Hello there my lovelies! It's Sunday, which means it's the typical day for my blog post and today, I'm going to be discussing a topic that most (if not all) of you have experienced if you've been in the writing community for any length of time. Today, I'm giving you my two cents on how to handle writer's block or lack of motivation.
Typically, in my experience, writer’s block and/or lack of motivation to write (or edit, or market) go hand in hand. This period is usually marked by a lack of inspiration, lack of original thought, lack of motivation, a big imposter-syndrome wave, and often a huge sense of guilt. If you are or have in the past experienced any or all of these, then today’s post will likely be helpful.
First and foremost, rest at ease, that if you want to get past this downturn in your writing, you probably will. It doesn’t usually last forever, and despite your possible anxiety that your writing career is over (or will never get started), you can push through this uncomfortable time and get back to the feeling you had before your rut. You just have to work at it.
If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you know that writer's block/lack of motivation is a common theme in my posts. It’s not a new/novel idea for me and likely all of you, but it’s one we all face fairly regularly. So regularly, in fact, that I’ve done several blog posts about the most common things one experiences during writer's block/lack of motivation, what to do when you feel it, how to overcome it, and how to give yourself a break. I haven’t ever explicitly drawn a line between how all the posts relate, but hang onto your butts, because here goes.
(Warning: This post is likely to remind you of the recap Friends episodes. The ones where they replay the best parts of all your favorite old episodes, but don't really move the plot forward. Hopefully, it will remind you why you like this blog 🥰)
My Two Cents on Burnout defines burnout and all the ways I know I get there (and that likely a lot of you experience as well). Overcommitment and people pleasing are two of the main things I discuss that could lead you there, with the most important solution being learning to prioritize what’s important and say no to everything else!
My Two Cents on Being in a Rut explores the idea of falling head first into the rut and giving yourself grace. It’s not possible to be creative all the time, and putting pressure on yourself to do that is just begging for disappointment. It explains that if you accept the fact that ruts are inevitably going to happen, and you prepare for the inevitability, then your career will go much smoother.
One thing I didn’t necessarily discuss in that post is the preparation part. However, I did discuss it in My Two Cents on Juggling it All .
In this post I discuss how to make sure your goals are met even when you experience writer's block. It suggests prioritizing, planning ahead, and writing extra during periods of inspiration to accommodate for the times when you don’t have time or don’t feel inspired. Of course, this only works if you schedule/list items long enough to accommodate the length of your rut. But ultimately, it can help you figure out a way not to go silent on your fans during times you’re struggling to keep up.
In my post My Two Cents on Taking Time off I discuss the importance of giving yourself permission to stop if you need to.
I also have a post about prioritizing your mental health
which isn’t really all about writing and is a more personal look at what I was struggling with at the time I wrote it, but might still help you understand that it’s okay. It’s okay to struggle. It’s okay, not to be okay. And it’s okay to take a break when you need one. Nothing about writing is so important that you should hurt your mental health. So if you need to be unproductive, let yourself.
My Two Cents on Impostor Syndrome explores EVERY writer's periods of experiencing a downturn in self worth.
It’s difficult to accept that your writing is good enough. Especially during periods of rejection. As I’ve recently announced, I’m moving forward with plans to self-publish, but I’m still querying, and still have several full-manuscripts out with publishers/agents. So the rejection (which I also explore in My Two Cents on Rejection can easily be a source of feeling like an impostor.
But it’s not the only source. Sometimes you can feel it because you are experiencing writer’s block. Sometimes the impostor syndrome gives you a mental block when it settles in without warning and unprovoked. It can be a vicious cycle and one that’s hard to break, but ultimately, it usually passes on its own, and generally as quickly and mysteriously as it started.
Finally, My Two Cents on Re-Inspiration gives ideas on how to get back on track.
After you’ve taken a break, after you’ve given yourself time to lay around in your rut, after you’ve prioritized your mental health. This post (and my post on My Two Cents on Shaking it Up ) gives you actionable ideas for how to move through your struggles.
Read (something by any author but you), write (something other than what you’re used to), and learn/ask for help (from another person in your shoes). Read classics that inspired you to write, by authors who you want to emulate. Write something new. Stop belaboring that project that sent you spiraling. Write for a contest, find a writing prompt, find something that you have an opinion on and just write an article about it. Also, it suggests going back to a part of that story that sent you spiraling and finding out where you might’ve gone wrong. And finally, learn something new. Reach out to your peers/find a group of people who can teach you something. Ask for their advice, and take it (but not all of it as my post about My Two Cents on How to Implement Advice suggests).
Ultimately guys, there is no magic solution for getting past writer's block or lack of inspiration. You have to, and WILL experience it. It’s inevitable. And anyone who tells you it isn’t is either a.) a new writer, b.) lying, or c.) the luckiest person on the planet. I haven’t met a writer who hasn’t experienced almost everything all of these articles discuss. Writer’s block, ruts, lack of motivation, burnout, imposter syndrome, whatever you want to call it, it happens to ALL writers. I say this not to minimize how it feels to you, but to make you feel less alone. We are all in the same boat, and the sooner you realize that writer’s block is part of the process, the happier you’ll be.
So that’s it folks, that’s my Two Cents on Writer’s Block. It was actually nothing I haven’t said before, and probably nothing I won’t say again. It happens, you have to accept that, find ways that work for you to get past it, and then accept that it’s probably not the last time you’ll experience it.
Have a happy weekend my friends!
-Rose Rayne Rivers
Have you experienced writer's block now/in the past? Tell us about it below so we can all commiserate with you. Also, tell us what you did to get past it.
Also, let me know if you have any topics you want me to cover in the upcoming weeks!
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