Getting Over #Writer’s Block and Moving On – It Happened to Me

Have you ever been stuck when writing a book, not being able to figure out why the well has gone dry? Better yet, has your interest in your current project seemed to dissipate each time you go to revisit it?

 

I know there are plenty of us out there who become afflicted with writer’s block at some point – and notice I said us. Writer’s block – or whatever you choose to call it, strikes many a writer. And many of us have our tried and true methods to try to get unstuck. Often times, the best method to cure this ailment is to take a break away from our manuscripts. This distancing gives us time to work on something else and go back to our book with fresh eyes, often giving us renewed interest and ideas once we’ve taken a pause.

But sometimes, if we’ve gone back to our manuscript many times, inspiration can still seem to elude us, it may be a sign that it’s time to ditch a project. Now that doesn’t mean we hit delete on all our work or throw it in the garbage. Sometimes, the book we’re working on just may not be the right project for us at the current time. So what can we do to bring back the muse and reignite our inspiration?

Move on! We can use writing prompts and participate in writing challenges, which keep the writing chops greased. How about trying our hand at some poetry or flashfiction? Diving into something unfamiliar can broaden our horizons. It’s surprising to learn how ideas suddenly start flowing again while we’re working on something else.

But how long is long enough to wait for the inspiration to kick in when we’re just not feeling the creative love? Have we waited too long to get back to our manuscript? Have we gone back to it many times only to find we’re still not feeling the love? I ask because that’s exactly what happened to me . . .

After publishing my last book a year and a half ago, that meant I had published 6 books in just over 4 years. In two of those years I published 2 books. Writing for months, revisions and edits, book covers, formatting, marketing, eating up most of my waking life, the thrill of the final product and knowing others enjoy my work is certainly rewarding. But after my last book, I felt burnt out, and was in desperate need of taking a timeout from book writing – only my timeout was beginning to last way too long.

 

typing

 

 

Sure, I did all the things I’ve recommended above, and sure there was plenty enough going on in my personal life, which kept me from progressing with my next WIP. And yes, I had a good outline to work with and had gradually written a few chapters for the book I had in mind to write as a sequel to my book Menowhat? A Memoir – The Change After the Change, a humorous look at what’s left of us after menopause. I loved the topic and had fun writing for it when I got inspired, but my inspiration somehow waned each time I went back.

I kept busy with life and other writing projects and before I realized it, my book writing break had grown to over a year. I questioned myself many times: Did I lose my mojo? Why isn’t this book captivating my interest? Where did my passion go?

My awakening – The book no longer held my interest. It isn’t a bad book at all, in fact, it’s quite humorous, and I wanted to write something humorous. I got stuck writing without passion so I looked for deterrents to keep from writing, somehow not realizing that I should just put the book aside and start something new. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel like writing another book after a long break; the problem was that I’m a pretty disciplined writer who had been living under one of my self-imposed rules – I have to finish what I start. I kept beating the proverbial dead horse, hoping to make it move. Ultimately, I wouldn’t give myself permission to move on so I continued on with the book writing drought.

It took me all that time off from book writing to realize it’s been awhile since I seriously spent some book writing time, and to admit to myself that it’s okay to move on. I didn’t have to delete my work, it’s still there waiting for me when I decide to go back to it, but I could be writing something else that fulfills my passion. Now that didn’t mean I immediately had a better idea of what else I would write about, and that still took a bit of muse time to happen. But I freed myself up to be able write something new that resonated with my passion when I finally gave myself that permission to work on something else.

Last week I was discussing my writing drought with a writing friend, and after getting some new insight, I became curious about trying out different writing styles. Since my writing seems to resonate with readers who enjoy my conversational style of writing, I began checking out some books written in epistolary style, where the author writes letters to someone as a method of conveying personal thoughts. I already developed an idea for such kind of book and as I continued researching books in this style, I was led to finding other books in similar styles, and one book leading to another – a new idea sparked again. I liked the idea of writing memories in essay form, blended with my conversational style, injected with humor. I came across a book where the title resonated with me and read the ‘look inside’ on Amazon and my new idea was sparked.

 

Happiness

 

So, I’m happy to announce I am back to book writing. I even have a few titles ready for it, the one I pick will be determined by how many entries I’ll have on the book because it will begin with a number. This new revelation came to me only a few days ago. I’ve done a rough outline of topics I want to cover and have actually written 2500 words! Hey, it’s a start. The idea is there, the enthusiasm is back, and in a few weeks, I’ll see what develops, and I’ll be back here sharing more, and perhaps a rough excerpt of one of my entries. I’m back!

