Image from Flickr by thepinkpeppercorn
Ali: This is a guest post from Jessica Flory of Story Tips. I know I’ve had times in my writing life when I’ve felt fed up, disillusioned, or frustrated – and sometimes I’ve not written for months at a stretch. Jessica has great advice on learning to love writing again. Over to her…
We’ve all had it happen. You’re staring at the blank screen, wondering what to write about or how to get the motivation to write anything. Times when you’re really down, you might wonder why you even started writing in the first place.
Don’t give up! There are ways to remind yourself how much you love writing.
#1: Write Something Different
A great way to fall in love with writing again is to write something totally crazy, something you would normally never, ever write. If you write non-fiction, try writing a story. The more dragons and clouds made of ice cream, the better. If you write fiction, try writing something in a genre you know nothing about. You’ve never even touched a science fiction book? Perfect.
You might find a new type of writing you like, and it will help your brain get thinking of ideas you’ve never been in touch with before. Whatever the case, you’ll probably have fun, since you won’t be pressuring yourself to produce a fabulous piece of writing. You can loosen up your writing muscles and keep going.
#2: Have Your Mom Read Your Writing
It doesn’t really have to be your mom. Just make sure it’s someone who loves you and who cares about not hurting your feelings.
A common cause of hating your writing is writing something you hate. No kidding. Usually, it’s better than you think, and working up the courage to show it to someone you love can prove this. Have
someone read it who you know will praise everything you’ve done right.
For me, this is my mom, because she never gives me any criticism. Normally, this is bad, but when I hate my writing, it’s the perfect cure.
#3: Take a Break
Sometimes you might just be getting burnt out. Your creativity could be running on low. All you need to fall in love with writing again may just be a little rest.
Your break might need to be a few days or a week long. That’s totally okay. Take time for yourself, because once you’re excited to write again, your writing will be that much better.
When you feel like you’re ready to write, start up in short bursts, say, half an hour at a time. Even if you want to go over that, don’t. Writing in smaller bits will let you ease back into the writing
routine and help prevent you getting burnt out again.
#4: Treat Yourself for Past Successes
Remind yourself of things you’ve done right. Have you published a novel or short story before that you were proud of? What about a blog post that drew a lot of visitors? Go back and remind yourself how that felt. You worked hard, and you deserve to feel good about your writing.
Celebrate, even if that success is long past. Go out to eat or to a movie. Reminding yourself about your success and rewarding yourself for it can do wonders for falling in love with writing again.
Have you ever been stuck in a rut where you hated everything you wrote? What did you do to get out of it? Let us know in the comments…
Jessica Flory helps authors fulfill their publishing dream with story writing advice at her site, Story Tips. She loves to write YA SciFi and Fantasy (yep, she’s a nerd), and she took a creative writing course from Brandon Sanderson – # 1 New York Times best-selling author. Be jealous.