One of the best feelings in the world is when I feel inspired to write. Sometimes it comes when I'm out and can't reach a keyboard, and sometimes I'm lucky enough to be near a computer or journal. My fingers running across the keyboard, my mind moving a mile a minute. The rush of adrenaline I get as I finish page after page.
Unfortunately, this feeling is very rare. Relying on inspiration or motivation to write isn't always the best plan unless you're lucky and have some unlimited supply of inspiration. In that case, I envy you greatly. For some writers, however, it's a lot harder to write consistently. If you're like me, you go through periods of writing a lot every day, and periods of writing nothing at all for weeks or even months. Despite writing being a passion of mine, it can sometimes cause more frustration than it does joy. That's okay, it's normal. But if I ever want to finish anything, I need to be more consistent. I need to find a way out of my writing slump.
If you've suffered the same fate as me, hopefully, one of the methods below can help you out of your own writing slump.
Start something new
Sometimes, you don't write because whatever project you're working on just isn't motivating you. Whether you don't have a story you're passionate about, the plan is intimidating, or you're just not feeling it--starting something new can be refreshing and can inspire you to continue your past project. Whether it's a short story, a poem, an essay, or something else entirely, it works as long as you are writing. The most important thing when first getting out of a writing slump is getting words on a page.Once you have that, you can always go back and edit.
Go back to something old
We all have our comfort projects where we feel we can easily slip back in without much effort. Sometimes it's a more serious project, other times it's just for yourself. If you can return to work that is familiar and welcoming, you might be more likely to fall back into old good habits. Starting new projects can be an extremely intimidating thing, so when first coming out of a writing slump, sometimes it's best to go back to what you know. Whether you're adding on to the work, or just editing, even just reading through--it should help you find your rhythm again.
Change your environment
Your environment may be influencing more than you know. Some writers have a preferred writing spot where they know they will get work done, others need some variety in their environment as they write. If you're finding that you're getting easily distracted, or if your mind keeps wandering off, change your environment. Maybe step outside, or move to a different room. Somewhere you don't usually go for other activities is best. A new view and environment can bring an entirely new perspective, and can make it much easier to get writing.
Experiment with your routine
Routines can be great for building habits. Having an established time and place where you write is great--but sometimes it can become tedious. Writing can feel like a chore, when it's meant to be something you enjoy doing. This may be the culprit of your writer's block if you grow restless while trying to write. Change it up--if you usually write at night, try writing in the morning and vice versa. If you write indoors, go outside and try writing in the sun. Listen to different music, go to a library, go to a park if you can. Sometimes, changing your environment is all you need for some inspiration.
Talk to other writers
Personally, nothing gets me more in the mood to write like talking about writing. Talking to your fellow writers can be extremely helpful. Whether you're talking about writing itself, or your story, it can be very motivating. Hearing others' ideas is always something that inspires me, and I also love to hear feedback. Even if its just a short conversation, update a fellow writer about what you're doing. Talking about your story and the characters that live in it can get you into the perfect mindset to keep writing.
If you're a writer, I'm sure you've heard this advice about a thousand times--but its good advice. Read. Read stories that are similar to the genre you want to write, read stories that are nothing like what you write, read classics, read guilty pleasures, read articles and essays. Reading helps your mind find that rhythm of storytelling again. It can help you structure your own story. If nothing else, reading will assist you in molding your voice as a writer.
Just do it
Yes, it's easier said than done, but it can be done. Sitting at your laptop, make yourself open that doc and start typing. Even if it's just a page, or just a sentence, it's a start and that's all the matters. If it's terrible, you can go back and edit later. What matters most when you're in a writing slump is getting words on a page. You can start slowly by easing yourself in. Write a page a day, then after a couple days write two. Before you know it, you'll find a routine again, and you won't want to stop writing.
Writing is no easy task, even for those of us who claim to love it. It's a tiring and intimidating task. However, there is nothing like the sense of accomplishment that comes with a good writing day. If you're like me, not writing comes with a certain sense of guilt that eats away at me until I finally write. Coming out of a writing slump can be hard, but in the end, it feels like breaking the surface of water you've been under for too long, and taking a glorious breath of fresh air.