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The Writing Rut and How to Break It

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books. Basically, he just loves to write.


Finding Time to Write When life Gets in the Way

Often, I sit down at my desk, and in front of my computer, and think "I hope I can write something worthwhile today." Sometimes I am inspired by an event or idea and the words just flow. Other times I sit staring blankly at the screen and resort to reading emails, browsing Facebook, Pinterest and the like and nothing productive occurs.

Other times I sit staring blankly at the screen and resort to reading emails, browsing Facebook, Pinterest and the like and nothing productive occurs. It feels like I have just wasted a couple of hours (and time sure flies when you are on the computer).

I enjoy being a writer and poet and apart from my wife, and family (including pets) it is undoubtedly my greatest love.

Recently though, I have been hit by a lack of inspiration. It isn't writer's block (if that even exists) and I wouldn't call it that anyway. It is just that at the present time I seem to be consumed by other things. Even non-urgent or unimportant matters are taking up my time and thoughts.

I guess you could say I am in a kind of "writing rut," unable to find the time to write anything let alone read and comment on other people's hubs and articles (unless a certain title catches my eye.)

Rebooting Your Writing Output

So, leaving that introduction behind, I write this article as a vain attempt to break that "rut" and reboot my writing output.

I have a feeling that my current situation is the result of a major freelance project I had been devoting a lot of time too over a period of weeks. On finishing that I felt I needed a short break from writing. However, that short break extended into weeks. I have written two hubs in the last month, and I know that is more than some people, but it doesn't satisfy me.

I am aware of all the advice for writers who are struggling for inspiration:

  • Go out into the world and observe people, nature, city-life etc and gather ideas and material
  • Find a photo, song, or book title that can act as a prompt to inspire you
  • Just start putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and words will just flow
  • Google "writing prompts" and choose one that appeals, then write something using it

If I am given a topic or subject in the form of, say, a writing challenge by another hubber, or a request by a client, I have no problem. It's thinking of the subject or topic myself that is the real challenge and making it original.

So, what do you do in cases like this? Well, me, I write a poem.

*(I'd be interested to hear what others do in the comments.)


A Writer's Life

A writer's life is lonely,

They often work alone,

In front of a computer screen

Or notebooks when not home.

Observing life and taking notes

To commit to memory,

So they can write the perfect text

Whatever that may be.

Writers are a special breed,

Their patience will astound,

Researching and studying

To make their words profound.

Authors, poets, freelancers,

All writers have a place.

Some are very famous,

But many have no face.

So here's to struggling writers

Who slave for hours a day,

To try to please the reader

For very little pay.

© 2017 John Hansen