Question of the Day #21: Writing Slumps

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Question of the Day #21: Writing Slumps
« on: November 14, 2017, 11:58:54 AM »
I thought that this would be a good question, considering that a lot of us are struggling with writing on different levels.

What has been the worst writing slump you've been through? How long did it last? How did you get through it?

As always, feel free to invite your friends to respond, as the post is guest friendly. Also, feel free to suggest some questions for future questions of the day!
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Question of the Day #21: Writing Slumps
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 12:21:21 PM »
I feel like the worst slump for me was pretty much from...some time in 2011 (I can't even remember any more, but i think it was maybe around March) to, honestly, probably even last year. It wasn't quite a slump, but writing just wasn't something that was constantly on my mind any more, for a long time. It's still not constantly on my mind, but it's definitely something I think about way more often.

In 2011, I had an old writing project, Mageborn, that I think I had either come up with or had already been trying to write (I can't even remember any more). I tried to write it, but it just wasn't working. So then, while I was recovering from surgery that I had in March of 2011, I ended up starting a Star Wars role play forum.

So, I DID write, because I created characters and I wrote posts, but...my actual story writing was no longer a constant thing on my mind. I would write role play posts instead, and just not work on writing. I mean, I did try to work on my own writing, and I still participated in NaNo, but it was like...writing just wasn't something that was always on my mind any more. I had become focused on my Star Wars role play, because I was also the administrator of it and I was constantly having to stay on top of the activity and approving characters and all that fun stuff. I finished school up at the end of 2012 and still role played and still kept writing.

That role play, in whatever form it was in ('cause we ended up closing and starting fresh with it a few times due to various reasons), lasted until...2014? 2015? I can't even remember any more.

I decided to go back to school in 2014, and since I went for graphic design this meant a LOT of pressure, a LOT of homework, a LOT of projects, which meant that those things took up my mind and were a bigger priority over my writing (and even role playing). It was always in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do, and I would do it when I could, but its presence in my mind wasn't as heavy.

In spring 2016, I was getting antsy. I wanted to have a place I could go to to vent about writing, to get brainstorming help, to do writing challenges at...and feel like I was actually part of the community and not just someone who was lurking and would respond to things here and there (which is what I do on, say, Mythic Scribes). So I decided I wanted to start another writing forum, since it had been a few years (I think 2013) since the last one I'd run, so that's how Worldsmyths came to be. Because of the challenges and discussions and everything else on here, I've had writing on my mind a lot more often (especially now that I'm done with school). I don't think I would have written Storms of Magic without it, 'cause Storms of Magic came from a writing challenge that we had last summer.
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JayLee

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Re: Question of the Day #21: Writing Slumps
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 03:56:46 PM »
Huzzah for Worldsmyths solving slumps!

I think I'm still kinda in a slump right now... But this comes and goes in stages. My problem isn't that I have no ideas... it's that I have waaaayyyy too many. And I get overwhelmed by them all. So I sit there and world build, and come up with more and more new ideas, and write little segments of stuff.... But I never actually get anywhere. If my Nano project isn't to finish a book I'm in love with, then it usually ends up being a dead project.

Then, along will come a project which demands my full attention, and boom. I'll be eaten alive, almost obsessed. Then it ends... and I'm right back in the quagmire. Killing Crow was my last project, and that started around December 2015, and went right through to Dec. 2016. Still editing it hardcore, but I'm waiting for another story. I have an average of a year between big stuff, so... December???
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Question of the Day #21: Writing Slumps
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 07:01:55 PM »
Huzzah for Worldsmyths solving slumps!

I think I'm still kinda in a slump right now... But this comes and goes in stages. My problem isn't that I have no ideas... it's that I have waaaayyyy too many. And I get overwhelmed by them all. So I sit there and world build, and come up with more and more new ideas, and write little segments of stuff.... But I never actually get anywhere. If my Nano project isn't to finish a book I'm in love with, then it usually ends up being a dead project.

Then, along will come a project which demands my full attention, and boom. I'll be eaten alive, almost obsessed. Then it ends... and I'm right back in the quagmire. Killing Crow was my last project, and that started around December 2015, and went right through to Dec. 2016. Still editing it hardcore, but I'm waiting for another story. I have an average of a year between big stuff, so... December???

