When Your Writing is Feeling Uninspired

I usually love English classes, but I have had the hardest time with the current English class I am taking. I have found myself awake until the early hours of the morning more times than I would like to admit. And you know what? It is awful. Like, I consider lighting my hair on fire awful or think about maybe dropping out of all my classes and moving to England to become an au pair (which isn't actually a half bad idea!) kind of awful. And no one likes that. So, as I was deciding between these two options, I came up with these tips and then decided to try them, since I am far too attached to my hair and am not ready to move to Europe quite yet.

- Take a shower.
This helps me tremendously sometimes, just like the other night. I think my best thoughts in the shower, and my quiet break clears my head and makes me ready to focus when returning to my computer. Sometimes you just gotta stand in some hot water for ten minutes, you know?

- Go for a walk.
I don't have to tell you how lovely it is to get out for some fresh air. It just is. And of course, there is tons of science-y talk behind it too. But the bottom line is this: Put on a coat, pull your Uggs on, grab your dog's leash, and just go. Bonus points for bringing along a cup of tea.

- Change your scenery.
I hardly do work in the same spots these days. It just depends on my mood. Sometimes I need the bustling sounds of the 24-hour Starbucks and endless cups of coffee to distract me from the fact that I am working so hard, or other times I need the comfort of my own room, a blanket spread across my lap, my luscious candles burning, and my pup at my feet. When your work is halted, try picking up and changing your writing environment to keep things interesting.

- Turn off the computer.
What?! Yep, just do it. Sometimes I get so frustrated at my words on the screen and the blinking cursor waiting impatiently for my next thoughts that I haven't even thought of yet. Then I just save my work (or don't if it is that bad!) and turn the damn thing off. Walk away for a while or revert back to writing with good old pencil and paper.

- Read some of your successful past writing.
It is nice to look back at some of my writing that was actually considered good. It's a wonderful confidence booster and reminds you of what you are capable of, and that this writing block won't last forever!

Eventually, after following a bit of my own advice, I was able to break through my writing rut and power through the rest of that essay. And now I have vowed (for the billionth time) that I will not procrastinate an essay ever, ever again. Got it?

Whether you are procrastinating or not, I hope that this advice will help your writing and creative flow!

What do you do when you are stuck in a writing rut?

Jess said...

Great advice! A change of scenery always does some good. Staring at a blank screen ends up making me more nervous because I start to believe that I never will get anything written ever again, especially when there is a deadline looming.

Jennifer Kingaard said...

I hate to say it, but I always do my best work when I have procrastinated. It's the adrenaline, yo! However, try outlining. I HATE doing it, but it always makes the writing flow better. Good luck. The beginning and middle of the writing process are most frustrating, but it feels so good when you are finished and have a great product. I just finished a 32-page draft at work, and it took forever, but boy am I proud of it!

Jess // Foreign Room said...

I have been like that too for the past few years, but I am finding that this semester I haven't been able to pull it off like in the past! So onto a new plan...
WOW! Great job!!! I have never written anything that long. You definitely should be proud!

Jess // Foreign Room said...

Thanks, Jess!! Yes, that is definitely intimidating! Some nights feel hopeless, for sure...