Good morning everyone, I hope you are all well and your writing journey’s are moving at a happy pace.
I certainly hope you’re not as I am right now…stuck in the middle of a real, writer’s slump. Thankfully, I seem to be on my way out of it but it’s been a tough couple of weeks for my WIP (work in progress). I thought I’d share some thoughts with you today, on the slump but also on how to beat it!
What is a writer’s slump?
I suppose this could be subjective but for me the writer’s slump has been a period of lows and no writing due to negative thoughts. I thought I was coming so close to finishing my first draft only to realise that one whole half of the story was actually boring and completely unfinished. Plus, I had no idea how to turn it around. For me, the slump has also seen me grappling at ideas to improve the story, some okay and some borderline ridiculous. Not a good feeling, and I’m sure every writer has been there at least once.
As I’m now slowly pulling myself away from this period of slumpy-ness (that is definitely NOT a real word) I thought I’d share with you some of the ways I’ve managed to keep going, so that if you’re going through the same thing this might help you beat it too.
1. Write Anyway
This is possibly the hardest one to do, and it took me a while before I took this advice myself. I simply didn’t feel like writing. But of course, habit is important for writers and practice makes perfect so it is really important that you do keep writing through the slump. If you really can’t face your WIP for a while then write something else, a flash fiction piece, a short story or even some poetry.
2. Lay Out your Plot
For me, this has become the most helpful way to break through the slump. Because my main issue was the lack of direction in the middle of my WIP I decided to write out a card for each scene in the story so far. This way I can order them, re-order them and see what sort of scenes might be needed to fill the gaps. Having these cards will probably be beneficial through the editing process, when the time comes, because I’ll be able to see what needs to go and what needs to stay.
For anyone wanting to do this, on the cards I simply wrote the POV character, the chapter number (to be changed if needed), the location and the basic premise of that scene.
3. Speak to the Community
The writer’s community is something I’ve spoken about a number of times on my blog. There’s so many ways to connect with other writers online, personally I do most of mine through instagram. The level of understanding, advice and encouragement from my fellow writer’s ALWAYS gets me through writer’s block and other writing issues. Don’t be afraid to share your problems. Chances are there’s hundreds of us who’ve been through the same thing, and everyone’s so willing to offer valuable advice.
4. Don’t Give Up
Perhaps this sounds quite simple and unimaginative, but hey, I mean it! Take a moment to sit back and remember why you started to write your story, what it means to you and how far you’ve come! The commitment to writing a story is no small task and you should be proud of yourself every step of the way, even when the steps aren’t moving you very fast.
If you’ve been out of writing for a long time, as opposed to being in a small slump, you can also read my 5 Tips for Getting Back Into Writing which focuses on over a year without jotting down a single word.
Do you have any advice for writing slumps? I’d love to hear what gets you through, so please comment below.