3 Ways to Get Out of A Rut and Write

Posted on Jul 12, 2017

3 Ways to Get Out of A Rut and Write

Being stalled as a writer happens to the best of us, from best selling authors, to poets, to journaling, to first time bloggers. The day seems to always come when a writer sits down to write and suddenly nothing happens, nada, just panic and silence.

For some people this kind of stuckness gets masked by active procrastination. For instance the previous sentence was written at 7am. It is now eleven-thirty. I have spent the past four hours sorting my laundry, looking up travel locations in Italy, and creating a new smoothie recipe, which then led to me to cleaning and organizing my fridge.

Or perhaps you didn’t bother to write today because you figure you’ll do it tomorrow and then it’s ten days later and you think, “Fuck it, I’ll try again tomorrow,” and the pattern continues.

The thing you have to remember is this: any writing is better than no writing. When you don’t write for a long period of time it gets harder to start. It’s just like losing muscle, the less you use your muscles the weaker they become.

The good news is that you can start small anytime and rebuild those writing muscles faster than you think.

Remember it doesn’t matter what you’re writing, as long as you write.

3 Ways to Keep Your Writing Muscles Buff

1)Grab a Line and Mash it Up

In the book Steal Like and Artist, Austin Kleon explains how writers have been grabbing ideas from other writers for hundreds of years.  He not only gives you permission to use another writer’s words (as long as you don’t downright plagerize, he also explains that writers have been doing this for centuries. Since it’s part of a writer’s job is to collect ideas,  you can grab writing prompts from anywhere. Books, signs, newspapers, menus, billboards, websites. If you’re up for an exercise, borrow the first line of a chapter, newspaper article or poem and just start writing to see where it takes you.

2) Look Around & Write Only What You Observe

The goal here is simple. Write what you see. Go to a coffee shop, library, museum or park and simply write what you observe. Don’t edit, don’t worry how it sounds, just describe what you see. When you build up the muscle of pure presence and observation you will slow down those hectic brainwaves and your internal editor shuts up. Pure observation is a great way to build your writing muscle.

3) Brut Force

Just as there is no way to walk except by putting one foot after the other, there is no way to write except by writing one word after the other. To begin your work, you must stop preparing to work and start working. Remember the point of this task is not to finish but to start; don’t worry about how it will end. Just make yourself unavailable to anything except your writing. Don’t answer the phone, don’t get on the Internet, don’t leave your desk for at least fifteen minutes. When you hear that little voice that says ‘fuck it this isn’t working’, use brut force to knock it aside. After all, its just fifteen minutes. Even if you write a paragraph you’ll walk away cracking your neck thinking, “Yeah, that’s right I wrote today!”

For more fun tips on writing, self publishing and finishing a book checkout my free writing series at www.writebecauseitmatters.com

Now go write!