Keeping motivation when writing is so difficult – ask any writer and they’ll tell you they’ve struggled with a ‘writing slump’. Writing slumps happen when we perhaps don’t know what to write, or are putting off writing for lack of inspiration or motivation. If you’re in the middle of a slump and would love to get your passion back, here are some short and fun activities to get back into writing.
Try a timed freewriting session
Regardless of how busy life can feel, we always have a pocket of time we can use to do some writing. Turn off notifications (or put your phone/tablet/laptop on airplane mode) and get out some old fashioned pen and paper, if you can. Set a timer for however long you can (even just 30 seconds can work) and see where your pen takes you. You might focus on your thoughts/feelings in that moment, something in the room that catches your eye, or find a writing prompt to get you going. You don’t need to overthink or over-analyse in this moment, just see what words make it onto the page.
Try repeating this several times with different prompts, locations or try and freewrite the same piece better each time. You never know, a new story might grow out of this!
Make a mood board for your story idea
Whether it’s on Pintrest, Photoshop, Microsoft Publisher or in an old fashioned scrapbook, collecting images and other visual prompts can help connect you back to your plot and inspire you get writing again.
Pinterest is an excellent place to start when creating a mood board, as you can create different boards for the various parts of your story, e.g. settings, characters, season etc. Colour schemes and inspiring locations can help set the mood and tone for your writing, while looking up outfits, hair, makeup and people can bring your characters to life and spark images of them in your head like never before.
Why not create a playlist of music that encapsulates your story? Think about songs that could play over poignant moments (like in a film!) or epic soundtracks that bring your story to life. To help craft your characters, think about the kind of music they would enjoy – this works particularly well music plays an important role in your story, and actually listening to the songs of your characters will bring them to life even more.
Falling back in love with your idea and resurrecting its themes, locations and characters is a fun and exciting way to pull yourself out of a writing slump.
Read what they’re writing
Take yourself to a bookshop and find the genre section that your book would fall into. Pick a selection of books: this could be at random, the ones you like the look of or a stark contrast of book covers for variety. Read the opening page (or chapter if you have time!) of these books and think about what they did well and what YOU could do better.
Reading is the greatest inspiration for writers, and finding a great book (or an awful one) is a creative way to stir up your imagination and ideas. Looking specifically into the genre that you are writing in will also help frame your idea around what’s already selling!
We hope these fun activities inspire you to get writing! What advice would you share for aspiring writers?