Can’t write anymore! Stuck in a rut… What should I do? Every writer fears this day but eventually, we all find ourselves there.
Am I stuck forever? Am I even a good writer?
Stop. The answer is YES, you are a good writer. And NO, this block won’t last forever.
Writer’s block is a common occurrence among all authors, whether you create fiction, comedy texts, or blog posts.
It is completely natural to be tired and feel like you can’t write anymore. It happens to the best of us. Let’s figure out how to keep writing when you are stuck.
What to do if you are stuck in a rut?
Here are some things that I find helpful.
Do Not Panic
First of all, do not make a huge deal out of it. When it happens the first time with an author, one might think of it as the end of the world. OH NO, my friend. Believe me, it is not.
Writer’s block is closely connected to anxiety, self-criticism, and perfectionism. So the more you’ll focus on what you cannot do, the harder it seems. If you want to blog consistently, keep in mind that panic can lead to frustration and fixation.
Do not be harsh on yourself; do not discredit any of your writing skills and accomplishments. Think of it as a learning moment.
Find the Root
Why can’t I write anymore? I’ve been working on this novel/article for two weeks and everything was fine! Of course, there is no one reason behind all blocks, but there is a psychology of creative writing to help. Think of why you are stuck in a rut, for example:
- You do not know what happens next;
- You’ve lost interest in the story;
- You lack information and need additional research;
- Maybe you are simply tired;
- You are too critical of yourself.
If you are one of the lucky ones and have a writing mentor, you can ask for his/her assistance in finding the issue. Finding the root of the problem can be the best way to overcome it.
Write Something Else
What I like to do personally when I’m stuck and can’t write is to get busy with a side job. For example, you do not know what to do with your novel – ok, let it rest.
Go and write a blog post, an article, a poem, or just do some trash writing.
Of course, you need to stay on schedule, whether you are working to monetize your blog or finish a story by the publisher’s deadline. But the secret is to keep your creativity running. Do not stop writing.
Try Free Writing and Other Prompts
If there is no side gig or you simply cannot do it either, it is time to try some writing prompts.
One of my favorite ones is a technique by Julia Cameron called Morning Pages. In this exercise, you need to free-write three pages each morning.
Do not edit, do not reread, do not care about what you are writing, and what is it for. Just scribble anything that comes to your mind for three pages.
It helps to release all negative thoughts and boost one’s mood. And look, you’ve finished 3 pages! You definitely can write!
You can find lots of other prompts and exercises online. They help to get out of the comfort zone, try something new, and boost creativity.
Try New Setting
Here’s an easy way to approach this problem – switch up your routine. Maybe it’ll help you to be more inspired to work.
For example, choose a new place, go outside to a café or stay at home on the contrary. Try software that helps to write without distractions instead of the usual text editor, for example, Ommwriter.
Set new music as it helps to reduce stress and be more productive. Change it up a bit and see how it goes.
Start from the Middle
You may be stuck because you cannot deal with this particular part or scene at the moment. It is ok, some of them take much more effort and labor to complete. What is the solution? Just go to the next section.
This one will not go anywhere, you can finish it later.
And the same works for any type of text, whether it is an article, blog post, or fiction story. Create a plan of what you’ll address or what happens with the characters. At least start with an outline skeleton. And if you cannot do one part, start with the middle one or even with the last one.
No rule says you need to write in chronological order.
You’ll feel better as you go along and be more confident to come back and do the complicated part.
Do Something Different
There is another reason why you might be stuck – you are just tired. It is that easy. In such a case, try to do something else.
I mean not watching Netflix for the whole day, no matter how tempting it sounds. I mean something active but different.
Go for a walk and pay attention to people and surroundings. Maybe there is something cool you can spot for inspiration.
Try exercising. They endorse cognitive function and give us a better mood. You can do it at home, go to the gym, or try jogging – whatever works for you.
Another great option is to read. There is nothing that inspires a writer more than other authors’ excellence.
Now just get rid of writer’s block!
Writer’s block happens to every author out there. It is a completely normal part of the process and there is no need to be extremely disappointed about it.
Try to change your routine, use some writing prompts, and exercises. Preferably do not stop writing, just switch it up a bit.
Wish you good luck with your writings 😉
Share your thoughts and tips on how you are relieving the stress. I will be happy to find other ideas.
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