This is me, too, especially with having too many ideas! And of course I really cannot work on more than one project at once, so that does not help things.

Hopefully that streak will continue for you and you'll come up with something in December! I came up with Storms of Magic in the summertime...hm. Not sure if I can wait that long to come up with something brand new (and I doubt I will).
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Xanxa

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Re: Question of the Day #21: Writing Slumps
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 06:57:41 PM »
I did have a spell where there were many changes going on in my life, from around 2008 to 2011, and during that time the only writing projects I worked on were play by post RPGs on forums and social media.  I didn't do any work on my novels then.

It's rare for me not to have several projects on the go at any given time.  Right now, I'm trying to finish "Carrying a Torch" which I started over a year ago and I'm also involved in two collaborations with fellow authors. 

I often find that I run out of steam around three quarters of the way through a novel.  That's when I slow down and become less productive.  Since I'm a planner, I usually have at least a vague outline of how the story is going to pan out, but I seem to find that last push to finish is more difficult than the rest of the novel.  Maybe it's psychological, I don't want it to end so I'm writing more slowly.  I do tend to feel an odd sense of bereavement when I've finished the first draft of a new novel. 

That reminds me.  I have two other novels that are at similar stages and need to be finished off.  They both come later in the series so finishing them isn't a priority right now.  Until "Carrying a Torch" gets published, the novels that come after it can wait.

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JayLee

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Re: Question of the Day #21: Writing Slumps
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 07:29:57 PM »
I have gone to my go to writing slump murderer.

I don't bookbind often... but sometimes the best source of inspiration is to make a journal. While working on this for the last couple days, I managed to write a few thousand words while waiting for glue to dry, and honestly with the mood I've been in, that's pretty darn good.

I call this the ugly little patchwork journal (as I literally made it out of whatever I had lying around my closet, including scraps of fabric since all my good cover fabric is in Elsewhere). I have numerous short stories I hope shall find a home in here :) That, or maybe a novel idea will spark. As I always like to say "Have journal, will write"



Writer's Arithmetic: Cup of tea + blanket + book/sketchpad = Heaven
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Question of the Day #21: Writing Slumps
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2017, 08:23:51 PM »
I have gone to my go to writing slump murderer.

I don't bookbind often... but sometimes the best source of inspiration is to make a journal. While working on this for the last couple days, I managed to write a few thousand words while waiting for glue to dry, and honestly with the mood I've been in, that's pretty darn good.

I call this the ugly little patchwork journal (as I literally made it out of whatever I had lying around my closet, including scraps of fabric since all my good cover fabric is in Elsewhere). I have numerous short stories I hope shall find a home in here :) That, or maybe a novel idea will spark. As I always like to say "Have journal, will write"



Huh, that's pretty cool! I'm not crafty enough to be able to successfully do something like that, but it's pretty cool!
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MagicMagor

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Re: Question of the Day #21: Writing Slumps
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 03:46:57 AM »
I don't know if it counts as a slump but i didn't write for nearly 13 years.
I started writing in 1994 at the age of 11 and after several failed attempts at novel writing i switched to poetry and short stories.
Then in 2002 after finishing school i encountered the game of Go and that somehow took over my free time. In addition i started college in 2003 and moved out. Low income and small flat meant neither money nor shelf space for new books so i was stuck with rereading the books i already had. And reading new books is always something that motivates me to write.
During that time i still thought about writing and devoured a lot of online resources about writing, but i didn't actually wrote anything.

How i overcame this? By being forced to buy new books. I finished college and started working in 2014 and the combination of work and playing a lot of Go was not really good for my mental health. So in 2015 i went to the doctor and he said i need to do something different. Something which would allow my analytical and logical part of the brain to rest. And so i decided to read again. And new books then also awakened the urge to write again (and writing is a lot cheaper pasttime than buying and reading new books all the time - especially since i'm a fast reader).
So from 2002/2003 to the middle of 2016 i didn't write anything related to fiction.
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