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 nolen

It’s rare to catch me without coffee, a form of camera, or my beloved wire fox terriers. I love the history, the art, and it’s a massive part of my life, as I either paint, write, or get interrupted by my dogs, reminding me of the real 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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