It happens to every writer more than once during the course of their writing life. We lose our sense of story. The words just stop coming to us. We have NOTHING to write. It can be disconcerting to experience a lack of writerly inspiration.
The problem, of course, is that we don’t see writing as something that we do. Writing is who we are — so when we have nothing to write, it’s a little like losing ourselves.
Trying to force inspiration, however, will have the opposite effect. You’ll become frustrated. So, what can you do when you find yourself inspired?
Do something else
Our minds need to take a break. Yes, even from the things that we love. Step away from the notebook, typewriter or computer and do something else.
Take a walk.
Clean the house.
Go for a run in the park.
Engaging the physical can help to release endorphins and clear your mind. Sometimes you really do just need to stop and smell the roses, as the cliche goes.
Read for fun
While it’s important to read books as someone who wants to eventually write them, you also should read books merely for the pleasure of reading them.
Reading is good for the brain. It builds connections and introduces new ideas (even fiction). What’s really interesting is that our brains are not actually designed for reading but we have forced our brains to do the impossible!
The pleasure from reading is also helpful. We need to relax, we need to escape from the things that worry us. Reading allows us to go different places, be different people — it’s amazing!
Once you’ve stepped away from your manuscript to exercise your body or escape in a book, it’ll be like a mental reset. You should be able to return to your writing with fresh eyes. But don’t rush it (well, unless you’re on a tight deadline imposed by a publisher!).
Writer’s block is generally temporary. We get so focused on our writing that we forget everything else and sometimes that can backfire.
Take a break if you need it! Your manuscript will be waiting for you when you come back!