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.
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.
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
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.
- Beautiful People by Cait & Sky (this is unfortunately the last edition of the BP tag which makes me sad!)
- WIPpet Wednesdays by Emily Wrayburn, where you share a snippet of your novel every Wednesday A great way to get feedback!
- Your WIP in GIFs tag by Michelle, The Valentine’s Day Write Tag by Kat Impossible, and Winter is Here Write Tag by Kat. The last two are seasonal tags but they could be fun to do at any time of the year!
2. Get onto Pinterest! (And make some aesthetics!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!