 

If you’d like to share what works for you to deal with writer’s block, please feel free to below in comments.

 

©DGKaye

 

 

 

 

 

How to Deal with Writer’s Block by DG Kaye | No Wasted Ink

Reblog and featuring

 

I had the pleasure of being invited over to Wendy Van Camp’s No Wasted Ink to contribute an article on writing. Today I’m sharing my article here on the topic of the dreaded Writer’s Block.

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH WRITER’S BLOCK BY D.G. KAYE

 

A common problem many writers encounter is the dreaded writer’s block. It can hit us smack in the middle of our writing. We’re happily writing along until, boom! The creative well runs dry.

Because our craft is guided by mental focus and inspiration, it’s not difficult to imagine that sometimes we might get shut out from our creative energies. When life issues get in the way, I know I’ve certainly fallen victim to this freeze out of creativity while life is testing me with unforeseen circumstances that can take the wind right out of my writing sails.

When we implement self-imposed deadlines for our work, the mental pressure we put upon ourselves to accomplish our goals often have us scrambling to force our creative abilities.

Many writers have found their secret formulas for helping to get the creative juices, or their muses and mojos flowing, but many others struggle when the well of creativity begins to evaporate. So, what’s a writer to do?

Don’t change course by slacking off completely. Keep your imaginations open. There are many things we can do to re-ignite our creativity, often when we least expect it.

 

Read

Get newly inspired by reading a book or an interesting article or blog post. If you’ve allotted this time for writing, do something else to keep your mind in the creative realm. You will be surprised to find the ideas that float into mind while our concentrating efforts are focused on something else.

 

Write

Yes, you may get stumped on your current WIP, but working on another writing project will often summon up some new ideas for exactly the project you’re taking a breather from. If you don’t have another project to work on, use writing prompts to get the juices flowing again. Writing of any sort is a stimulant to our creative centers. Often, writing about a completely different topic will spark an idea for something else we’re working on. . . Continue reading at Wendy’s blog.

 

 

Source: How to Deal with Writer’s Block by DG Kaye | No Wasted Ink

Trainstorming for Writer’s Block – #BlogChallenge

blog challenge

 

I’m sure we’ve all read many great ideas by other writers who occasionally become stumped by writer’s block. We can take a break, work on another project, go for walk or do a myriad of other things to stimulate our creative juices, but my favorite thing to do is to use writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing.

 

I’ve written a few posts over the years about overcoming writer’s block and shared one of the books I use for writing prompt exercises, Natalie Goldberg’s – Old Friend From Far Away, where I used her prompts to create my ‘I am‘ series. But recently, I was reading a blog post over at Lana Broussard’s blog and I got this idea from her post there called the ‘Chatty Blitz’ to open up the creative channels.

 

I’m renaming my word prompt idea ‘Trainstorming’. The word is comprised of a brainstorming of words and thoughts followed like a train by the next sentence. What to do:

  • Start by choosing the first random sentence that comes to mind
  • Continue the next sentence (thought) beginning with the last word from the previous sentence
  • Keep on writing more sentences in same manner until you feel you’re done
  • Don’t think too hard what you’re going to write, just write the first thing that pops in your head
  • Now take a look at what you’ve written and you may just find a story to write about

 

After you’ve created your own trainstorm, you’ve exercised your mind and given yourself more words and/or ideas to prompt your writing and created a process that has the potential for a new story idea.

 

Here’s my example, done in 30 seconds: (On the airplane where I wrote this)

 

I will miss you beautiful Arizona.

Arizona desert heat and cacti flourish.

Flourish all of you beautiful flowers of spring.

Spring forward, don’t stay stagnant.

Stagnant thoughts don’t allow growth.

Growth is measured by . . . 

 

I challenge  any of you to continue on by using my last sentence above to begin your trainstorm and please feel free to share what you come up with below in comments or by leaving a link to your post.

 

Thank you to John Maberry for using this exercise for the intro to his short story – Derek’s Dominos

 

10 Top tips to cure the indie author’s “writer’s block” | Self-Publishing Advice

WRITING TIPS Top tips to cure the indie author’s “writer’s block” | Self-Publishing Advice. I thought I’d share this post for those of us who occasionally experience the dreaded ‘writer’s block’ there are some helpful hints here to kickstart us writers back into shape!