Have you ever gone through a dry spell as a writer? Some call it writer’s block, and recently a friend of mine called it being “out of sync” – but whatever the name, we do sometimes hit the bottom of the proverbial barrel with our creativity.
Here are some thoughts and my response to them:
- Force yourself/allow yourself to write crap
This oftentimes is a good way to get started when we are just not in the mood. If we sit down and tool around the WIP, usually we will dive back in. Start out editing the last thing you wrote. Read what you have written out loud. It will give you the idea/feeling you had when last you wrote and start the idea treadmill. And it is OKAY to write something that we know that we will delete later. The idea is just to get STARTED.
- Take a break
You cannot always follow that strict routine that you have been keeping. Sometimes our bodies undergo periods of rebellion. We need to stretch, eat, and sleep. If you have been writing thousands of words for days on end, you will burn out sometimes. It’s okay to take a break.
Here is a little list of things you can do to use that time away from writing creatively.
1. Play games. Board games, card games, or video games. The change in using your brain for a different problem-solving skill can help freshen the other side, that writing brain.
2. Read. It is a proven fact that when we read good books, books that we enjoy and value, we get inspired to write. Or maybe you get inspired from reading really badly written books? (grin) Either way, reading is good for dry spells.
3. Draw. There is a very good reason why the adult coloring books are so popular. We can release creativity in a new and fun way. And it gives us a chance to focus on something else and let our mind come up with new ideas.
4. Watch movies. This one usually always does it for me. Something about relaxing with a good meal, some popcorn, and a movie releases my tensed mind muscles and I can imagine again.
Once the ideas are flowing once again, you can pick back up and write like you always have. Resume that production schedule, fly across the plains on your writing horse.