If you’re a writer— professional, part-time, aspiring, or something in between— then chances are you got into the job because, not surprisingly, you love to write. My husband and I were just this week talking about doing the job that you’d do even if you were never payed for it— and definitely writing is that for me. I write seven days a week, year-round, simply because even on the hard days I couldn’t love it more.
But we all have experienced those hard days: times when we feel like we’ve lost the spark of delight in what we’re working on. It might be a scene, a chapter, or an entire book that suddenly feels flat or empty or just lifeless on the page. So here are my top four strategies for bringing back the joy and getting back on track when it feels like your spark is gone.
1. Don’t despair. Things may actually not be as bad as you think they are. Just this week, my writing partner and I were remarking that it’s practically impossible to write a book without at some point being convinced that it’s utter crud. But those are dark, desperate moments. Don’t trust them! Put the work aside for an hour or a day— take a walk, watch a movie, do something to relax— and then approach your story with new eyes. In my experience the chances are extremely good that you’ll find the book isn’t nearly as much a mess as you thought. In need of edits, sure, but anything can be editing and fixed. Just remember: you can’t edit a blank page.