Write On- A writer’s slump


Black and white photograph of the author's desk-susan sheldon nolen

Paper in typewriter might help!

It happens to everyone. It’s happening to me right now. I am in a slump. I have massive amounts of work to do, and just can’t do it. Why? We do have to be careful with the words we use. I don’t have massive amounts. I just need to clean up a chapter and send out the novel. Problem is, that’s not happening.

What’s a writer to do? Walk away and make jello pops? I don’t think so. These slumps really are a way of the brain taking a break. ( You’ve been on a break- what are you talking about- get cracking! )

When you’ve been working a project for a while and in this case a novel. Writing, editing, rewriting, and forcing yourself to stay focused feels like work. Aha the dreaded work. Work.

Writing is work?  Egads….What a thought!

So what to do. The old simple command. Sit down and do it! Write. Sometimes you just have to sit down, pull out your finger and do it.

Well…maybe after a cup of coffee…

So how do you pull yourself out of a slump? Or are you the jello pop master of the universe?


About susan sheldon

I am an explorer. It's taken me awhile to realise this. But I love capturing bits of our wonderful world with my camera, travelling through time and history, always returning to write, or paint what I've discovered. I use my Leica and my iPhone to capture images, and with those images I try to hold on to a feeling, a moment in our busy lives. Sometimes those moments bring me into the past, others into the studio to paint, or back to the old typewriter to try to use words to capture what the camera has done for me already. One of my goals in my blog is to have a space to take a breath away from our frantic world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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15 Responses to Write On- A writer’s slump

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    I set deadlines for myself, and thanks to years of deadlines and a Type A personality, I find myself getting stressed if I fall behind. So then I just buck up and make myself do it. But I set small daily goals and that helps. Right now I’m working through chapter-by-chapter outlines, so I’ve set myself to a chapter a day, and at least one hour of work on it. I usually go beyond this, but by keeping my goals small, I can fall ahead of my deadlines, and that’s always a good thing. 🙂

    • Hi Carrie! That’s what I do also. Set serious deadlines. I am so tired of working on it. I have overworked the first chapter and need to go back to a few drafts ago. Simple case of not stopping on it when I should! 🙂 Time to buck up as they say and get on with it! 🙂

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        When you get to the point where you’ve read the thing so many times, bucking up is about the only method left. 🙂

      • Here here! I am forcing myself to do it. Pretending to be someone else and I am getting paid to fix that chapter! I so want to get on to another project. But…you know how that is! 🙂

  2. Wordlander says:

    I go for a walk – get outside and think of something else for a bit. Weirdly I find washing up actually helps (but I don’t let my other half know that!) A visit to a library or book shop helps as well.

    • Actually, there was a report in the times about walking and the creative brain. Walking for some reason, ( without iPods etc, radios, etc..) allows the brain to work at a deep level on problems even if you are not actively thinking about it! Washing up? Lol…Ironing? Lol…not for me at all! I burn shirts!

  3. y. prior says:

    great post- and for me – I have to work on this too – and well…. would like to read more tips myself! oh – well one thing I do is I minimize distractions – I log out of everything and then my reward for when getting done is to get back into those other things…. 🙂

    I find that because sometimes it is SO hard to start and stop – I try to get as much done when I can and just keep going into the night if needed – and I get some great work done between 12 and 3 a.m. (at times – )
    Guess it is “bringing the midnight oil…” and where we move on from coffee to tea and then water to keep going….
    but for me – almost feel like a semi truck – hard to get rolling again after a red light – but once cruising – can keep going….

    anyhow, hope your chapter turns out well. 🙂

    • Thanks Prior! I find it hard to stop in mid flow, and I like to work on until needs must.. but distractions…May sound odd, but I love editing in coffee shops and not logging on to their wifii. I find the noise drowns out my phone. No internet to distract. There’s also something to be said- if you look like you are working-you just might do it! lol
      But when I am working on first draft…I could be working with anything happening! You would have to stand next to me and shout to get my attention. But wow….do I get angry at being interrupted!

  4. Like Wordlander, nothing helps clear the clutter more than a walk.

  5. L. Palmer says:

    Sometimes, if I’ve been working on one project for a long time, I find it helpful to work on something completely different. Especially something silly and ridiculous just for the fun of it.

  6. zannyro says:

    Sadly, I eat chocolate to get myself going again…not a great plan.

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