Firstly, stop calling it that.
What if I told you its a make-believe monster? That it doesn’t exist?
Now you may argue that every writer faces this creative impasse, when things don’t come naturally, there’s friction in the thought process and hindrance in the flow of writing.
Ofcourse, that’s true.
But writing is a CREATIVE PROCESS – one can never expect it to be consistent and mechanical. There’s bound to be a point when the creative juices dry up and all you can do is stare at the keyboard instead of typing away. But then, you’re a creative writer and not an Excel monkey!
The more you think of this pause in creativity, by giving it fancy names, shapes and forms, the bigger it becomes in your mind, ultimately overwhelming you to a point of giving up. So there are a few things you can do, to overcome this creative impasse.
Here are some of the things I do to get my writing mojo back.
Set some time apart everyday to read something in the genre you’re writing in. Even better, read your ultimate favorite book again, so it gets you in touch with your love for the written word. Read something that inspires you to hit that keyboard again, and hit it hard.
Reading also helps you get in touch with your own motivations to write- takes you back to the basics. Let’s face it, a writer writes because of his love for reading!
This is a new trick I’ve learnt, which has worked wonders for my writing. Before you begin writing for the day, spend just 10-15 minutes with a pen and notepad and simply write anything that comes to mind. ANYTHING. It could be absolute nonsense but just make sure the tip of the pen does not leave the paper for those ten minutes. No pressure, no one will ever read what you’ve written.
This is an excellent exercise to unlock your subconscious mind and bring your inner thoughts, motivations, fears and emotions to the fore, on paper. You’ll be surprised how those ideas and thoughts will make their way into your writing, later. Its a great way to unplug your mind and purge your ideas when you’re feeling stuck.
Free write about your work
As a variation of the automatic writing technique, where you simply jot down whatever comes to mind, I often free write within a structure- that is, think about my story or characters and then free write about them, making sure I keep writing for atleast 15-20 minutes without stopping to think.
My best ideas and plot twists have been born out of this exercise.
Take free online course on writing
Let’s face it- staring at the computer screen is no better use of time, so you may as well learn something new. Select from hundreds of free online writing courses and listen to experts talk about the craft of writing. Work through some of those writing exercises- it will give you the push you need.
Soon, you’ll be itching to apply those tips and tricks to your own work and you’ll find yourself well on the way to finishing your manuscript.
Take a break!
Sometimes, its just about mental fatigue. Or boredom. Whatever it is, give your mind a break – but don’t let it wander too far.
No phones or TV or games. Give your mind a visual or sensory break by doing something different, but still in the creative space. CREATE something else.
Like painting, or coloring books, cooking or pottery or even music and dance. This will give your mind a break but not let it slip into zombie mode (yes I’m talking about flipping through TV channels/ Netflix- DON’T go there).
When you come back to writing, you’ll be refreshed and rejuvenated.
So these are some of the things I do to give myself that creative push. Hope it helps!