(Originally featured here)
Oh, the dread of looking at a blank page and not being able to fill it. Still, you order yourself to move forward. ‘Never give up, never surrender!’ echoes repeatedly in the back of your head. And in the end, you get a thousand words of pure… crap.
Feels familiar? Of course it does, but do not fret fellow writer! There are many ways to turn your lack of inspiration into a ton of productivity.
So fun fact: you usually get writer’s block because you don’t know where to go with your story. Basically, it’s as if your Muse were telling you it needs some time-off to figure stuff out.
I know, it sucks. All you want to do is curl up in your couch and devour two tons of chocolate ice-cream. Maybe even cry a little. However, this will only waste your time (and gift you with waay too many fresh calories.)
So what to do when this happens?
- Start a new book project: Can’t figure out what to do with your current WIP? Create a new one. Fun thing is: you usually find the answers to your old project’s questions inside your new one.
- Outline your current project: Write down a general, chapter-sectioned draft of all you want to happen in your book from beginning to end. Maybe outlining will bring back the Muse.
- Write a short-story: This is one of my favourites. I got two of my short stories published, which added ‘Published Author’ to my curriculum. How awesome is that?
- Revise (edit) an old story: Maybe it’s time to work on that project you left forgotten in the bottom-drawer years ago. Plus, it’s always great to check old projects so you can see how much you’ve grown on your craft.
- Start a blog about something you love. And if you add a business goal to your blog (let’s say content marketing, for example), that’s even better!
- Write to a friend.
- Engage in writing forums: It’s really great to talk to people just like you. You can learn a LOT. And you can even start helping each other out.
- Get a critique-partner-or-group: CPs are the backbone of succesfull writers. If you don’t have one, get one. Now.
- Write a short-article and submit it to magazines. This is another way to add some good n’ old fairy dust to your curriculum with very little work.
- Draft a query letter or book blurb for your project: Seriously, that’s the hardest thing a writer can do. If you manage to go through THAT, you can surely get your story back on track.
The fun aspect of being productive during a creative drought is that the possibilities are pretty much endless. If your Muse doesn’t come back, at least you’ve started a new project. But truth be told, stories are jealous little things. If you start looking elsewhere, they’ll go after your Muse and bring her back by the hair. Caveman style.
Cheers and happy writing!
If you liked this post, please do like it, or press it, or share it, or hug it, because it needs love. Much obliged!