my writing slump

For almost the whole first year of serious writing, I didn’t have “writer’s block” (I don’t really like that word, so I’m going to call it “writing slump”), not even once. I only wrote and wrote and wrote. Until somewhere in March or April this year. I was going to write a new novel, but every time I sat down to write, all my energy just disappeared.

I couldn’t write anymore.

So I left the book and wrote a few short stories instead until it was time to edit a novel that had been in the BETA-readers hands for a while. Editing the novel went well.

Then I was going to start a new novel. I loved the idea, I loved the characters. I loved everything about it. But suddenly, writing one page took as much time as writing five pages had done just months before.

Suddenly, writing one page took as much time as writing five pages had done just months before.

My theory on how to get out of a writing slump

I can’t tell you exactly how YOU should get out of your writing slump, but I can tell you about what worked for me.

I think that writer’s block, a writing slump or whatever you want to call it, is caused by self doubt. Doubt of your ability to write. At least mine was.

When I was writing my first few books, I just wrote. I didn’t really care about show don’t tell, character development or the perfect dialogue. I just wrote. I didn’t think about making every sentence perfect. I just wrote. And I never got into a writing slump. Not until I started worrying about perfection.

I never got into a writing slump. Not until I started worrying about perfection.

I’ve figured out that the more I learn about writing, the harder it gets to write. The more I knew about how a good novel “should be”, the harder I found writing. I had to make everything perfect.

I hated everything I wrote. I only saw how bad everything was. That made me so extremely tired that I avoided writing. I didn’t want to write, because all the hate I gave myself while writing made me too tired.

I’ve always said that the cure for writer’s block or a writing slump is to just write, but that didn’t work. Because lack of inspiration wasn’t the source to it. It was doubt and the want of getting everything perfect from the start. Writing one paragraph gave me so much anxiety that I couldn’t do it. But I still loved writing, and to stop writing wasn’t an option for me.

So to get out of my writing slump, I had to stop aiming for perfection from the start. I had to just write, and then everything got much easier again. I long for writing instead of trying to avoid it.

Though, I don’t think it’s possible for writers or any other creative artists to stop doubting themselves. We just have to learn how to handle it. We have to learn to not listen to those mean voices in our heads, and prove them wrong instead.

Let go of the doubt. Just write. Have fun.

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Irma

Irma

Irma is 14 years old and since she started taking her writing for serious she has written novels in many different genres. She has written two of the short stories in the anthology “Morden på Färgargården”, which was published in 2017. She has also got prizes in competitions.

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3 comments

  • There’s so much truth in this. It’s so much easier to just write than trying to think about that perfect word for the sentence! I’m glad you were able to get out of that slump 😉 I’ve hit a ton of them, but when I get out of one I feel more more inspired than before I hit the slump…just something I noticed 😀

    • A novel can never be completely perfect, but you should not think about perfection at all when writing the first draft 🙂 Thank you, I’m glad you’ve been able to get out of your slumps as well! I haven’t thought about that before, but now that you say it I completely relate to that! I feel so much more inspired now than before I got into the slump! 🙂

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