March 19, 2014

The rut

I think anyone who's a creative person has been here, or will eventually be here. Not reading this blog post, of course, because that would be bananas, but I mean a rut. It's so easy to fall into and a million times harder to pull yourself out – if you can get yourself out.

I'm going to be honest here. I'm still in the process of pulling myself out, in more ways than one. I panicked and fell into the mentality that the first draft had to be as close to perfect as possible. That I went through four years of schooling, so it HAD to be near-perfect, or I deserved to have my degree set on fire.

I heard this really great quote the other day that says something like, “Eventually you will care more about not doing anything than actually succeeding.” And that's kind of what happened with me. I got so angry at myself because I love writing and stories and books and spent literal years of my life trying to  create something worthwhile. And I wasn't doing anything.

Then I started writing for fun again, stuff I wasn't going to show to anyone. Stuff that I'm still not going to show to anyone. And I started looking over old story notes and rethinking them and instead of writing out every single plot point before I started writing, I jotted down a few notes of what I wanted to happen and tried to do things like I did when I was a teenager. It's kind of scary, writing that's part pantsing and part plotting, but I think it's helping.

Open discussion: when you're in a rut, what helps you?

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