Breaking out of a Writing Slump

I submitted my YA Portal Fantasy to the Atlantic Writing Competition in early February. It was a somewhat last minute decision. In the three months before the competition I put in a lot of writing and editing time. I spent evenings, lunch hours, and bus trips either making notes or fixing plot holes. After submitting I gave myself permission to take a little break. I’d earned it.

The end of my little break came and went and I had trouble settling on what to write. I didn’t want to work on the Portal Fantasy until I had the comments back from the readers, I wasn’t feeling the Murder Mystery, and I couldn’t seem to make progress on the MG Sci-fi. I didn’t want to start another new project. I didn’t have any good plot bunnies even if I did want to start a new project.

In early June I was chatting with my friend @catereads about how little writing I had managed in the last several months. She wasn’t having as much luck as she would like either. Sometime in the middle of June in another conversation an old Letter Game I had done came up. By the end of June we had hatched a plan and the first letter had been sent.

Our letter game is now at almost 30k and going strong. My writing slump isn’t completely banished, but it is a big step up. I am thinking like a writer again, putting fingers to the keyboard, and most importantly I’m enjoying writing again.

How do you break out of a writing dry spell? Have you ever co-written a story?


2 thoughts on “Breaking out of a Writing Slump

  1. Katherine Jay September 10, 2015 / 2:23 pm

    I’ve never co-written a story, although one day I’d love to try a Letter Game type thing.

    I break out of writing slumps by either signing up for some kind of challenge, or getting hit with a *thing* that infects all my thoughts until I write it. My last major writing slump lasted for three years before I fell into a fandom and got so many ideas that I’ll never write them all. Pretty sure my methods aren’t going to work for most people, though! They’re definitely ones that betray my fan writing roots 🙂


    • NJ Fraser September 10, 2015 / 3:55 pm

      I both love and hate when a *thing* infects my brain like that. It is awesome because of the drive to write, but it can kind of take over your life for a while.


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