I’ve been in a bit of a post-publication slump lately.
Don’t get me wrong, finishing my novel, including editing, publication and post-publication promotion was an energy intensive, but exciting and ultimately rewarding process.
I’ve also written some smaller pieces since the beginning of the year as well as trying to finish off a middle-grade children’s book that’s been bubbling away for a long time.
All of it has left me feeling more drained than I expected. The build-up to publication, especially, was huge and I think I’m feeling the after-effects of this whole process.
So, what do you do when you want/need to keep writing but the ideas and energy to write has vanished?
Well, besides reading a lot, working and trying to write something new, I finished the book ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott and I found some inspiration in her reality-infused words.
For instance, she says, life is short; think about how you’d most like to spend your time and do more of that. If you can’t/don’t want to write, then read for a time and write a little bit every day instead of the big word count commitment writing a full-length novel demands.
So, I tried this and it works like magic. I’ve set myself a goal to write 300 words a day (not the 1000 it took me to get the words down to write my novel). Today, magically, I wrote 3500! Taking the pressure off having to write the big word count helps me keep my hand in the process – something is better than nothing after all.
The other thing that’s worked wonders is taking a physical break, a complete change of scene. Last year, Melbourne experienced one of the world’s harshest and, until then, longest lockdowns. I am grateful for where I live but the four walls sameness was not good creatively or spiritually.
I promised myself I’d take a trip to the desert to visit family as soon as I could. That’s where I am now. Although I’ve been helping family out where I can, seeing different scenery and interacting with a new environment has been a tonic.
The third thing that’s really helped me through this slump is to have a 2nd hobby. I discovered photography a few years ago and I just love capturing images of the landscape – big vistas and small. What I love about photography (and this applies to any hobby) is the ability to lose myself in the process itself; and while losing myself, I give my subconscious a chance to work it’s own particular magic.
I hope these tips help you with any creative block you might have.
Until next time,