February 12, 2018

Get Your Writing Groove Back

By Linda Westphal

Writing reminds me of an LP vinyl record. When you’re in the groove, the words flow and the rhythm feels right. These are the moments writers crave, and one of the reasons why so many do not give up on the craft.

But the writing process is not all bliss (otherwise everyone would do it). It’s full of starts-and-stops that range from getting stuck on a scene to getting stuck between books.

Don’t worry. There’s a cure for that. Over the years I’ve tried all the remedies below and they work. Try one or two the next time you get stuck and you’ll be back in the writing groove before you know it.

Fast cure
Often the fastest cure is to step away from your writing desk for a few hours. (I know, it’s hard. You’re there to write.) Take a walk. Go to the grocery store. Cook a meal. Any activity that doesn’t take much thought will do, as long as it allows your mind to let go and clear itself. Creative people often say, “I get my best ideas in the shower.” It’s the same concept. You have to step away long enough for your mind to reboot. Once it does, the solution you’re looking for will flash in your mind’s eye.

Cures that take more time
·         Get in the car and drive to another city for a day trip.
·         Spend your morning or afternoon in a coffee shop that’s new to you, preferably in a neighborhood you rarely visit (only if writing in a coffee shop breaks your routine).
·         Take the morning off and visit a museum, then treat yourself to a nice lunch.
·         Spend a few hours in a used bookstore.
·         Visit a small country town if you live in a large city or a large city if you live in a small town.
·         Sit comfortably in nature with your eyes closed. Visualize the character you’re writing about. Pay attention to the specifics. How is the character interacting with others? What sensations do you take away from this experience?
·         Jot down elements that seem oddly paired, like squirrels and caramel apples, book clubs and charities, seashells and photocopy machines. This exercise will help you think beyond the ordinary.
·         Spend time reading a genre other than the one you write. How is the writing different than your genre? What writing techniques are popular? What’s special about the bestsellers? When you venture outside your everyday walls, you are exposing yourself to new ideas.
Linda Westphal writes feel-good stories like The Hermit Bookstore and The Medium,a short story that takes place in Savannah’s Historic District. She has written professionally since 1990 and now spends most of her time writing stories. Linda lives in Northern California with her family and enjoys travel, tea, food, sunny days, friendly people, small towns, and a good story. She also enjoys connecting with authors. Visit her website and social media pages. Her social media links: Website:  Amazon Author Page: Goodreads:  Facebook:  Twitter:  Google+:

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