The last few weeks I have really struggled with not wanting to write. I know I am not the only one that has dealt with this. Nor am I the only one who will in the future. So this blog post is a few suggestions to help reset your writing muse. Consistent writer’s block comes for a number of reasons, lack of focus, motivation, and inspiration are a few of them. Other activities can still be productive, it is an art of procrastination.
My number one go-to when I am trying to avoid something, is cleaning. I am not entirely sure why, but nobody has complained about me doing it, so that’s a bonus. Cleaning is helpful for a number of reasons, first because it gets me moving. Movement allows blood to move freely and will invigorate your brain and creativity.
When I don’t feel like writing, I’m often distracted and anxious especially cause I want to be writing. With neglected laundry, dishes and other messes around me, the distraction and anxiety is increased. With reduced clutter, a peaceful environment, and fresh blood going through my brain, I’m able to focus a lot better on my writing.
Reading is the joy that started writing in the first place. So, of course it would be a good place to go when that joy seems to have gone dry. A good book will reignite the wonder and imagination that leads to more wonderful stories. A bad book will prompt plot solutions and a desire to fix the story or create a better one to balance the universe. You really can’t go wrong with reading.
When I don’t feel like writing, I look for fiction and fantasy books and avoid the “how to be a writer” books. Simply because I want something exciting that sparks my imagination. But others may be looking for the little extra step to make the story better and may need the sage advice from expert writers. Either way, reading is an excellent activity to remedy a temporary aversion to writing.
My big struggle right now, is that I am busy trying to do everything all at once. I know that I don’t have time to do it all, but I think I’m going to try anyway. Planning is my strange guilty pleasure, because I can plan things to death and still want to do more. But I love it because it allows me to be realistic while still including all that I want to do. I look at my limits and choose priorities, recognizing that some things will have to wait to be a priority at a different time.
While I can easily be excessive and unhelpful in my planning, in moderation a plan can help immensely. When I don’t feel like writing, it is often because I don’t know what I’m trying to accomplish. Planning the story helps me know what problems I need to solve or what scenes I need to work out. If my block is from stress, I can plan to worry about and take care of other things later, and allow myself to write during my planned writing time.
Flexing creative muscles in any way will benefit you when you get back to writing. Cross-creating will actually help you find new solutions and increase your creativity overall. My favorite is making things. I’ve now made three diaper cakes for baby showers in the last few months. I’ve also made a mini fairy garden this year, and one year I made a fairy castle while trying to get through my master’s degree. Some like cooking, I have a friend that loves baking. Everyone has a different way of creating.
It doesn’t matter if you try to teach yourself how to paint, sculpt, bind books, or design a store layout. Creating is a process of sorting through ideas and coming up with a purposeful solution. Any creative activity allows you to think differently and, as a result, help you solve plots and stories. Trying a new form of creating, or switching among your favorites, will allow you to be more effective and productive in each of your projects. And the best part, is that it keeps it fun!
Being a writer isn’t just about writing. A lot of work goes into creating a story, blog, or article beyond just stringing words together. I’ve even heard of professional writers, who make a living off of what they write, who hate writing. Their solution is doing all the work prior to that. Sometimes, when you don’t feel like writing, it’s because you have work to do before you’re ready to write. Use your creativity and find the solutions for that.
Please share in the comments what you do when you don’t feel like writing. How do you do the pre-work? What problem do you have to solve before you’re ready to write? What gets you excited about writing again?