Writing Advice: Stop Writing


Hello, readers! I’m going to be honest with you this week. I have not been writing. In fact, after a week in which I became disillusioned with my most recent project idea and decided to scrap everything I’d been working on for a month, I made the decision to stop writing for a while. It was not coming easily to me at all and, when I tried to get myself in the mood to write, it just caused me intellectual angst. I thought: why go through all of this if I don’t even have a project to work on?

Of course, making the decision to stop writing has made me feel guilty. Writing is one of those hobbies that I use to introduce myself to people in real life and online. If I wasn’t working toward writing something, was I losing part of my identity? Making this choice to stop writing is already causing me to renege on a New Year’s resolution to write 5 days a week, and now it’s making me question my own interests.

Feeling uneasy about both writing and not writing, I took to the internet to search for some wisdom. My searching brought me to a blog post from editor Emily Wenstrom on The Write Practice website. In her post, Emily details what she believes are the three time you should stop writing. These include when you finish a draft, when you get stuck and forcing it doesn’t work, and when you receive feedback from someone.

Personally, I fit into both the first and second categories. In early March, I finished the first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel from November 2015. Having finished that, I thought I could turn to other projects. But perhaps I need some more space from the act of creation. And, of course, I’m feeling blocked and nothing seems to be helping.

So, I’m simply going to stop writing in the hopes that it causes a creative well to open in my brain and help me get some new ideas. In her post, Emily says, “Relaxing lets your subconscious try things your conscious brain can’t.” I hope this is true for me as well.

Are you experiencing writer’s block right now? If so, how are you coping with the feeling of being blocked? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

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