This is a pretty scary title for those of you like me who wouldn’t dream of giving up on your WIP. But what I want to talk about today is less about giving up and more about how to maintain a healthy and sustainable writing routine.
Want to listen instead? Check out my audio for the post below!
I have been working on my manuscript since February of last year. I’ve been hanging out with the same characters, in the same world, and on the same journey. My characters are tired and I’m a little tired, too, because…writing.
Have you ever been in a relationship where you’re just repeating the everyday motions? You need a little spark after a while, right? We are definitely in a complicated relationship with writing at times, and we need space from it every once in a while.
If you can relate, follow the tips below to harness that spark back for your writing:
- Write something else other than your current WIP. Sometimes you just have to jazz things up a little bit with something else, right? Work on something different and that may do the trick. (And no, you aren’t cheating on your WIP. This is perfectly acceptable in the writing realm, I promise.)
- Use your writing time to take a walk or do something active that gets your body moving. I feel like I write better when I physically feel better. Practice some yoga, go on a walk, or go to the gym during your regular writing time. And if you already work out as part of your daily routine then, well, you’re welcome. Sweat out the writing funk a little extra!
- Watch a movie. You can learn just as much about storytelling by watching a story on screen. The visual component of a movie inspires me to think about what my story would look like on screen. Is my story vivid enough? Believable? Movies make me reflect on my WIP from a new perspective.
- Read a book. Of course, reading someone else’s words can always provide that dose of inspiration or writing lesson that we need. I always say that books are some of the best teachers.
When you are as deep into a relationship with your writing as I am with mine, sometimes you need a special spark. Sometimes you need to walk away and take time off from it. Sometimes you need to hang out with different characters, in a different world doing different things. Just something different, and that’s okay.
The other morning I exceeded my daily word count goal of 1,000 words. I busted out 1,861 words in an hour and a half–for a different project. My mind was blown. I had been struggling recently to write even 500 words in that amount of time for my current WIP. But oh, how the words just flowed out of my brain.
I didn’t feel guilty. I knew it was for the better. I was still writing, after all.
Writing is not easy. It’s hard to maintain your motivation, it’s hard to come up with the right words (with any words sometimes), and it’s hard to actually finish a work in progress. But we do it for a reason, right? We just can’t not do it. It’s a part of us.
It’s okay to stop writing your book for a little bit. Take a break. Regroup. Refresh. It will always be there when you are ready to return. Maybe not with rose petals or a candlelight dinner, but it will be there.
For more writing tips and inspiration, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter! I am always looking to connect with other wonderful writers. Happy writing!
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I’m a big fan of also working on one to two pieces of short fiction in case I get burned out on a novel-length manuscript. Great advice!
I feel like I should try that! I have outlined/made notes about my next novel, but maybe starting it would help stay motivated! I will definitely think about it. Happy writing!