on your WIP (work in progress), and you don’t have time to take a break or write drabbles…
First of all, you just got caught in the ever-so-treacherous procrastination trap.
Secondly, it’s time to put your head down and plow through, regardless of how much you hate it.
Last year, I worked as a ghostwriter, and my first project was to write 30k words in two weeks. So I know what it’s like to stare at a deadline and feel your soul dying inside.
The tried and true method for getting unstuck in a story?
Screencraft.org has a great list of plot twist ideas, which you can check out HERE.
If that doesn’t help, here are a couple of things that I do to get myself un-stuck:
- Change the setting. If your characters need to discuss information, should they do it in the middle of a parking lot, or on a Ferris wheel at the amusement park?
Suppose you’re writing a travel scene, where the characters are going from point A to point B. Ho hum.
- Do you have some characters who like each other, platonically or romantically? Let one of them unleash their arsenal of knock-knock jokes on the others. This gives you some dialogue during a traveling scene.
Also, try adding more pain and less crying. Make us feel sorry for the characters, but don’t hit us over the head with their constant sobbing. (I could rant about this topic forever, but I’ll leave it at that for today.)
A Sentence A Day Keeps The Blank Page Away
One sentence. Every. Single. Day.
One sentence isn’t that much, especially if you’re like me and you use a lot of periods for emphasis.
If the only thing you can do is write one sentence, that’s okay.
You need to give yourself permission to write very small amounts at a time.
Especially during this chaotic year, it can be really hard to get past your anxiety and depression and fatigue in order to be creative.
In my own experience, I need to be happy to write well. Otherwise, I just don’t care as much. But in the case of chronic depression and fatigue, we don’t get a chance to choose how we feel.
Sometimes, you need to train yourself to write when you’re lonely, or sad, or angry, or anxious. And you can do that by writing at least one sentence every day.
Creativity requires the right mindset. Once you train your mind to stay in that mindset, writing consistently will become a habit for you.
I hope this post is helpful to you! On Monday the 16th, I’ll be sharing a guest post by my friend, Julia. You can check out her blog at juliawitmerblog.wordpress.com.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back with a new post next Monday!