Writing

Am I in a Rut?

Bad writing week, or couple of weeks. Do you ever start writing and just hate everything you’ve written or typed down? I wrote about 124 pages of draft six of The Orb of ‘Unlimited’ Power and hated every word of it. I hated the new beginning and just wanted to print it out so I could burn it. And then I stopped writing because I thought “Oh, maybe this is just a burn out. I’ve been so wrapped up in this story, I haven’t given myself an official break away from it in a while.” So, I took on a beta reading job to try to focus on something else, but would occasionally go back to draft six to sneak in a sentence or paragraph in. But I hate going days without writing. I feel guilty because it’s become a habit. I really, really want to write. But the words are just not coming out and if they do they’re not the right words.

And I don’t know what to do. I’ve done everything I could think of to try to bring up or find inspiration, but it’s just gone . . . I don’t feel passionate about this anymore. And I want to. I really do. Usually when this happened in the past, my characters would be the ones to bring me out of it, but somehow they’re ignoring me. They’ve gone radio silent and I’m scared. Maybe they’ve decided to take a break and went on vacation somewhere and forgot to mention that they were going to be gone for a while. Or I’ve reached Writer’s Block, but that wouldn’t make sense because I know where the story is going and I know how to get there.

I don’t know what to do. Should I continue to “take a break” and then go back and see if everyone is back from their vacation? Or continuing writing? Or put this story in my Unfinished Stories folder? No. Never. It will never go into that folder for as long as I live. It’s like packing up your childhood toys, sticking them in an attic, and forgetting about them until you’re in your forties or fifties and going through the attic to clean it out, and then you find the box, open it, and say, “Oh, wow, there’s that old story I was going to write and publish, but gave up on it.” And then that forty version of me does the worst possible thing, well maybe two things. They either throw everything out into the garbage or through the shredder, or they just keep everything in the box and forget about it once more. So, no, I will not be putting the story in that folder. It does not belong there.

Maybe I just a need a break. Maybe I need to go on my own vacation.

10 thoughts on “Am I in a Rut?

  1. Aw, ruts are no fun. 😦 (I’ve been in a miniature one myself the last day or two.) I don’t know…..I think a break is a good idea sometimes. Sometimes I even take a break from writing one story to work on another that sounds more fun, and then when that one gets boring I go back to the old one. Actually, I think the best thing I can do to get re-excited about a story is to talk to someone else who’s excited about it, too.

    Don’t worry! I’m sure everything will work out and your characters will start talking to you again. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s definitely nice to have someone who you can talk to about your story. I told a friend of mine about this who actually beta read for me. But switching stories . . . I don’t think I could do that. I have to agree with Anna, I’m too scared that I won’t ever get back to it.
      And I’ll try not to worry (though I probably will :P). But, yeah, I think I just need a break. One week. I can do this . . . I can do this.

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  2. Okay, Hope, this is scary! Did you like read my mind or something? Because this has so been me for like this whole past month!! I used to adore The Shadows of Light! It was like the best thing in the world! Now, it’s just not… Like at all… I have even thought about doing what Lucy said and move on to another story. I am just scared that if I do that, I will end up never coming back to my current story, which is scary! So, no. I don’t have any advice, but I can say that I totally understand what you are going through right now. So, you’re not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. πŸ˜€ Sending you a high-five for being in the same boat:) https://media.giphy.com/media/TlRZdbtEtxBAI/giphy.gif
      We will get through this rut, Anna! I don’t know, do you feel like writing backstories for certain characters. I started one for Fileus a month or so ago when he was a child before he met Rose, but never finished. Or how about continuing to world-build? Just don’t give up on The Shadows of Light! Don’t you dare!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *Sticks my hand up from behind the desk for high-five* Haha, funniest gif ever, by the way! πŸ˜›

        I have definitely felt like doing that, and I even tried it once a little while ago. But I admit that I had about as much luck as you did (aka I never finished). That would be super cute to have one for Fileus, though! I have also tried some world building (hence the Delving into the Depths post) but I always feel super overwhelmed…
        I don’t plan on giving up… I just need to figure out how to love writing it again. That is probably the weirdest thing about this “rut”. I want so desperately to write, but it just won’t work…

        I won’t give up, though! And neither should you for that matter! I have read some of your story, and it is incredible!!!!! Truly! I am not just saying it to be nice! It really is a beautiful story! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, and another thing that just came to me that could help (because I know what it is like to have that guilty feeling when you try to take a break) is to find writing prompts on Pinterest or Google or somewhere and spin off one of those with your story in mind. Like put your characters or setting into the prompt and just let it take you where it will. I don’t know if it would work since I’ve never actually tried it, but it was just an idea that came to me.

        Anyway, I won’t take up anymore space with my rambling comments πŸ˜›

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  3. It’s okay! Don’t worry! πŸ˜€ I’ve been through this same EXACT problem soooooooo many times! And it’s alright. There are three options, which may or may not work for you, that usually work for me in such a situation:
    1. Take a break to work another story, or even start a new one with ne, fresh characters to help you out. (I am a multi-tasking writer, so sometimes taking a break from one or more stories for a single specific one helps.)
    2. Try to do one of the five writing prompts – Character interviewing, character chatting, drawings of characters, diagramming the plot (I know, ew! But I like to do it!), writing random, pointless scenes of just characters interacting or being explained (or even a bio! I did this once), or rant on for a long time about a favorite character or story (it always helps me!).
    3. Just make yourself write. I had a demotivated point in one of my stories that lasted months (to the horror of my poor readers). And it was all because I didn’t want to finish this scene I hated. The prose wasn’t right for the scene, the scenes preceding it were a bit unedited and rough. I left it mid-scene for MONTHS, telling myself one of theses days I was just going to delete the scene and move on. But I didn’t. One day, I just made myself write all the same, and then the scene came forward. It went on, and for a while I didn’t like it very much, but I still wrote on past it. Another day, I went back, edited it, and now I think it’s one of the best scenes I have in the entire story. Just write, and make it better later! πŸ˜‰
    I hope this helps, and I’m not being a bossy busybody! πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have been filling my ears these passed few days with new and favorite OST’s. But if you mean the other type of musical, as in Broadway, then yes, I am a musical person. “Do you here the people sing? Singing the songs of angry men? It is the music of the people who will not be slaves again! When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!” I’ll stop before I go too far. . . . Now I want to watch Les Mis…

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions, Isabelle! I wish I was a multi-tasking writer! I can multi-task in other activities, but never with writing. Drawing characters, funny you should mention that, I’ve actually been spending the time I usually write to update my character drawings, and using the rest of that time to catch up on video game time because I have been neglecting my poor protagonist – leaving her on a hazardous planet, far from home, about to storm into a synthetic camp 😦 But I have been writing, sort of. Just little scenes between my MC and one of the main villains. Fun little banter, like
      A: “Sorry, but I believe you’re sitting in my chair.”
      R: “You must be a ghost or some creature has taken your form. Maybe you’re a mage taking the appearance of the late, false princess.”
      A: “You believe what you want, but that’s my throne. So please be so find as to step off or I shall take you off myself.”
      But that’s book 2 material. But it’s still writing!
      And you are not being a bossy busybody πŸ™‚

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