I will be the first to admit that, some days, I just don’t feel like it. I don’t wanna, I have no creative ideas, and I just want to hide.
But I can’t hide from writing any more than I could hide behind a stack of books while working at Barnes and Noble. (And believe me, I tried 😂)
So, what to do on those days when your prose and ideas suck? Here’s what I do, which might give you some ideas on what to do:
1. Outline/Re-Outline the Story
I usually begin writing at 100 mph with no planning. I think of a character, or a situation, and I see where that takes me. And it only takes me so far.
Uncreative days are great for doing the technical stuff. Arranging plot, checking out character arcs, and outlining where the story is going.
But not only where the story is going, but also where it’s been. An outline is like a bird’s eye view of your tale, which is easier than re-reading the entire thing, over and over again.
2. Check for Spelling/Grammar
When you feel blah is the perfect time to look at something solid, like spelling. Unless you’ve got a character that speaks a little differently, spelling and grammar is usually a consistent, unchanging thing.
Did you write curve instead of curb? Peek instead of peak? Things like these stand out when you’re in a non-artsy state of mind.
So scan your writing for technical issues. You’ll be working on your story, doing important fixes, even though you are not adding anything super creative.
3. Do a Writing Prompt
Sometimes all you need to get your creativity back is to set your WIP aside. You might just need something 100% non-serious to get your juices flowing.
Writing prompts are liberating because we do them just to do them, not to publish them or have them come out perfect. They flex the writing muscle quite easily.
Do a prompt that you know no one will ever see, and you might be surprised at how quickly your creativity wakes up! “Oh? We’re doing something else? I’m here, I’m here!” (That’s your creative side talking 😉)
4. Read a Book That Inspires Writing
I like to read books that are basically cheerleaders for writers. Whether it’s Stephen King’s On Writing or Chuck Wendig’s The Kick-Ass Writer, I like something with a little oomph.
Keep a list of books that make you want to write, and read those when you feel like you cannot type another word.
Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement to get back to it. A little “you can do it!!” every now and then goes a long way.
5. Read How-To Writing Books
I read books on writing because I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel. Reading writing books allows you to stand on the shoulders of people who did it by trial-and-error.
By reading these books, you are still learning how to hone your craft, which is never, ever wasted time.
I recently did a post on mistakes I did as a teen writer. Had I read how-to writing books, I could have avoided a lot of them! So, don’t let it fool you into thinking you’ll lose your unique voice. You won’t. You’ll just know about what worked and what didn’t work for other authors.
What do you do on your blah days? LMK in the comments 😍
Take care and write on,
🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