Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Stop Working/Keep Writing

Many of you have probably read my blog post: Writing Tip: STOP Writing. I was ecstatic to see that it was so well-received and that so many of you either took encouragement from the post or replied with your own positive experiences in seeking distance from your writing.

One of my favorite things about blogging is the comment section because in the comments, I really get to have conversations with other like-minded, brilliant authors and bloggers. For instance, on that post, I engaged in a conversation with Michelle at Fantasyland on the power of stopping a project while continuing to work. That conversation sparked today’s blog post (so thank you Michelle!)

Michelle mentioned that when she needs to, she will sometimes stop the current project she is working on (giving herself that needed distance) and then pull up another project and work on that instead.

Now, I am not the type of writer who can work simultaneously on multiple large projects, it’s just too much for me. I prefer to work on one large project (like The Agency Games) and maybe some smaller projects such as my blogging posts. I cannot start another book until I have finished the old.

However, the idea to stop working on your major project but to keep writing is a fantastic idea! In doing so, you are giving your mind the break and distance it requires, but you are still writing and keeping your creativity flowing. If you are like me and you cannot work on several large projects at once, here are some practical ways where you can stop working, but keep writing:

  1. Blog Posts: If you are reading this post, odds are, you’re a blogger, author, or both. If you are a blogger, what better time to work on scheduling some blog posts than when you need distance from your book?
  2. Poetry: The wonderful thing about poetry is that it is the perfect outlet for spewing out writing. Now, I would suggest cleaning it up before you post it, but often times when we are frustrated by writer’s block or in need of distance, getting our emotions out through poetry can be a powerful thing.
  3. Free Writing/Journaling: Maybe you are so stuck/overwhelmed that both blog posts and poetry seem daunting, but you still want to write. That’s when I would suggest free writing or journaling. Write about literally anything, your day, your hopes, the color of the wall, your dream vacation, whatever, just keep those writing juices flowing.

What about you?

What do you do when you need distance from a larger project?

Happy Writing!

 

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38 thoughts on “Writing Tip: Stop Working/Keep Writing”

  1. Well if I’m honest. I have a habit of checking my social media a lot when I feel stuck with a writing project. But then I can’t get back to work, lol! So I decided to keep the scrolling for the afternoon, that way I can use the day to work. I journal, read, and exercise to help get my creativity flowing. I can easily get distracted and procrastinate. I have to push myself to keep writing at times, and get my perfectionism under control. It’s a lot. But once I am in the zone to write, I just can’t turn my mind off. LOL! These tips help alot.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think social media is a HUGE distraction for a ton of writers. Some people will turn their computers on airplane mode to help curb that habit, but I find myself struggling with it also. It’s far easier to scroll than to work, not saying we don’t deserve breaks, but we have to be careful that we don’t get so far off track that we cannot return.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sometimes when I’m world-building, I may get stuck making the land feel real with a new culture, value, landscape or physical appearance. To give myself a break but keep writing, I work on a new story, some fiction happening on Earth, a familiar place I know about.

    Writing about ‘our mountains’ opens my mind up to a new landscape I can create for the world-building.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So much truth to this! I’m definitely the sort who will switch to another project if I’m stuck on my current one. I also have a bad habit of going back and re-reading what I’ve written before I’m truly done drafting, but at least it keeps me honest about continuity and things like that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Becca, thanks for stopping by! I’ve heard a lot about whether or not to check your draft as you write and while I’m off the mind to not do so, for others it is the only way they can write. And you’re right that it definitely helps with continuity.

      Like

  4. Excellent tips, KaylaAnn! I listen to music which gives me a break and at the same time wakes up my creative senses. I write poems, as a break from writing, even though most of my writing is poetry. I keep them in a word doc and sort them out later. Since I also write poetry for sites other than my own blogs, I like a varied assortment of poems to publish.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It helps me a lot and sometimes I find a line that really inspires me. Another idea, which I learned from beBee.com is getting creative ideas from comments of others. One of my favorite authors at beBee will write an entire post based on a comment, which creates a flow of additional posts. He has built a great following doing this.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That is a really awesome idea! I actually just recently played with that same concept with this post and I found it so helpful for me and others. I’m definitely going to be keeping my eyes open in the future for similar opportunities.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I have two projects I am working on – one that is sort of depressing, one that is a little more cheerful so I go back and forth between them. And I write blog posts as well when I need a break from the one project.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Not really, no. They are both very different – one takes place in the 1950s to 1960s and the other one takes place in modern days. One is a little more serious, the other one has more humor. The second one is a nice break from the first story, which seems to be taking a darker turn

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this! I tend to have a few blog posts “in production” at once so I can flip between them, but now and then I need a few days off altogether – definitely agree it’s healthy to get that distance and perspective.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I used to play a lot of puzzle/adventure type games and when I found myself stuck I would take a hiatus for a few days when when I came back to play, viola there was the missing piece I was looking for. Yes so distance helps. I am trying to get into habit of writing articles and then leaving them for a week or two and then coming back to them to edit. Seems to be helping :), going to implement your 3 draft rule going forward. Just rad that today 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Craig! I love the idea of taking a break using puzzle and adventure games because they keep your mind active but it’s a different type of active. Distance definitely helps, let me know how that 3 draft rule works out for you!

      Like

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