Switch back over whichever program houses your current writing project.
Stare blankly at white space.
You’re trying to get work done. Write, which to you, is work. But you can’t.
You’re just … bored.
We’re here to help you find the boredom cure that’s right for you. Stay awake, now. (We saw you yawn. Don’t try to hide it.)
Solution 1: Take a break
There’s no secret writing law that says taking a break isn’t allowed. The general fear is that stopping one project, either to work on something different for a while or just to take a total writing hiatus, will lead to quitting, or at least never being able to go back and finish what you started.
Don’t think of breaks as giving up. Think of them as valuable time for your brain to recover from intense use. Give your ideas time to untangle themselves. Give yourself time to get out and do something else—spend time with friends, do something fun, anything besides writing—before letting yourself sit down to write again. Giving yourself permission will gradually dissolve that initial hesitation and guilt.
Solution 2: Toss in a sudden plot twist
Because—why not? Just like there’s no law demanding you keep writing even when you literally can’t even, there’s nothing that says you have to always and consistently stick to something realistic or previously planned out.
If you’re bored, for goodness sake, it’s your story. Throw in your own curve ball. Make your characters do something even you wouldn’t have predicted. Take your original plot line and go completely the other direction. Basically, just shove caution off the page and go for it (whatever “it” is). It might turn out to be a completely useless tangent later. It might inspire you to go back and keep working from your original outline. Or you might actually like the new storyline. Whatever it takes to pull you out of the boredom chair.
Solution 3: Remember there are no rules
As far as your literary universe is concerned, you are a god. You decide what happens, when, why, how. If you’re just tired of working on the same thing you’ve been plowing through for months, you have options, but really, no one, not even your own conscience, can tell you what to do.
You can change up the story. You can change up the place you write in. You can switch from Mac Pages to paper to dry erase board and back. You can, and should, do whatever it takes to keep yourself going without giving up. You’re not wasting time; you’re giving yourself a new angle. A different goal to work toward. If you’re bored, your creativity just needs a new outlet for a little while. That’s fine. Normal. DO IT.
Giving your work a rest is healthy.
Letting yourself have a little spontaneous fun with words—it’s like a dream come true.
No rules? You’ve been waiting forever for this moment to arrive.
It’s your story.
Do with it what you will. Especially when you’re bored.
Do you have a “writer problem” that you can’t seem to find a solution to? Leave a comment or tweet @MegDowell with the hashtag #NRSaturdaySolutions and we might help you solve your problem in next week’s post!
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.