How to break out of the writing doldrums
In Carly’s post, “Four tips to defeat your writing funk,” she shares some tips for what to do when you get stuck in your writing project. Her ideas prompted me to share a few of my own. Goodness knows we all get into the writing doldrums from time to time, but there’s no need to panic!
- Give your brain a break. The other day I was stuck on a scene but I was tired and my brain just wasn’t working. So I lay down on the couch and dreamed myself into my story. I didn’t force it but just kind of gently played around with some ideas in my mind. Sometimes, I might fall asleep doing this but that day, an idea floated to the surface that fit, so I got up and continued writing. Score one for my muse!
- Write somewhere different. I was working on a piece at my desk the other night and just couldn’t get into it. I felt uncomfortable for some reason. So, I made a cup of tea and curled up in my big white chair in the same room. Before I knew it, I was back in the flow of writing and having fun. Routines are great until your brain gets to complacent. That’s when you have to trick it with a new routine.
- Bring back the fun. If you’re not having FUN, ask yourself how you can make your writing practice fun. If writing has turned into drudgery, there is something WRONG. Figure out what is wrong and fix it. Recall the times when you were in a groove and think about what got you there. Try drawing a scene. Meet up with friends for a writing session at your favorite cafe.
- Use a different medium. If you normally type your stories on a computer, turn off your computer—literally—so you aren’t tempted to jump back on and write with pen to paper. If you normally write by hand, try the keyboard or even a different type of paper or writing instrument. Crayons, anyone?
- Take a play break. If I can’t nap, I might take a creative play break. I’ll start thinking of a problem in a scene or what I want to write next and then “forget about it” and pick up my guitar. Or, I’ll go for a walk or ride my bike. Maybe go swimming. Or, make a collage. I’ll do something that doesn’t let the analytical part of me get too awake and excited. I want my abstract side to relax and wallow around a bit in its own creative juices.