9 Ways to Beat the Writing Blues

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Hello everyone!

We’ve all been there: Whether we write novels or blogs (or both), we’ve likely had days, weeks, months or even years when we just feel… well, uninspired. The words don’t flow, we’re out of ideas, or our characters don’t speak to us.

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This topic is personally relevant to me because for the past few months I had a writing slump. Even though I fulfilled my goal of writing a bit each day, I felt disconnected with my characters and my story. There was this little (very very bad) birdie who whispered in my ear that my novel sucks and I might as well not write it.

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Thankfully, 30K words into my novel, I am now feeling inspired and excited about my story. There is no bullet when it comes to beating writer’s block, but here are a few things that were helpful for me:

(Note that most of these tips apply to writing a novel, though some of these may be helpful for writing blogs as well!)

1. Writing tags, memes, and link-ups

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Writing tags are like book tags, except you answer questions about your characters or your story rather than books! They are a great way to get to know your characters without the pressure of adding to your manuscript. Who knows, you might discover a gem that you want to include in your story! Oh, and writing tags are super, duper fun.

Some examples:

2. Get onto Pinterest! (And make some aesthetics!)

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I make a Pinterest board for each of my characters, and fill them with pictures that relate to my character. You can also create a board for the setting of your story if there are pictures that remind you of your world. This is a fun way to get to know your character and find inspiration for your novel. Warning: This can get very, very addictive.

3. Join a writing challenge.

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You probably know about Nanowrimo, which is the writing challenge in November where you resolve to start and finish a 50K word novel by the end of the month. Camp Nanowrimo is an event that is happening in April (right now!) and July, where we can set a word or minute goal for a month.

4. Call a friend.

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Sometimes it is helpful to bounce ideas off of a friend! He or she might just have a suggestion about your plot or your characters that can help you over your hump.

5. Skip ahead.

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If you are stuck on a section that is boring or difficult to write, why not skip ahead and write the next section? Come back to that earlier section when you are feeling inspired!

6. Make writing a habit.

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I find it hard to get into the mindset of writing if I haven’t done it in weeks or even days. On the other hand, I feel more acquainted with my characters and my story when it is something that I do every day. You might want to make writing a task to check off the calendar, or designate a place and time to write.

7. Read. Read. Read.

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Chances are, we’ve all read novels that are just so amazing that they inspire us to be creative as well! My personal philosophy is that reading lots is the key to becoming a good writer. Through reading, we are subconsciously picking up on what works and what doesn’t work in terms of plot, characters and pacing.

8. Go ahead and daydream.

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Yes! I am serious! Daydreaming is not just for children. By thinking about your novel frequently, you may come up with an idea for the backstory or the main plot line.

9. Keep on writing on.

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You might want to put your project aside for a minute, a day, a week or even longer. But always come back. Never, ever give up!

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Have you had a writer’s block? What are your tips and tricks for getting out of it?

47 thoughts on “9 Ways to Beat the Writing Blues

  1. Kat Impossible says:

    This was such a lovely post, Sophie! Thank you so much for including my writing tags, I intend to do a little less seasonal ones in the future, I just need to get inspired for the questions hahaha
    I loved all your advice here though and definitely know how valuable it is to have someone to bounce off ideas from and to just keep going, even when the going gets tough!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    I love this post Sophie, and I am definitely going to bookmark it for when I am stuck in a writing slump. It hasn’t happened just yet but I have only just re-started writing so I don’t think I’ve been in it long enough to have a slump. I always love talking about my WIP in tags, I still have Kat’s Valentine’s Day one to take part in (kind of late but I suppose it can be posted whenever right?), also there’s never a bad time to create an aesthetic for your WIP is there? I have a Pinterest board for mine and I pretty much add to it every day. I feel like I’m on Pinterest more than I’m writing! 😀
    Great post. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Beth ❤
      Writing tags are some of my favourite tags to do. I loved doing the Valentine's Day tag. I suppose you could always save it for next year 🙂
      Yes aesthetics are really fun to make. I try to limit my time on Pinterest or else I will be on it all day haha!
      How is re-writing going? Hope you are doing well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        Hi Sophie! 🙂
        I’ll probably end up posting it at some random point in time, it’ll just be either really late or really early depending on when I post it.
        I can never limit my time, it’s too addictive, haven’t actually started re-writing just yet. At the moment I’m reading my draft from NaNo and working out what is usable and what needs to be re-written. I figured I have 50K words already may as well see what I can adapt. I hope your WIP is going well. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Li says:

        Looking forward to seeing your post, whenever you decide to post it 🙂
        I find that that is one of the tough parts about editing- deciding what to keep and what needs to be rewritten. Hopefully you have some scenes and parts that you want to keep for the next draft 🙂 My WIP is coming along slowly. The good news is that I am 80% done!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Margaret @ Weird Zeal says:

    I spend way too much time making Pinterest boards for my characters (but justify it by saying that now I know them better 😉). And I always find myself thinking about my stories when I’m trying to fall asleep (which works great until I get a sudden idea and have to stay up for another hour to write it down)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    WOW! 9 ideas is a lot and I found myself nodding along to them all! I do love my pinterest boards for my characters. I use Evernote so I don’t do an aesthetic but I load up my notes with pictures and reference them for everything, so I love that idea. Sometimes I feel like Pinterest will swallow me hole one day… or horrors of horrors lose my pictures!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Dani! Yes Pinterest is great for keeping track of photos related to our WIP! It really is a rabbit hole- I can sit and make aesthetics all day if I don’t keep track of time haha :’)
      I use Scrivener for writing but it sounds like a similar idea as Evernote. Thank you Dani ❤

      Like

  5. Emily Wrayburn says:

    Great post, Sophie! I’m glad you’re out of your slump. It’s the worst feeling. I start getting twitchy. I’ve just spent two weeks travelling and I was taking photos everywhere to use as writing fodder. I’m looking forward to sitting down and interpretting it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Emily! Sounds like you’ve gotten some inspiration from the time that you spent travelling, which is great 🙂 I think travelling or just day trips are a great way to break from the routine and get new ideas. Thank you 🙂

      Like

  6. Marie says:

    This is such a great post, Sophie, and I definitely needed it haha. I just did a writing tag on my blog, and it actually inspired me a little bit. I’m having the hardest time getting into editing mode, but all of these tips are amazing and I really should try. I found that, in the past, NaNoWriMo and the support you get from fellow writers in the community is SO amazing, and so very motivating to write, as well 🙂
    I hope that your novel is going well!!<3 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Marie! ❤ Thank you and I do hope that you will find these tips helpful. I'm glad that the writing tag helped you feel inspired! I just wrote my post for the tag and will be posting it this week! These are actually my favourite kind of tags 🙂
      Editing is tough! I always find it overwhelming and I never know where to start. Hope that you will find a way that works for you 🙂
      Yes Nano is great! I am doing Camp Nano this month. It is motivating since I have some great cabin mates. However I am behind on my word count haha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Shayna says:

    I’ve been struggling to get myself motivated to revise my half-novel since I started it last November. I like the idea of doing writing memes and tags to inspire/motivate myself, but feel like I can’t or shouldn’t do them because I’m not actually writing atm :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Mel!
      If there’s a writing tag you like, I’d say go ahead and do it! It doesn’t matter if you are in the middle of writing a novel or if you haven’t started revising it yet. The key is to have fun and maybe even become inspired 🙂

      Like

  8. Michelle 🌈 says:

    I’ve been meaning to make writing a daily task (or at least weekly) for sooo long now but so far no luck haha. I wouldn’t say I’m in a writing slump per se, just exhausted from school and in need of a break, which makes me not really want to write? Hopefully CampNaNo in July is what I need to finally finish my WIP haha. Love this post! Also thank you for sharing my tag 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Michelle 🙂
      Yes it is hard to write when school and life gets crazy! Sounds like a good idea to do Camp Nano. I loved being in a cabin where everyone is motivated to accomplish their goal, which helped me reach my own goal at the end 🙂 Thank you and happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

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