Monday, August 5, 2013

tips to get out of a writing funk

Image from here

Editing sometimes erodes my desire to write. I like the end result but the process----whew. 
When the words haven't been flowing the way they usually do, these are some steps that have helped in the past:

1. Step away from all types of screens: Studies have shown that the blue light from computer and phone screens actually prevents your brain from going to sleep! Going through a lag with your project might just mean it's a sign to take a break. 

2. Free-write

3. View your story from different vantage points: I do a large, zoomed out story summary on a poster board and a smaller scaled look at each chapter through index cards. Some people find it helpful to write the conflict, characters, and plot movement for each chapter.

4. Novelty---of any kind: Read a different type of story. Try a new restaurant. Run. 

5. Whether you're self-publishing or going through the traditional route, ask yourself, Did I give this story my all? Did I go above and beyond with editing so that the first draft and final one look entirely different? Is it at a place that's good enough to be read by others? Did I ask multiple people to critique it?  

6. Read a book written by one of your inspiring blogger friends. My current list: Alex, Sangu, and Talli (more to come soon!)

7. Offer help to someone else on their journey. Put those query letter/beta reading/synopsis editing skills to work so that someone else can improve their work. For me, other writers have been extremely supportive and valuable.

P.S. In case you missed it, why Stephen King sometimes spends years writing an opening line!


  1. These are all great tips. I especially like #7- paying it forward is always a wonderful exercise and stokes those fires of creativity.

  2. Great tips! Yeah, editing for someone else helps two people at once. And is that me? Are you reading one of my books?

  3. Great tips, Saumya! Stepping away often helps. I find revising the first draft to be the most overwhelming. There's just too much to fix and change and add and cut! But I take it one sentence, one paragraph, one chapter at a time.

    I saw that Stephen King interview. Wasn't it fascinating? Whatever his methods are, clearly it's working for him!!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  4. Nice tips, indeed. But your PS really amazed me. Given how prolific Stephen King is . . . taking years to write a first line? Wow!

  5. I used to hate editing to the point that some of my initial blog-posts were published unedited! I still prefer someone else to do it, but somehow get myself do the initial one/two rounds of editing. But editing (and editors :P) take the fun out of writing. IMHO. :)

    Destination Infinity

  6. Good tips.
    Now if only you had a list of "cheats" for easier literary magazine submissions!