The Inevitable Slump

The Slump. The Brick Wall. Every writer goes through it, some more than others. We can’t all lead our lives like Hemingway (and hopefully most of don’t want to). So here are some ways to help you get out of your slump.

Get Out

Go somewhere. Do something. Don’t stick around doing the same old things. Staring at the same things you see every day isn’t going to give you inspiration. Seeing new places, hearing other people’s conversation, even seeing something at the grocery store can help. Inspiration can come from even the most mundane. Staring at a blank page of paper or a Word document is not going to give you anything brilliant. At the very least you’ll get a break to refresh yourself from staring at your own failure. Feeling miserable about not being able to write will only make you more miserable and unable to write. It’s a vicious cycle only if you let it be one.

Get It Out

Sometimes writing anything at all to get your mind moving can help you get out of your slump. I’ve often found myself with a terrible idea that I can’t get out of my head. Writing it out, no matter how bad it is, can sometimes let you move on. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be able to salvage something out of it later. Even writing about how you can’t write can help you get into the writing mood. It doesn’t matter what you write, or even if you’re writing junk, all that matters is that you keep writing. The more time that passes by without writing, the harder it becomes to get back into it. 

Carrying around a notebook is a great way to keep writing. You don’t need to have a full-fledged idea to write. I have several notebooks lying around filled with bad poems, bad writings, parts of ideas, scenes for stories or novels that don’t have plot lines, characters or anything more than a small blurb I want to put somewhere. Writing isn’t just about the end product, but about all the junk that leads to your creations.

Writing Prompts

I hate them. There is nothing inherently wrong with them, I just hate them. Only once have I written something interesting from a writing prompt and it was because a similar idea had already been floating around in my head. I’m sure there are some people who feel the same way about writing prompts, but for many, they’re very useful. I’ve talked to quite a few writers who came up with something great from a writing prompt. Remember editing is everything; just because it’s not the “Great American Novel” doesn’t mean it won’t turn into something better later. The point is to get you writing and that is exactly what writing prompts do.

Here are 365 Creative Writing Prompts (one for each day of the year if it’s getting that bad) and I was rather intrigued by these.  But if you’re looking for something a little silly here is a Random Plot Generator.  The site has some other fun resources as well.

Read

That’s right. Read a book or something. Seeing the amazing creativity of other authors inspires me and sometimes I find inspiration in their work too.

I’ve been going through a difficult writing period myself and there was a long while when I wasn’t reading much of anything worthwhile. As soon as I started reading again I started getting the urge to write again. If you don’t enjoy reading, why do are writing? The two very much go hand in hand.  Chances are you started writing because you enjoyed the things you read.

While I give out these suggestions to help you get out of your slump, remember that sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t get past your writer’s block. But don’t give up. It doesn’t matter how many books a person has written they all go through writer’s block. You have the choice of giving up writing forever or pushing past it. If that doesn’t motivate you well, here are 13 Famous Writers on Overcoming Writer’s Block.

Sources to Visit

365 Creative Writing Prompts

Random Plot Generator

13 Famous Writers on Overcoming Writer’s Block

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