12 Ideas to Help You Get Over Your Writing Slump

If you are a mood-writer like me, then you may find it hard to find either the inspiration to write stories or the time to write. I know how annoying it can be to try and just sit there and wait for inspiration to come, so let’s brainstorm some ways that can help get those imagination juices flowing!

1. Listen to music.

Playlists for inspirations can vary depending upon the genre you wish to write. For example, I have playlists for “Meet-Cute” Romances (ex. Genesis’s “Invisible Touch”, Walk off the Earth’s “Hold On”, Bear’s Den’s “Laurel Wreath”), Fantasy (ex. Two Steps from Hell’s “Heart of Courage”, Medieval Baebes’ “My Care is Like My Shadow”, Jonathan Thulin’s “Dead Come to Life”), Drama (ex. Sleeping at Last’s “Bad Blood”, Amber Run’s “I Found”, David Tolk’s “Beneath the Starry Night”), Historical Fiction (ex. a mix of any of these).

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2. Explore Pinterest.

The hub of creativity, this is a great way to find story inspiration for the characters, scenes, and even costumes in your stories. To stay organized, feel free to create different storyboards for each story and sub-sections for characters, scenes, etc. Here is an example of one of mine.

3. Listen to podcasts.

(Especially ones that include commentary from authors who discuss their upcoming books or excerpts from their past stories) Writing advice is always helpful and there are podcasts for both writing and books, along with commentary about specific genres. Examples of these include: The Writer Files, Historical Fiction: Unpacked; grim & mild; I Should Be Writing; Book Talk, etc.

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4. Exercise.

Go for a walk (especially while listening to your specific story inspiration music or writing podcasts). When you get your legs moving, it gets your brain moving, so take advantage!

5. Drive.

Of course, don’t write while you are driving. If you need to pull over and jot your ideas down, please do so safely.

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6. Read stories specific to your writing genre.

This is one of the most effective ways for me to receive inspiration, not only for story plots and characters in specific genres, but also how to properly write those stories. Although it’s always nice to be original in how you decide to craft your story, it is also constructive to see what tools other authors have used to captivate their audiences and which ones are the most receptive from their audiences. Some devices that I like to use are perspective shifts, strong friendships, and concluding twists.

7. Watch movies specific to your writing genre.

This is especially true for me regarding gothic/suspenseful fiction. I’m a fan of M. Night Shyamalan-esk twists to creepy movies like the ones that exist in The Others (2001), The Village (2004), and Winchester (2018).

When I imagine a story, I imagine scenes of it like a movie, so it’s neat when movies, like books, succeed in showing and not telling the audience how the plot unfolds.

Sense and Sensibility (1995) directed by Ang Lee • Reviews, film + cast •  Letterboxd
Sense & Sensibility (1995) from Letterboxd.com

8. Network with other writers.

Blogs, Facebook groups, and writing conferences are effective ways of finding people with similar writing or reading interests. Also, never exclude the possibly of meeting with a local creative writing group when possible (whether in person or over video conferencing).

9. Travel.

This is a great way to expand your vision and learning about other cultures and humanity in general. If you are a fantasy writer, learning about other civilizations can help you with your world-building. If you are a historical fiction writer, learning about the history of an ancient land can help you develop historical contexts for your stories.

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10. People-watch.

Non-writers may think this is creepy, but watching how people interact in libraries, the park, school, work, church, etc. is an extremely helpful way to understand how people communicate, what they’re passionate about, and why they do what they do. Note, this is fuel for character-building…any other reasons for people-watching other than trying to understand the human condition WILL come off as creepy.

11. Free-write.

Sometimes writing without even thinking will result in words or stories that you didn’t even know were there locked away in your imagination. This way of writing can be effective along with writing from a prompt given from a random sentence, picture, or prop.

Photo by Samson Katt on Pexels.com

12. Create a blog.

Sometimes writing about something completely different from stories (like essays, blogs, or even texts or emails) will develop your creativity and writing skills, not to mentions possibly make you want to write something different from your every-day mode of communicating.

So those are my top ideas for getting in the mood to write creatively! I hope these are helpful and if anybody has any ideas to add, feel free to comment!

Published by Ashley Weaver

I am a writer, reader, student, and teacher of literature and the English language.

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