How often do we find ourselves struggling to progress in what we’re doing, be it work, sport, hobby, or writing? When an athlete known for his ability to score is suddenly not scoring points or goals, then it is noted that he’s in a slump. When a writer struggles to put words on paper, or thinks everything written is garbage, he is in a slump.
The reasons for the slump are actually not important. Part of the reason for a writing slump or any other is the over-thinking aspect of dealing with it. We go round and round in our minds about why we’re struggling and how untimely it is and how miserable it is, etc.
I know how it is because I just emerged from an extended writer’s slump. Why did it happen? How many reasons or excuses do I have created? How much did I analyze it?
The solution was simple.
I sat down, opened up my work in progress, The Lost Tower, re-read the previous chapter and started writing.
Sounds easy, right?
I had to just write. Not think AND write. I had to force off the half of my mind that wants to edit every keystroke that comes from my fingers as they dance across the keyboard of my laptop.
I’m writing the first draft and thus need to keep the editor mind on ice for a few more months.
That is the trick I used. I gave myself permission to write an imperfect first draft. I told my editor mind to take a summer vacation and to leave me alone.
I wrote in half a week more than I’d managed in the past six weeks.
What are your slump stories and solutions?