How To Keep Writing (when you really really really don’t want to) In Four Easy Steps…

Good morning, Cyberspace! Now that November is quickly receding into the dust of the past, I find myself facing off with a monstrous, evil force that cannot be reckoned with.

Writing slumps.

November was a serious writing high for me. The words came quickly, the characters morphed into individual beings with personalities and motives, and the plot was, if I may say so myself, absolutely magical.

And now, as we tromp forward triumphantly into the pits of December, I realize one thing…

My story is awful.

That’s right, Cyberspace. I wrote a junky story. My characters are just balls of sludge, my once magical plot is the crumbling ashes of a burnt out security torch, and WHY ARE THERE SO MANY SECURITY CAMERAS???

Seriously, my characters are absolutely lucky they haven’t been discovered yet. In fact, it’s almost UNREALISTIC with the amount of cameras I’ve placed all over the building.

But that is beside the point.

The point is, I hate my novel.

No no… I loathe it entirely.


Anyway, I can’t be the only one struggling with this (in fact I know I’m not mwahahahaha!) so today I would like to present to you–

How To Keep Writing (when you really really really don’t want to) In Four Easy Steps…

Step One– Stop Procrastinating

As this step is pretty self-explanatory, I’m not going to go into the whole spiel about what procrastination is and all that salsa. Instead I’m going to give you a mini-list of things that count as procrastination.

Prepare yourself. This will hurt.

1. Netflix

Or Hulu or whatever you use to instantly stream those movies and shows that are prohibiting you from writing.

2. YouTube

But wait!” you say. “I’m watching videos on how to get past a writing slump! Shouldn’t that count as productivity???”

Oh, wait, now that you mention it–NO! I don’t care if you’re watching the most famous person on the planet tell you how to keep going when you hate your story, YouTube is a deadly trap that will eat your soul, so close it out this instant. There is nothing that will suck hours off your life faster than YouTube.

Oh wait, there’s also

3. Pinterest

Oh, the plethora of insightful blog posts and writer’s problems that make me feel alive and part of the writing community! Oh! And look at that delicious recipe! I should make that sometime…

And that DIY home bookcase…

And that bunny sweater…

And that time-turner because YOU WILL NEVER GET THAT TIME BACK, PEOPLE!

4. Blogging

Now, as painful as this may be to hear, I must to say it: Reading blog posts is a form of procrastination.

You might say that it’s for the greater good. Aren’t they helping you become a better writer? Aren’t they giving you a glimpse into the lives of other writers, with tips and tricks to make the most of your writing journey? They’re helpful, right?


Blogging is a very dangerous slope, because once you log onto WordPress, it’s bye-bye writing time!

“Wait just a minute,” you say. “Aren’t you writing this post on WordPress right now??”

Pfft, what??? What are you talking about? Heh heh heh…

(Don’t judge me)

5. Music

“But I’m listening to my inspirational playlist!” you say. “I handpicked these songs for my story!”

Oh, okay, so are you writing while listening to that music?

No. You’re not. You are procrastinating. Say it with me–you are a P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-O-R.

6. Sketching

Even if you make it seem like it will benefit you in the long run by sketching your characters, this will not help get your first draft finished.

At all.

Trust me, I’m not even an artist, and I spent an entire afternoon drawing Adaline.

(I mean–what??? Me?? Procrastinate??? Pfft, no.)

Basically, anything you do that does not constitute sitting down and writing your book is procrastination.

So stop.

Right now.

(Actually don’t, because these next steps might help you [although I just got done telling you not to read blogs, so…yeah {#contradictory}])


Despite the complicated name, this list is rather simple to construct, and can be done in three easy steps. (Gotta love those lists!)

Step One (a)– Viciously rip a brand new sheet of paper from your notebook (or just open up a new document in your word program, but that is less dramatic and does not relieve stress)

Step Two (a)– Write down every single thing you absolutely despise about your story, your plot, your characters, or just anything writing/book related. You can even write down all the things that are prohibiting you to write. Maybe you just watched Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and you quickly realized that you’ll never ever be as good as J.K. Rowling (just because this is an extremely specific reference does not mean this is my current state of mind right now what are you talking about) Maybe your cat won’t stop gnawing on your toe. Who knows.

Write it down.

Get all the negative thoughts out of your head. You’d be surprised at how easily it is to be subconsciously blocked by negative energy we’ve stowed away throughout the day/week. Once that’s all down on paper and out of your mind, the creativity will start flowing faster than you could ever imagine.

