How to Get Yourself Out of a Writing Rut

We’ve all been there. There are those days where your fingers are flying, your brain is pumping out words faster than your fingers can type them, your mind is swimming with ideas and plots and character development and words, words, words just seem to flow from you endlessly. And then, there are those days when you stare at the screen. And you stare. And you type a sentence. And delete all three words. And stare.

Now, I’m not talking about writer’s block, because that’s a whole other issue. This is more for the writer who has lost their fire, their passion, their inspiration, their will to live…okay, maybe an exaggeration, but still. Those finger-flying days are so few and far between, and the blank staring days are all too abundant. As I’m beginning the sequel to my first novel, Unsettled, I’m having a lot of difficulty getting started. Perhaps the problem is that I already wrote the first third of the novel— but I hated it, so I deleted the whole thing and started over, taking a whole different path. And even though I’m excited to see where Reset is going to take Phoenix, and exactly how I’m going to handle building a whole new world for her, somewhere along the way, I lost my spark.

I got bored.

Crazy as it sounds.

So, once you’ve gotten sick of your project, how do you keep yourself from giving up? How do you reignite that spark? How do you pull yourself out of the rut, and get your fingers flying once more?

  1. Leave it alone.

This may be a good time to take a two-day vacation. Getting away from your writing desk, out into the big, wide world, may be just the thing you need to get your creative juices flowing, and make you fall in love once more with the imaginary world you’ve created inside your head. However, be careful that you don’t leave it for too long. Leaving it for so long that you forget your love for it won’t do you any good. Set aside a few days, or a week, to rejuvenate. Don’t just think about this as a time to get away, think about it as a time to fall in love, sort of like a couple’s retreat, except instead of bonding with the love of your life, you’ll be bonding with the non-existent, fictional worlds inside your brain.

I wonder how that conversation would go…

“Hello, Honeymoon Haven? Yes, this is Jane Doe. I’d like to make a reservation for myself and a boatload of fictional teenage rebels. I can assure you, they won’t cause any trouble. And if they accidentally blow up the building, you can put it on my bill.”

  1. Work on something else.

Taking a break to write something else might just be the change you need to reignite that spark. Writing a couple pages of one of the many story ideas you probably have floating around inside your brain could just do it. If you have any stories you’re dying to tell, but keep reminding yourself that you can’t because you have to finish this project first, it might be a good idea to just let yourself go for it. Write until you’re sick of it, and see if your passion has been reawakened. This is probably my favorite method, because it really helps me to remember why I loved writing so much in the first place.

  1. Plow through it.

Believe it or not, if you keep on going, the inspiration will come. Sometimes you have to fight for it. But you can’t just sit around forever, waiting for the golden moment when your mind suddenly decides that it wants to write this book. You just have to write it.

Reading other people’s books is a very good way to get yourself writing. But nothing beats just doing the work. Because, as much as you may love it, writing is work, plain and simple, and sometimes, we get lazy. We want to skip to the exciting parts, when instead, we should be making the entire book the exciting part.

So, basically, just do whatever works best for you. Odds are, you know what will make you write, you just want someone to tell you to do it. So now that I’ve told you, it’s up to you to do something about it.

Happy writing.

Love to all,

Baylie

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