Monday, November 28, 2011
The Dreaded Slump
Some people call it writer's block. I call it a slump -- that time when I seem incapable of writing anything new. I might be in the middle of a book or maybe I haven't yet begun a new one. Either way, it can be really depressing to be in that space where I can't seem to write. It happens to me and many other writers, so I have developed a few behaviors to overcome the stagnation. I hope they help anyone else out there who suffers a similar affliction.
1. Put my current WIP on ice and start something new. That something doesn't have to be an epic novel. It can be a short story or a novella. That change can often push me out of a creative rut.
2. Adjust my daily word count goal. Sometimes taking off some of the pressure can help. If my current daily goal is 2,000 words and I'm overwhelmed by the idea of writing 20, I change that daily goal down to 500 words. That little mindset switch can re-energize my creative juices and the decrease in pressure sometimes does the trick. I switch it back up once I have my mojo back. Hey, I figure 500 words is better than no words.
3. Take a breather. Sometimes I allow myself to take a little time off. Life happens. I might have company in town or just lots of things in my mind. I have to tell myself it's okay to take a vacation from the writing as long as I set the parameters of how long that break will last. I try to keep it to a max of a few days.
4. Write with friends. I occasionally go to a cafe with members of my RWA chapter to write. Sure, we spend part of the time catching up with each other, but we also get some writing done. Seeing others working can kick-start my On button.
5. Break up that daily word total into manageable blocks. I allow myself a short email break every 100 words or so. Or I do a 250 word sprint then take a break to get outside or get some chores done.
What about you? Do you sometimes get creatively blocked? Do you have any suggestions for ways out of the dreaded slump.
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