Award-winning Author & Editor VS Grenier's blog about how creative writing can be a great way to express yourself. Of course, being a mom makes it hard to find writing time. Grenier's goal with this blog is to share weekly writing prompts, a few writing tips, a little inspiration and her trying to make it in the publishing world as a writing mama.
In a Rut or Blocked: 9 Tips to Help You Get Back to the Business of Writing
You're sitting at your desk, staring at a blank sheet of paper or a blank word document on the computer screen. You actually want to write, but just can't bring yourself to it. You have no clue what to do with your characters next, and they don't seem eager to tell you.
Or perhaps you have a deadline, but you're aimlessly typing random letters on the page, none of which seems to make sense, and you're getting more and more frustrated as every minute passes. That deadline that you have in two weeks seems to be coming round very quickly and, at this rate there is no way you are going to make it!
Whether you are experiencing this for the first time or for the hundredth time and you're at a loss as to what you should do, don't despair. You can consider yourself as having a case of writer's block or being stuck in a rut; it can and does happen even if you haven't been neglecting your work. Other writers experience this too.
Your muse needs to be fed, her energy recharged! So how do you do it? Staring at the screen is not going to help. In fact, it will make your situation far worse because the day will have passed before you know it! Here are some tips:
1. If you're going through a rough period, take a vacation. Taking a few days off from writing is sometimes necessary. At the end of this period, you are most likely to feel much better and more inspired. For many writers, this is the perfect time when a story idea pops into their mind and they begin percolating.
2. If taking a few days off isn't an option for you, take a short break. Get out of the house or your office for a few hours. Take your mind off your work by doing something different - watch a movie, go to a café, meet up with a friend...just do anything that will take your mind off your writing for a while. This will give you a new perspective that you can take back to your computer later.
3. Write ten positive things about your writing skills on a piece of paper and put it on the wall above your computer. This will remind you just how good you are at what you do so it will give your confidence a boost.
4. Go on despite your mood. Don't let your feelings get in your way, but use them instead to help you in your work. If you are angry, perhaps it's time to write the fight scene you had in mind. Sad? It's probably a good idea to develop the break-up scene between your two main characters. You may never use this work, but at least you'll be writing.
5. Reread what you have already done. You may be stuck because you have lost your place in your writing so read what you've written and find your place again.
6. Accept the current difficulty as normal and necessary. You may not be able to feed your muse properly simply because you haven't accepted that stress is a normal part of your life, too. As a matter of fact, very often stress catalyzes our energies and pushes us towards the deadline.
7. Trust yourself. For many of us, the greatest enemy is the lack of confidence. You will not keep the momentum going unless you identify the negative source that causes your insecurity. You will feel much more inspired when you write without thinking of your insecurities.
8. Use your fear. Your fear will become your ally if you dare to face it. Endow your main character with the same fear you experience, and then let him or her deal with it. Only you can decide where fear is taking you. Just let go and write!
9. Celebrate yourself. You deserve all the self-respect you can take for your courage to commit to writing. There may be times when you may not feel like this at all, but remember that while you cannot control the respect you receive from others, you can influence the respect you feel for yourself.
Even the most seasoned and famous writers get stuck in a rut or get a bad case of writer's block at some point in their lives. If none of the suggestions work for you, just sleep on it. Getting a good night's sleep can rejuvenate your mind and give you a clean bill of mental productivity in the morning, as well as give you the ability to look for inspiration! That will soon cure your writer's block or get you out of the rut!
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