I’ve written posts on here about being inspired and overcoming writers block. Lately I’ve hit a slump and it’s got me to thinking again about what causes it and how to prevent it and get back to writing again.
I took a week off from writing my novel -which turned into a month- after CampNaNoWriMo intending to work more on some short stories. But (as usual) that didn’t happen.
I am going to get over this slump and get back to it! I’ve set little challenges for myself in this blog to get back to it.
Why not do the challenges yourself, write your own blog post and/or share in the comments if you feel brave enough. 🙂
First challenge, try to figure out what was holding me back and what I could do to turn it around:
What causes a slump/stops you from writing
Not having a goal or having unrealistic or far reaching goals
My goal is always to have a short story published, so whenever I write it’s with that in mind. I think that this has made me worry more about the quality of my writing and push myself hard. But when I don’t then send anything out that sends me into a downward spiral.
Solution: I’ve set a smaller more reachable goal, just to finish a story. And an even smaller goal to just think of a new idea and work more on a story I will be sending to a competition in November.
Having a knock to your confidence can also result in a slump.
I was reading over the stories I was working on and I wasn’t happy with them. It knocked my confidence and that made me not want to work on them anymore.
Solution: find someone to read these stories and tell me if my thoughts are right. Get a critique. Or set them aside and work on something else, coming back to them with a fresh eye and making the changes I need to.
Challenge: What’s holding you back?
You only fail if you stop trying. What’s holding you back? How can you overcome these obstacles? I’ve listed mine below and I’ve already mentioned my solutions. What’s yours?
- Thinking that my writing is not good enough
- My goals are not realistic, I need to break them into small goals: instead of a goal of sending a story out change it to finishing a first draft or think of an idea.
- General negative thinking.
Challenge: List your achievements.
One of my obstacles is my negative thinking so this challenge will help to change the negative thoughts and make me focus on the postive.
What’s your achievements? They don’t have to be writing related, anything you’ve done you felt proud of. Here’s mine:
- Won a short story competition a few years ago
- Met my goal and won CampNaNoWriMo 2018
- In previous months I met my weekly word count writing goal
- I write and post regularly on my blog 🙂
So what next? I’ve worked out my obstacles and thought of how I can overcome them. I’ve mentioned changing my goals. These are some ideas I’ve probably mentioned before:
- Find a writing prompt and use that to start writing or mindmapping an idea
- Read over old ideas and stories to find hidden treasures to be rewritten or reimagined
- Free write- set a timer and write until it stops
- Read some great books which will help to get the imagination working again
- Be kind, give yourself some space to help your imagination. You will get there.
My stories usually start with an image of something in my mind that sparks the idea and gets me writing. How about doing something different? How about mindmapping? Think of a theme or a word and put it in the centre of the page thinking of all the ideas you can come up with that could be made into a story. Write anything, even if it’s silly, this is meant to be creative so get out the coloured pens and have fun!
I don’t usually plan my short stories before I write, so maybe my challenge and my mini goal for the next week should be to come up with a new idea and maybe plan out a story. I could use character exercises and try to do things differently from how I usually do them. Encouraging myself to be imaginative and enjoy the process.
Sometimes you just need to remember why you love writing and what brings you back to it over and over again. You need to make it fun again.
So there’s my thoughts, one day I will be writing in this blog about my successes. If you feel brave share your own challenges in the comments or links to your blog posts. Share your words of wisdom and your successes. 🙂
So there we go. I am going to get back on track. I had a new idea recently, I’m letting it stew for a while and not forcing it. I’m wondering where it will go Hopefully I will finish some stories soon and maybe have something more positive to write about 🙂
. Share your writing successes and woes in the comments below or any advice you have.