Taking a Break from my Creative Writing

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clint_csperry-org
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Taking a Break from my Creative Writing

Post by clint_csperry-org » 10 Jul 2019, 10:45

I have reached a point when I just didn't care about what was coming out of me. The story I was creating has lost it's initial energy. This has happened before and I've set things aside. I can come back at another time and jump back in, usually.

Does this happen to you? Or do you find the drive to go through and finish every story every time?
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Nisha Ward
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Post by Nisha Ward » 11 Jul 2019, 17:34

It does. I was writing something for a friend and it stopped flowing for a few months. I've actually found advice from romance writer Jenny Trout to be quite helpful. If you can walk away and come back to it, then the story isn't dead. If you can't come back to it then the story is dead.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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Post by eastandalchemy » 12 Jul 2019, 05:04

I've learned to go along with the ebb and flow of my creative energy. When I'm working on a project and my energy wanes, I've learned to take a break and set it aside for a bit. I never throw away partially completed projects because at some point the initial energy will return. Returning to a project with a fresh set of eyes is one of my favorite aspects of the creative process :)

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Post by Kyrenora » 13 Jul 2019, 21:30

One thing that I like to do when I'm having trouble trudging forward with a story that I've lost my drive to work on is to branch out with it. For example, I might take one of the characters and write their backstory. Perhaps a scene from their childhood that helped form their personality before their introduced in the narrative I'm working to complete. Finding a new aspect to a character or setting or something from a story I've grown bored with can help me to breathe life back into it. But if I feel like I'm bored with the creation of a story, how can I expect a reader to stay engaged?

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Post by ElizaPeaks » 13 Jul 2019, 23:09

I experience this same problem! I highly recommend Twyla Tharp's (i)The Creative Habit(/i)! This book helped me to understand my personal creative process and gave me insight into how I can work through low energy periods. I like to strand myself in the library or McDonald's with nothing but a few bucks and my writing supplies. I've found that writing on my laptop is no good because I'll end up opening extra tabs to play games, or I'll lose my time to my phone. To remedy this, I bought a Bluetooth keyboard for my phone. I hate switching from app to app, so the temptation to procrastinate is reduced exponentially, and I can't play with my phone if it's my monitor! Plus, the keyboard is so cute that it gets me jazzed to write.

My biggest philosophy is to always finish the first draft regardless of whether you have the creative energy to or not. There have been so many times where I've gotten halfway through a project and lost that drive, so I ended up stepping away for some time. For the few times where I've been brave enough to push through, I always come out better for it. Sure, I might end up scrapping that last half of the project, but I never walk away from that first draft without new ideas for the plot of my story. You can't fix something that hasn't been written!

Consider this: when a stage actor loses focus in the middle of a performance - breaking character, getting distracted by that cougher in the front row, or realizing that their shirt is creeping up in the back - they can't walk away from that performance. We have to see it through until we've taken our bows and have hung our costumes back up. We end up hating those performances and beating ourselves up for "ruining it for the audience" (which is absolute garbage, mind you - I once heard professional respondents from the Kennedy Center praise our "worst" performance of the Spring season, and low and behold, there we went to nationals and came away with over ten awards), but we always learned something new.

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