Tuesday, January 29, 2013
First off, recognize that everyone has writing slumps. We all have days where our brain feels like it's trudging through a swamp and the thoughts are dripping like molasses in midwinter. Make sure that you've done everything possible to make your gray matter healthy: Sleep 6-10 hours a night, drink water, eat healthy, eat regularly, surround yourself with positive people, let go of negative thoughts, and make sure you fill your creative well by enjoying the creative endeavors of others.
If you're doing all that still feel stumped on how to write the next scene consider Jar Writing to be your reset button.
Start by picking a length of time to do the jar writing. You need to set the parameters and not cheat. If you cheat, this fails. If the Jar Writing seems daunting set a very easy limit: write for five days.
Next, make a list of easy writing things to accomplish. Keep the goals small... write 100 words, edit two pages in NOVEL, write for 15 minutes... things that you know you can do and that you have the time to do.
Cut the list up and put it in a jar or plastic container, anything with a lid.
Shake the jar when you wake up the next morning. Pull one task out at random. Complete the challenge.
Do that every day for your allotted time. Try to do it around the same time of day if you can (that helps set the habit). Once your challenge for the day is done, mosey on with other things happy in the knowledge that you did something! Or, if the inspiration strikes, write more.
After a week or two start adding harder challenges to the jar... write 500 words, write for 30 minutes, edit five pages... eventually you will find your magic number, the number of words you need to write to get in your groove. Once you've found that, you are out of your slump and ready to move on.
My magic number is 700. If I can just hit 700 words I'll write 2000 with ease. I might fight for each of those 700 words. I may hate every letter. But once I've sat down and forced myself to write 700 words straight I'll be into the scene enough to write the rest.