For When You’re Stuck In that Writing Rut…

First blog post of 2018! I hope you ALL had a wonderful Christmas/holiday/New Year period. But before I begin, I just want to start with a bunch of updates/other stuff.

1) There’s a giveaway happening on my Twitter account! You only have until the 31st to enter, so get on it!

2) I took a (tiny) break from blogging to recharge, so I wanted to share some of the pics that I took in Sydney Harbor. Honestly, I’m blessed to live so close to things so beautiful. There’s a handful more on my Instagram, though I literally cannot do justice in pictures to how gorgeous/bright/colorful that sunset was. So, so, SO beautiful.

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3) My Tumblr is shiny & new (as well as this blog design!) I’m REALLY trying hard to revive some of my social media this year, plus this blog. So…fingers crossed you’ll be seeing a lot more of me this year. 🙂 (also…can you believe it’s 2018 already!? On the plus side, we have Black Panther, Infinity War, and of course the adaptation of Love, Simon to look forward to.)

4) I just finished WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER and started with STRANGE THE DREAMER. I actually have NO idea why I took so long to read this book! Laini Taylor, once more, blows my mind. She’s such an incredible writer. So far, STRANGE THE DREAMER is gorgeously wrought. I loved WARBRINGER, too. I’ve always been a fan of Leigh Bardugo, and this book is no exception. So now I’m super-excited for BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER & CATWOMAN: SOULSTEALER. Also, the titles of these DC novels are utterly awesome.

5) I’ve been brainstorming a new WIP. Guys, I’m SO excited about this book. I won’t go into detail about it (sort of terrified that if I do, it’ll fizzle) but the more I brainstorm, the deeper I fall in love with this book. ❤ It’s high fantasy…surprise, surprise…and it incorporates so much I DON’T know, which means I’ve been doing a ton of research. It also includes parts of my own culture that I love. I hope to draft it this year, too! Hopefully.

So, today’s actual post.

Last year, I blogged that I was in a bit of a writing rut/writing burnout. I worked my way out of it eventually…but it occurred to me that there might be other writers out there who have the same problem. The first thing I know? It happens to everyone. I have a theory that for most writers, creativity comes in cycles. Some days we’re SUPER inspired. Some days we’re just…not. Some days—especially if you’re on deadline and don’t have the luxury of waiting for that creative cycle to return—it’s almost physically painful to write. Everything we get down on the page just feels like…crap.

I’ll be honest: getting out of this mindset is hard. So hard. But with some courage, and some hopefully-helpful advice from yours truly, that creative cycle can start blooming again. So! Here are my tips for when you’re stuck in that writing rut and/or burnout.

My first piece of advice will always be to take a break. Especially if you’re not on deadline. Writers are under constant pressure. From ourselves, from people around us. Breaks can often feel like you’re failing, and that because you’re a writer, you can’t possibly be allowed to take a moment to recharge… But you can. You should. More than that, you need to.

First off, consider whether you can’t write, or just don’t want to.

If it’s the second, then that can be resolved somewhat easily. Sit your ass down in a chair, and write. Let yourself write crap if that’s what it takes, but don’t leave that chair until you’ve got something down on the page. Editing can come later, once the story is done. But if it’s the first, then it becomes trickier, because you have to get to the reason of why. Is it because you’re stuck at a point in your novel? Then backtrack, find out where it went wrong. Afraid of failure? Well, the only way to succeed is to fail. You don’t have any ideas/no motivation? Find the seed of your story that made you want to write it in the first place. Find the root, the heart, of your story, and fall back in love with it. Completely rework the plot if you must, but make sure that you love every inch of your tale.

I briefly touched upon this in my post last year, but I want to reiterate it here because I do think it’s relevant. When I was stuck, or burnt out, I literally had to force myself to sit down & draft a synopsis, query, and one-sentence pitch. I did it because I knew I loved the story but I wanted to get to the heart of it more. This helped. So much. I’d drafted it, begun extensive revisions, and it helped flesh out some of the plot elements I was struggling with. But more than that, it lit the spark of the story again: it made me want to write it.

I won’t lie: getting out of a writing burn out is HARD. And you know what? Like I said, I believe creativity comes in cycles, so it might happen again.

But you can do it.

Because I did.

What’s your advice for when you’re stuck in a rut, writing or otherwise?


Currently reading: Mentioned above, but STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor. Yes, it is amazing. ❤

Currently listening to: “The Swan” by Camille Saint-Saëns (this song…oh god, it’s so beautiful.)

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8 thoughts on “For When You’re Stuck In that Writing Rut…

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    ooh those photos are beautiful!! And omg STRANGE THE DREAMER. 😍 Actual writing goals afjdskald (I’m so excited for book 2 this year!) and I’m glad you liked Wonder Woman too! I haven’t seen the movie and I know they’re different but it’s kind of inspired me to go watch it haha.

    And I was pretty burnt out in December and kind of only just crawling out of it now. I get stuck a lot because of all the options. 😂 Like which way do you take the plot?! And that potential of failure and rejection is always a nasty shadow. One way I get through blocks is basically just to keep going. Cliche but it often works.

    Like

    • karaterzis says:

      I haven’t seen the mother yet either, but it looks epic. And it got so much positive feedback! After reading WARBRINGER…I DEFINITELY need to watch it.

      You’re so right. Through is literally the one way out. And it can be SO difficult, especially if you have the fear of failure hanging over your head, but yes. It does work. Eventually.

      Like

  2. Aislynn d'Merricksson says:

    Pretty pics! Those are really great shots.

    Im currently in a rut… I’ve lost my confidence and I’m not sure how to get it back. Party is also a lack of energy thanks to an autoimmune disorder :/ Otherwise, I try to push through when I’m in a rut for anything, try to trust the pendulum will swing back the other direction.

    Good luck with your WIP!

    Like

    • karaterzis says:

      Thanks so much! ❤ Gah, I'm so sorry to hear that. Being in a rut is terrible, and I know from personal experience that it can be very difficult to find motivation when you're ill. Just remember—be kind to yourself! 🙂

      Like

  3. Eugenia @ Genie In A Book says:

    First of all, those photos are beautiful Kara ❤ Oh my goodness I still need to read Strange The Dreamer as well, it's been sitting on my shelf for far too long! It can definitely help to just take a step back from writing/blogging and recharge so that it's easier to come up with new ideas without the stress. All the best for 2018!

    Like

    • karaterzis says:

      Ahh, thank you so much! ❤ I haven't read much of it yet, but I'm already going to recommend it! It is breathtakingly good. Honestly, everything I've read of Laini Taylor is. Taking a step away from blogging/writing/life, etc. is always a good thing in my opinion. Not only does it give us a chance to recharge, but also sort of puts everything into perspective.

      Like

  4. Aimee (Aimee, Always) says:

    I LOVE THE PHOTOS YOU SHARED! The first one just makes me feel so at home, even if I’m not from Aussie. AND HURRAY FOR YOUR NEW WIP!!! I LOVE HIGH FANTASY, SO…. HECK YEAH. ❤

    Same thing goes for reading burnouts, for me! I give myself a break (however long I need), and when I feel the SMALLEST urge to read, I push myself to read EVERY DAY until I get back into the groove. It's been working swell for me, so far! ^_^

    Like

    • karaterzis says:

      Aww, thank you so much, Aimee! ❤ Haha, high fantasy will ALWAYS be my favorite genre.

      Ooh, I didn't think about it in context of reading burnouts—but you're right! I've had a similar issue lately, so I'll definitely apply some of that logic. 🙂

      Like

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