Writing Slump? Journals Help

Slumps happen. For me, slumps revolve around time management, or really, my pitiful lack thereof. All it takes is one day of not writing, and the next day is that much harder to get the words out. To make matters worse, the level of difficulty I have in getting back to it, is compounded each day I don’t write.

So how do you break this vicious downward spiral?

Here’s something I’ve found works for me.

When I first started on this writing journey, I compiled journals with thoughts and ideas. I attended Creative Writing classes and kept all of the notes and short pieces based on writing prompts. At the time of writing them, I had no idea were to go with these small bits. Some ideas I didn’t feel my craft was up to it yet. Others were shuffled in and lost amongst an onslaught of creative whims.

Writing those journals boosted me to where I am today, helped hone my craft. So why couldn’t they help again? During a rather long writing slump, I cracked open one of my old writing journals. Honestly I think I did it to waste time, because when you’re reading, you’re not writing. But a funny thing happened.

As I was reading those old entries, my brain remembered the sensations of when I first created them. That spark I was missing was suddenly there again. I used that spark and applied it to the tinder of my current project. The flames did follow.

It took a bit to get back into a regular groove, but that initial kick in the pants wouldn’t have happen without my old writing journals.

“But S.C.,” you might ask, “what if I’ve never started a writing journal?”

To which I would answer, “Then what better time to start?”

Get yourself a journal. It doesn’t have to be fancy. If you get an odd idea, even if it’s only a phrase or name, write it down. Partake in a writing prompt. There are plenty of books filled with prompts, or visit here every Thursday for the 500 Club (or dive through the 500 Club archive on any day). It’s not necessary to act on everything you write down. Just keep adding. Eventually an idea will so fully engross you, you’ll have to give it your undivided attention. Keep the book, though. Keep recording ideas.

And when that nasty slump comes on, you’ll have another tool at your disposal to shake it off.