5 Ways To Reinvigorate Your Writing

Been a bit quiet on the blog while I’ve been finishing up Wolfblood season three, and now I’m entering that post-season slump that all writers slip into once a big project is finished. You know, the one where you look at all the other things you need to get started on and groan quietly to yourself. It’s not that you don’t want to write them – you may even be excited about them – but suddenly, getting started on a new project seems like really hard work!

So what can you do about this? Here are some things that I find helpful:

Change your technique. If you usually type an outline, hand-write it, or put it on index cards. You can even dictate it to a speech-to-text app and alarm  the cat with your graphically murderous imagination…

Change your surroundings. Work at the kitchen table instead of your desk. Work in a cafe, or even rent an office space for a few weeks. If you have no choice about the space you work in, try rotating your desk ninety degrees. (But don’t allow this to turn into that classic procrastination technique, “tidying your workspace”…)

Take your characters for a walk. Before starting work on each episode/ act of a film, go for a brisk walk, pretending your characters are with you. What do they notice that you normally wouldn’t? What do they make of the rich woman hailing a taxi, or the homeless guy at the bus stop? Which cafe or pub would they like to stop at, instead of your usual one? Once you have a clearer idea of the characters, the story will flow.

Seek out new experiences. Writers are novelty-seekers – we write partly to create novelty in our ordinary lives. Go experience an art form or an evening class you wouldn’t normally consider. Or go to a new place – even somewhere as simple as going into a shop that sells things you couldn’t usually buy. Novelty primes the brain to create.

Be sure you’re taking care of basic needs. If you’ve just finished a big project, sleep well, eat well, get plenty of gentle exercise. When this new project is a huge hit, you’re going to need to be at your best…

Anyone else have any good tips?

3 comments on “5 Ways To Reinvigorate Your Writing

  1. David Joyner says:

    After a big project ends, I’ve heard the advice to keep on writing and don’t take a break. Lower the intensity but not the habit of writing regularly. Maybe just write things on a much smaller scale, but don’t stop.

  2. j. gray says:

    This post is spot on. I’m still a bit green to screenwriting, but I’ve just finished my first big project and am having trouble focusing on the next one. I can’t seem to get the wheels turning…at least not in the direction I want them to go. Switching up working locales and sticking to some kind of mind/body/write routine, even if it’s toned down has been vital. The restorative powers of a “live-well” attitude can be truly amazing, so in the words of the great minds penning Parks and Recreation: “treat. yo. self.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsABTmT1_M0

  3. Lizzy says:

    Not so much a tip for switching projects but one thing I’ve always struggled with is looking at a blank page. While I was in school (only a few years ago, I’m not a proper writer or anything XD) and starting the piece for my creative writing in GCSE, I was staring at the blank page and couldn’t think of a first sentence. I figured out my own technique then which was to not think of it as a blank page but a gateway. Think of the possibilities it could hold instead of the amount you need to fill. I’ve gone as far as drawing a pencil line down the centre, with a keyhole – then writing over the whole thing with pen so that I could rub out the door after I was on a roll. Also to close my eyes and imagine opening the door to the new universe, even if it looks exactly the same. It’s pretty lame-sounding advice, but I like it and it worked for me. 🙂

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