Six Steps to Get Out of a Writing Rut
We’ve all been there at some point in our writing life. A writing deadline looms before us, and when we sit down to write, nothing happens.
If you are anything like me, you know precisely what to write while folding laundry, doing dishes or driving your children to school. However, the moment we sit down to type it out, the ideas and sentences we once had are no longer to be found. The blank page is ready to be filled with words that will encourage and inspire people. Words that can bring light to those in their darkest days. Instead, the only light is that from the computer screen. And the blinking cursor? It’s as if it’s taunting you: “Come on, what’s taking you so long? I’m losing my patience here!”
Frustration kicks in, and tears may even begin to flow. The enemy is rejoicing over the fact that you are struggling as a writer because the more you struggle in writing, the more frustrated you will become, and you may just want to give up.
The enemy cannot and will not win this battle. You and I were called to become writers, and we will fulfill our calling that the Lord has instructed us to do. Remember Ephesians 2:10 (ESV): “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
So how do we get past that taunting, blinking cursor and start writing?
Here are six steps to get out of a writing rut:
- Pray before you begin writing. As you sit down and prepare to write, and before you type a single word, pray for the Lord to go before you with the words to write.
- Watch COMPEL. Watching a teaching video on COMPEL can kick-start your creativity and enable you to write confidently. (If you aren’t a member of our COMPEL community we would love to have you join us! Sign up for the interest list HERE.)
- Take a walk. Get up from your desk and take a walk around the block. Not only will you get a bit of exercise, but you can also take notice of God’s creation around you.
- Drink water. As tempting as it is to drink coffee, tea or soda, water can increase brain function and energy levels. It can also help prevent headaches caused by staring at the computer screen too long.
- Change writing locations. If you sit at a desk, switch to the kitchen table, and vice versa. A change of scenery may be just what you need to start on your writing project.
- Write the opposite of what you normally write. If you are struggling with writing a nonfiction piece, start writing fiction, and vice versa. Even if what you are writing isn’t something that you specialize in, it may start your creative juices flowing, and you can begin writing the piece that needs to be completed.
Remember, being in this position is temporary. Through prayer and a change in mindset, you will be back to writing in no time! I hope this list encourages you to get out of a writer’s rut and get back to writing. Do you do something specific to get out of the dreaded writer’s rut? Let us know in the comments below!
Cheering you on!
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Thanks for your advice, Missy. I love bullet points!
Oh, Missy, you nailed this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned to a COMPEL video to get over my writing rut. Thanks so much for sharing these helpful tips.
Oh, the dreaded cursor on a blank page. Yes, I am taunted by it quite often. Your 6 steps are spot-on. In addition to your recommendations, I’m one of those people who prefer a clear desk before taking my writer’s seat.
Yes, a clear desk. That’s another great tip!
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