We all face days when our energy seems to be flagging and our writing seems to be dragging. They can be dispiriting and make us feel upended and out of touch with ourselves. When we hit a day like this, it’s important that we salvage it and make it work for us, instead of against us. Here are a few ways to give yourself a boost when nothing much seems to be happening:
Read something fun and inspiring: When you hit a writing roadblock, one way to get past it can be to read something that delights and entertains you. It can be a beautiful poem or a children’s story you love or even a short inspirational book. Sometimes just dipping into someone else’s well of creativity even briefly can help you find the way back to your own. So take a few minutes or even half an hour to recharge your creative juices.
Get moving: You can’t write well when you’re not thinking clearly. If your prose seems sluggish and your ideas seem muddy, then instead of trying to slog through them, you might be better served by getting up from your desk and your computer. My sister Steph loves to take an afternoon break by walking her dog Lucky. Just taking some time strolling in the park near her house seems to reenergize her. Joyce Carol Oates loves to figure out thorny plot points while she’s running. Movement changes moods. So if you’re stuck, then rise and shine!
Celebrate successes: Even when you’re having a tough day, there’s something to feel grateful for, something to celebrate. Maybe it’s just that you’re lucky enough to be doing something you love. Or maybe you managed to squeak out one great sentence or find a synonym that’s far juicier than your original word choice. Whatever it is, take a few moments to pat yourself on the back and say, “Good job!” Writing isn’t easy, but we can all write on.
Any tips or tricks you use to pep yourself that you can share?