Stuck in a Writing Rut by Nancy Miller
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The purpose of Wednesday Writers Wisdom is to share advice from other writers as they work their way from cover to cover, story to story, and beyond. Today, Nancy Miller, our Nancy’s Notes columnist, shares how she defeats that writing rut when it happens.
Stuck in a Writing Rut
I admit it. I am not a fountain of words landing on a pages and bound into books. Sometimes I get stuck in a rut, so to speak. Often times, we writers find ourselves so mired in the mud with our current project that we start to get angry or disappointed in ourselves. Frustration sets in.
Right now I am trying to start a new book. I know what I want to tell but I keep doing the same notes over and over. So I took a break to write this post. Writing for Our Write Side requires a different aspect of writing. Nonfiction vs Fiction.
I am a firm believer that a true writer writes all the time, even when we aren’t actively laying down the words. Our subconscious is working out the details, piecing together ideas, grinding out the storyline then offering it to us in daydreams, in the shower, while we are driving, during sex. Yep, that one is hard to explain…hold on honey, I just have to jot this down.
The problem is that we, in our conscious state, want results and we keep pushing to find the answers. We need to give our subconscious time to work.
So my suggestion is to create a diversion. Do something else. Get outside. Go shopping. Play with the kids. Take a break. Write something else. (I hesitate to recommend putting the story away for an extended length of time as this can become a habit…When the going gets tough, shelve it.)
Write something else? Yes, change things up. Make a journal entry. Write a silly story. Write a short story about your character’s childhood just for fun. Nothing heavy or demanding.
We are not, nor should we be, slaves to our writing. It does not control us; we control it. If it does control your life, then it moves more toward addiction than something we love. Addictions breed misery.
Relax. Take a look around. Breathe. Release the anxiety you have about being stuck. Don’t beat yourself up. Commiserate with your writing friends.
Then get back to work.
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