Today we’ve got a blog post that is applicable for all shapes and sizes of writers because all shapes and sizes of writers experience the phenomenon of a writing slump at one point or another.
In my opinion, it doesn’t mean “time to give up.” It means time to push forward. And here’s how!
#1: Take a break.
Okay, you’re right. This isn’t exactly “working your way through a writing slump.” But let’s be honest … some of us (including myself) will try to continue forcing words out even when it’s plainly just not going to happen.
Therefore, before you try, just take a break. Whether that’s half an hour or a week is up to you, but at least get up, stretch, clear your head, and drink a glass of water.
Basically, you want to restart your device. (Not necessarily literally, but you could do that, too!) After that, you can dive back in with a fresh perspective.
#2: Set a timer and force words out for that time.
This is sort of the opposite of the first approach in that you just use willpower and elbow grease to make this work.
Set your timer for about 10 minutes and just write (or do whatever it is that you’re doing) as hard and as fast as you can. The key is to not look up from whatever you’re doing for that time.
Psychologically, it’s also important to reward yourself with a brief break after that time, even if you just stretch, take a drink of water, and move back in for the kill.
You can do longer stints of time, of course. Personally, much more than half an hour, and I lose all focus. I prefer 15-20 minute stints. But you have to experiment to see what works best for you.
#3: Switch to a different part of the writing process.
Been struggling with editing a chapter of your book? Perhaps it’s time to take a break and do a bit of outlining.
Or is it a first draft that’s got you stuck? Why don’t you take this week off and work on writing and perfecting a piece of flash fiction? That won’t hurt your long-term progress.
Oftentimes I’ll switch between working on a work-in-progress and marketing if I’m starting to get restless.
How do you handle writing slumps?
Thanks & have a splendiferous day, writers!
Reveries Co. Manager