How to Get Out of a Writing Slump

woman writing on a notebook beside teacup and tablet computer
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on

At the end of 2019 I had all these grand thoughts about 2020, like it’s going to be my writing year, I am going to CRUSH it! But then January 1 came and went and I didn’t feel any different. I didn’t feel inspired. How I know I’m uninspired: I’ll do anything and everything to avoid working on a manuscript. Taxes? Why yes I’ll file the second W2’s are available, and yeah I’m going to clean that top corner of the living room I haven’t touched in a year LOL and make a scrapbook I’ve been meaning to do for months and try 8 new recipes…you get the idea.

The thing is, I’ve felt this before and it has passed. If you write long enough (I’m going on roughly 18 years of writing regularly) your writing inspiration and productivity will look more like waves with ups and downs not a steady line. So my first tip for getting out of a writing slump is: wait it out. It will pass. Sometimes it’ll take a week, a few weeks, or even a few months. Yes, there are stretches where I’m not writing at all. And that’s okay. At least I’m accomplishing other stuff (see above).

Another thing I’ve done to get out of a slump: write something just for the heck of it. Something just for me, or something just for fun that you don’t have any grand hopes for. My husband and I recently took a trip to Walt Disney World and I took copious notes which I turned into this blog post. I know there are a million Disney advice blogs out there – I read tons of them when planning our trip – but I couldn’t resist writing my own take. Read it here. Or, try an activity book like this one.

My other tip for getting out of a creativity rut: consume other media. Documentaries, TV shows, books, trashy celebrity gossip. Whatever appeals to you.

There you have it, my tips for getting unstuck creatively. If you have any tips I’d love to hear them. Meanwhile I will try to get in the mood to work on my latest novel, a middle grade story, which is 70% done. I am trying to make it to the finish line by April. I told my agent my goal so hopefully that helps me stay accountable!

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