Hopefully. (This method may or may not work. [tips are non-refundable])

And finally…

Step Three (a)– Delete it (or, you know, ferociously rip the paper to shreds beneath your massive claws)

That’s right. Toss all of those negative thoughts away. Don’t even give them a second thought, because they don’t even deserve it.

Right now, you need to focus on one thing: positivity. Which leads us to…

Step Three– The OH MY WORD!!! List

And again, this list can be completed in (you guessed it) three easy steps.

Step One (b)– see Step One (a)

Step Two (b)– Write down every single thing you can think of that you absolutely LOVE about your story, your plot, your characters, whatever. Think back to when you first had this idea. What were the things that gave you chills? The scenes that brought a delicate tear to your eye? What were the quirks and the dialogues that made you laugh out loud? Write down all the things that initially made you fall completely and irrevocably in love with this story, because those are the things that are going to drive you forward.

It’s that character’s happy ending, or that mind-blowing plot twist. Write it all down, and then–

Step Three (b)– Set it aside for future reference.

Trust me, you’re going to need this list. When the writing gets tough, look back on this list and remember all the things you love about this story, because you’re writing this book for a reason. Sometimes all you need is a little reminder.

Now, all of this list-making might seem like procrastination, but let’s just forget about that obvious fact for a moment, because these lists really are helpful. The negative one serves to clear your mind of all negative blockage, and the positive one brings your mindset back to the wonders of the beginning, when everything about your book was new and fascinating, when your story was the greatest thing since cheesy breadsticks.

You get the idea.

So now that you’ve re-organized your mind, it’s time for–

Step Four– Sit Down and WRITE

This step, although it may seem the simplest of the four, is really the hardest. Get off the internet, close out the blogs, set your OH MY WORD!!! List down beside your laptop or notebook, and write.

Seriously, do it. Now.

Write one sentence. One paragraph. One page. It may seem like you can’t write. It may even feel impossible, but you need to keep going, even if you absolutely hate what you’re writing. A full page can be edited, written words can be manipulated, but an empty page does nothing.

So write.

Well, that’s about it, Cyberspace! What did you think? Did these methods help? Are you going to try them? Do you have your own ways of defeating writing slumps? Share them down in the comments below!

And stay tuned for the second Smudged Thoughts interview, in which another cast member of everlost gets stuffed into the electric chair and forced to spill their secrets asked some questions in a civil manner. Who would you like to see interrogated? Thao? Peter? The character I haven’t yet revealed? Tell me which one you’d like to learn more about, and any questions you might have for them, down below!



19 thoughts on “How To Keep Writing (when you really really really don’t want to) In Four Easy Steps…

    • Haha! Ooh… He could use a tiny bit more character development, but I shall see what I can do, haha! Do you have any questions for him??

      And oh my word, thank you SO much!!! That means the world to me! :D


      • Totally understandable! Either of the other guys would be fun too, I just don’t know them very well yet (but an interview would help remedy that, yes???).

        Ack. I am the worst at questions…

        I’ll see what I can do.

        1. Do you have any family?
        2. What do you look like?
        3. Do you have any unique skills?
        4. What is your greatest weakness?
        5. What do you think of Adaline (if you’ve met, that is)?
        6. What are you afraid of?
        7. Who would you die for?
        8. What ideal is most important to you?
        9. What is your proudest accomplishment?
        10. What is your middle name?

        Oh gosh that last one was lame…

        *collapses in exhaustion*

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great advice – I really needed this kick-start. I’ve been in a huge writing slump since the beginning of November and I can’t seem to shake it off. Although butt in chair does seem a good place to start…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why, thank you! I can totally relate to the writing slump, although mine is not having TIME to write, rather than not writing… (I’m not sure which is worse, actually…)

      And that is the perfect place to start! I hope you’re able to knock out your writing slump!!! I shall be here, cheering you on towards victory!!!

      *waves pom-poms*


  2. Nathaniel all the way!!! Thao would be fun too, though! However, I choose Nathaniel as my first choice!

    And oh my gosh, I loved this post so much!!!! I love all your posts!! :D

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I really love writing down lists of how to improve my story too! That’s like the first thing I do when I start rewriting or editing a draft.😂 I mean, YES THEY SUCK, but they can always get better, even if it’s just one paragraph at a time, right?! And pfft, what do mean pinterest doesn’t help my book get written…NONSENSE. I’M SURE IT DOES.😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Yes!! Lists are the BEST!!! Oh my word, yes. First drafts are the worst. But they CAN be improved!!! (I think… Technically, I have never gotten past the first draft phase for any novel but WE ARE NOT COUNTING THAT!)

      Haha! Well, maybe a little bit… I mean, storyboards are TOTALLY productive, right?????


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