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Slopping Through the Writing Slump

06 Dec

frustrationI Want to Be A Writer Series

As with any type of creative work, you will hit a point where you feel like you have hit a brick wall. No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot get your brain into the writing mode. You feel as if you have lost your ability to connect to the characters or the will to write period. That is a very common problem that every writer faces. So how do you get out of it?

The first thing you must always remember, is that writing a story is a very personal endeavor. It is something that you alone must create. There will not be a coach or a boss standing over your shoulder to keep you motivated every step of the way. You may have a few friends and loved ones that support you, and that is great, but it is completely and entirely up to you to see this through. The inspiration and motivation must always come from inside of you, independent of any outside source that can and will alter like the weather outside your window.

Some people suggest that when you hit a slump, just write your way through it.  Even if it is crap, just keep writing. That may work for some, or it can create a horrible habit that will clearly reflect in your finished product. Personally, I have edited too many of my own books to waste time deleting and rewriting uninspired crap. I have also been the victim of having to read through uninspired crap that forced me to throw a book out without finishing it, and that is the last thing you want your readers to do. Some people may be satisfied by just saying that they finished writing a book, and that is their ultimate achievement, but that is not a writer, that is a hobbyist. If you are to be a career writer, you must learn to find that special place where the writing flows out of you and your characters come to life.

One of the best ways I have found to pull myself out of a writing slump, is to simply walk away for a few days, find a book from one of my favorite authors that I haven’t read yet, and simply fall in love with reading all over again. Writing is only a means of projecting the magic of what you really love, and that is reading. When you rediscover the passion that motivated you to write in the first place, you will begin to find that slump disappearing, and the drive to be creative begins to boil inside of you once again.

Once that desire is found, read through what you have written.  You may find that your slump was actually a sign that it was your story that was hitting a brick wall. Perhaps you went off track, and fell into a side story that was pushing you away from the main plot. Perhaps your characters are bored and something needs to happen to spice their lives up a little more. You may even find that the original plot you began the story with is really nothing more than a step to an even greater event that you never even thought of.

Fear of altering a plan once you begin is a huge obstacle to overcome. It is like taking a road trip.  Sure, you may get to your destination, but was the journey getting there noteworthy? What if you were so focused on the destination, you missed an even greater adventure that you could have taken if you weren’t so focused on the end result.  Plans, outlines, whatever you are using as a guide to work your way through, need to be flexible. Do not set anything in stone until the very last word of your story is written.

The morale of the story; find that balance that nurtures your creativity. Do not rely on things that you cannot control for inspiration, and do not box your creativity inside a box that hinders a story from its true potential. Free yourself from obstacles that hinder you and always hold on to the passion by reminding yourself of its true potency. Enjoy the art you are partaking of. Read and remember the way it feels to fall in love with a book, so that you remember the elements that your readers want to find in yours.

Previous Post in the Series “Allow the Characters to Speak”

Next Post in the Series “Avoiding the Writing Crash and Burn”

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2 Comments

Posted by on December 6, 2012 in IWTBAW Series

 

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2 responses to “Slopping Through the Writing Slump

  1. jenovotny

    December 26, 2012 at 3:30 am

    This is much better advice than simply saying “write through the slump,” which for many people, myself included, does not work.

     

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