It’s been a week since I decided to commit myself to writing 500 words a day in my WIP. So far, I’m proud to say it’s been FABULOUS. 500 words is the perfect goal for me because it’s a manageable amount that I can spend 30 minutes to an hour on, and if I feel like writing more I can, and if not then no big deal. It’s given me the push I needed to get my writing groove back. And it got me thinking about other ways to get back in the writing groove in case committing to a daily word count isn’t enough. So here are the five best ways I know of to launch back into writing mode even when it feels like you’re in a hopeless slump of writer’s block! May the writing force be with you…
1. Read Back Over What You’ve Already Written
This is my go-to move to get back in the writing zone. Even if I’m halfway through my book, if I feel like I’m losing my mojo and that I suck, I just open the Word doc and start reading from the top. I keep going until I feel inspired again, which usually only takes a chapter or two. Sometimes I’ll read over the whole thing and revise and edit as I go along, helping perfect my blossoming creation. It doesn’t hurt, right? In fact, it usually makes for an easier proofread/edit later on and helps me remember little tidbits of information to add later in the story.
2. If You Have An Outline, READ IT!
I find refreshing my memory on what I have planned for my book gives me a kind of strange, giddy excitement. It’s probably because I write romance and remembering all the adorably romantic moments coming up for my characters brings a big goofy smile to my face. I love the anticipation of what’s to come, but it’ll only happen if I get my butt in gear and write it! I also enjoy getting excited about writing an upcoming scene, knowing it’ll be super dramatic or funny or whatever I have planned. So if you have an outline, whether it’s super detailed like mine tend to be or if it’s just bullet points, refresh your memory on what’s to come and get excited again!
3. Listen To Your Book’s Playlist…On Repeat.
What do you mean you don’t have a book playlist? Make one, STAT! Okay, so not everyone gets inspired by music but if you do, then you probably already have a long list of songs that fit your story like a glove. I always make a playlist before I even begin writing. It goes on my iPod, then gets played on repeat for a good month or two. Each song is carefully selected to fit my characters, the mood of the story, a specific scene, or the genre of the book itself. Since I always incorporate romance in my books, there’s plenty of good relationship songs of varying degrees of angst and fluffiness to help inspire me. But I always like to add other kinds of songs to my playlists, too. My current WIP takes place in L.A. and is about music, so this song was a no brainer! So if you’re feeling stuck in a writing rut, take a few hours and relax with the music that inspired the story in the first place, and maybe it’ll be exactly what you need to get back to writing.
4. Get Back In Touch With Your Characters
Sometimes I find that I have a pretty good idea of who my characters are going to be when I begin my book, but by the halfway point I feel like maybe I’ve lost them somewhere in the middle of all these “perfect” sentences I’m struggling to write. I focus more on my word choices and sentence structure and less on what my characters feel and what their motivations are, and that’s no bueno. So what I like to do is read over my notes OR hit my astrology books and refine my understanding of who they are and what they want. It may sound like it’s too late for this if you’re already halfway done with your book, but you’d be surprised how helpful it can be to refresh your memory on your character’s motivations. Everyone knows I’m a big believer in using astrology to help define character personalities, so if you’ve selected a zodiac sign for your character it may help to read over the specifics of that personality type to give you a boost of inspiration for scenes going forward. I promise, it helps more than you’d think!
5. Read Someone Else’s Work
I read a lot of the books my writing buddies put out, and for some reason every time I open one I find myself antsy to write my own story. I don’t know what it is, but it’s like magic. I think it’s because I sit there and think, well, they could do it, so I can too! It’s kind of like my competitive side comes out and I just can’t help but hop back onto the computer and re-open my WIP. The same is true when I start reading any book, especially one written by my favorite author of all time, Nora Roberts. Her work always inspires me to write, even if I’m in the slumpiest of writing slumps. It’s about going back to what first made me want to become a writer and re-installing that inspiration into my brain. Works like a charm!
Hopefully one or more of these methods will help you get your writing groove back. I’m still swearing by the 500-words a day goal, but I frequently put the others to good use as well when I’m feeling out of it. Good luck and keep writing! 🙂
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