Picture this for a moment! You are writing this wonderful piece of fiction. Every word you have written is as you imagined it in your head! Until you read it back some time later and you are about ready to hurl your computer or notebook through the nearest window!
Or, you have lost count of how many times you have written a paragraph or a description. Hell, you have lost count how many times you have re-written the beginning! Nothing feels right. Not even your consoling coffee, chocolates or treats work this time. You are out of ideas. Life sucks!
When you are in a writing rut all the writing advice will tell you not to give up, to maybe take a short break but to get back on it, and produce something. While this is good and accurate advice could it be your writing rut is trying to tell you something?
Could it be you are not even convincing yourself about what you are writing, let alone anyone else! Maybe it is time for some introspection before you write another word. And let’s face it, us writer types are known for our introspection!
Can I add here that there are many different reasons for being in a writer’s rut, just as there are many different types of writers and genres. However, let’s stick with this: you are not exactly falling in love with what you have written. You have made detailed characterisations, you have plotted perfectly, but it still doesn’t feel right.
Then consider this: you might be writing in the wrong genre for your writing style. For example, romance is still the biggest selling genre out there, however I know my writing style would never suit romance. I like my fiction/writing with more kick, so am more suited to crime, thrillers or horror! So could your writing rut be telling you the same thing? Forget about making money and what sells for the moment, write what showcases your writing in all its uniqueness and individuality. You will find your writing will flow better as you work in a genre that comes more naturally to you.
However, finding your genre is not by any means the end of the story to beating a writing rut. Writers still need to be flexible and have an ability to write in different genres and formats, especially if you intend to become a professional writer.
Writing in different forms
And while we are on the subject of different formats it might be worth taking a while and thinking about it. Could you write for children? Could you write YA fiction? Could you master poetry? What about science fiction? And if you want a change of scene from fiction then there is a whole world of non-fiction waiting for you. From writing articles to copywriting, with a lot in between!
So now you see why it may be a good thing to be stuck in a writing rut! It could be an opportunity to give your writing a major shake-up, which can only be a good thing.
Take a break
Finally and equally as important and touched on earlier: when you eventually accept that you have lost your writing mojo albeit momentarily, it could be time to take a complete break from it all and re-charge your batteries. Take as long as you need, do something different, don’t put any pressure on yourself. You know, creativity like anything else needs time to replenish. Give it that time. I bet when you do make a come-back, your writing will be better than ever!
Until next time
Happy writing, S