Let’s face it, folks. Writing is not always easy. You might have weeks during which your writing flows easily, but you will likely have an equal number of weeks during which you simply can’t write. The worst part is that those writing slump weeks are contagious. You might reach the end of a week, realize you haven’t gotten any writing done, and simply continue that trend. That week easily becomes two, then three, and so on. Eventually (I hope), you will come back to your writing. Sometimes you return in triumph, with a new bit of inspiration bugging your brain, and sometimes you return with your tail between your legs. When you’re crawling back to your writing project to beg its forgiveness, there’s something you can do to lessen the blow.
According to a post that Sarah Perlmutter wrote on her blog, you should allow yourself to write garbage after a writing slump. Sarah says, “After a writing slump, you will probably be at least a little bit rusty. Allow yourself to write crap, it’s okay. You can edit once you’re back in the right mindset. What’s important now is that you’re trying without pressuring yourself, and that will likely mean that you are writing garbage. That’s okay. At least you’re writing something.”
I like this idea because it takes off the pressure you might feel when returning to a project. After some time away, you’re probably feeling bad for not writing and want to do well right out of the gate. But that pressure can turn you off from the writing process even more. So, no pressure! Just get back into the swing of writing by putting down one word after another. Just get the words down. When you’re ready, you can return to that garbage and polish it up.
Right now, I’m not technically in a writing slump. I’ve only neglected my writing for a couple of days, but I can feel a slump coming on. The initial inspiration I felt with my current project has slid away and I’m beginning a chapter that I’m not especially excited about. When I get back to writing, I’m going to take Sarah’s advice. How about you?
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan