One of the most disheartening problems a writer will encounter is writer’s fatigue. You know what I’m talking about. It’s when even the idea of sitting down to write feels more like an overbearing burden rather than something you want to do. Which you might realize is the exact opposite of how it should feel.
Writer’s fatigue has many causes: too many weekly hours behind the computer, loss of passion for a project, waning desire to be a writer due to self-doubt, lack of progress being made. Whatever your reason for not wanting to write, there is a cure. Let’s get into five things you can do right now to help bring back that writing energy!
5. Take A Break
Here’s a crazy revelation; sometimes when you want to write but can’t, you should take a break! You wouldn’t force yourself to workout hard in the evening when your whole body is still burnt out from your morning workout. So why would you force yourself to constantly write when you’re mentally exhausted?
Yes, just like exercise, you can build yourself up to working more over time. If you train your mind, you’ll make it strong enough to be able to handle long stretches of writing. Even so, taking a break every once in a while is necessary. If the idea of not writing doesn’t sound appealing to you, try looking at things from a different angle. You aren’t taking a break from writing, you’re recovering from all the work you’ve already put it so you can come back and knockout even more.
Hey, since you’re taking a break from writing, it’s a good idea to keep the storytelling part of your mind sharp. The best way to do this is by reading. The more you read the more likely you’ll stay in a creative zone. This is especially true if you’re reading work that inspires you to get back to your own work.
Often, the best books are the ones that inspire us to write more. Few things break a writing rut better than remembering why you write in the first place. It’s easy to lose focus on why you write while you’re doing it, but reading someone else’s work can really put things in perspective for you.
3. Work On A Different Project
Sometimes it’s not the act of writing that you’re tired of, it’s what you’re writing. It’s not always a good idea to put aside a project in favor of another one. Doing so makes it more likely you’ll abandon that project all together. This could eventually lead to being the type of writer who has the bad habit of never finishing anything. Trust us, you don’t want to end up with a folder full of half-written manuscripts.
If you are in a rut, though, switching over to a new project for a brief period can help. Sometimes the simple act of focusing on something else will bring about new ideas. Just like when you’re trying to remember something like the name of a movie but can’t, then when you start thinking of other things the name finally comes to you at random. The important thing to remember is not to stay away from your original project too long. Flash fiction is always a good choice when trying something new; the format is short enough that you can still be creative without spending a lot of time on it.
2. Switch Up Your Writing Schedule
As with most things in life, sticking to the same writing schedule can become monotonous. Now, it’s good to have a writing schedule; a daily place and time dedicated to writing. But it can get boring over time. This isn’t the case with everyone, of course, but it happens to a lot of us.
When you work too much you start dreaming of taking a vacation. Even if you like your job, you want a change of scenery. This mild case of wanderlust is perfectly natural, and it’s no different for writers. So if you’re in a rut, try writing at a different time and place. Maybe hit up a new coffee shop for some lunch time writing. Or pull an all nighter on the weekend. These changes don’t have to be permanent, but you might find that writing in a different atmosphere than you’re used to can help spark your creativity.
1. Bring In A Writing Partner
Here’s a great idea most writers never utilize. Writing has always been thought of as a solo endeavor, but that’s just not true. When it comes down to it, some of the best work comes about from having someone else’s help. You don’t necessarily need someone to actually help you write, but having a person there to bounce ideas off of can be a great benefit to the creative process.
A good brainstorming session with other people can make you think of things in a different way. Also, their enthusiasm from being new to the project can improve your waning enthusiasm from working on it so long. Sometimes the friendly competition brought on by differing ideas for the same story can make things a lot more fun. And when you’re having fun, you’re no longer feeling that awful writer’s fatigue.
If you found this helpful, check out these other great writing articles!