The Path to Fix My Writing Mojo

Summer break is my writing sweet spot. Two months where I can focus on crafting a new novel or polishing an existing project.

At the start of summer 2016, I set several goals to conquer by August 1. One was to write the last half of my novel, Shutter, and another was to complete revisions on another manuscript, A Twisted Fate. I used the same strategy to prepare for my writing sessions, including music, coffee, and snacks. I jotted down major plot points for each scene and established a specific word count goal for the day.

But nothing happened.

With each passing writing session, each passing day without making progress, I became more frustrated. I started overthinking the creative process and tried forcing words and scenes to appear, only to find this strategy had the opposite effect.

By July it became obvious, I needed a different approach. So, I unplugged my thumb drive. I stepped away from the desk, the story, and my old strategies, and searched for a new path to bring back my writing mojo.

What else did I do?

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My new wardrobe accessory

Worked out: I poured my energy into fitness. Whether it was conquering a new challenge at the Crossfit gym (I still hate burpees and box jumps), or tackling my daily step count for the day, I moved forward mentally and physically.

Read: I dove into my huge to-be-read pile and enjoyed reading books from different authors and genres.

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New books from RWA 2016 added to the TBR stash

Gained Inspiration from others: I love Instagram. There are so many people out there who motivate me with their talents and creativity. Some of my favorite feeds are Rachel Hollis (who I was thrilled to meet this summer at the RWA conference), Shay Cochrane, Megan McQueen, Michelle Seivers, and Mindfully Gray.

Traveled: I took some amazing trips this summer, including one to San Diego for the RWA conference and another to Portland, Oregon, to spend time with lifelong friends.

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Hike near Canon Beach in Oregon

Explored: I made time to explore the beauty around me and captured these moments in photos. In the process, my passion for photography grew and now I have a visual journal to remember each place.

What’s the status on getting my writing mojo back?

Well, August has turned to September and I’m still overthinking the storyline, still shuffling my way through writing the ending to Shutter. However, I gained something bigger from my time away from the desk.

I learned that one approach isn’t always the best. A detour off the usual path can provide a wealth of ideas, ones for describing a setting, crafting unique traits in my characters, and brainstorming intriguing plots.

Now when I sit down to write, I have a renewed perspective, a calmness that wasn’t present before. Perhaps the most valuable thing I learned during this time away – just WRITE!

Regardless if I wrote 500 words to describe a character’s backstory, a critique for another author, a book review, or a blog post, I was still growing as a writer.

What’s your best approach to stir up ideas when the creativity pool runs dry?


STaylor photo

Featured photos courtesy of Stephanie Taylor.

You can find me on the following sites: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Email and Instagram

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14 thoughts on “The Path to Fix My Writing Mojo

  1. Jacquie Biggar says:

    Hey Steph, great post! It sounds like you’ve given yourself plenty of inspiration for writing- when you’re ready! I’ve found I waste more time when I’m forcing the words and then just have to go back and delete, than if I’d waited for them to flow.
    What helps me is to write in different genres. If one storyline isn’t coming to me, quite often another will.
    Good books that I can lose myself in help also. And it’s a painless way to learn techniques!
    Good luck, my friend, you’ve got this!

    Like

  2. Kathryn Jane says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey, Steph! Finding our way isn’t always easy, but you’ve proven that it can be great fun. By the way, I’m so jealous of your Oregon Coast visit. It’s been a few years since I was there, and I miss it so 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marsha R. West says:

    Hey, Steph. Great post. Isn’t it funny how sometimes our plans just go awry. Like you, I was going to release my next book. As you know, with a broken ankle I spent the time catching up on my TBR list. That really was the most fun. I could read without feeling guilty! Sounds like you had some super times. I agree with Kathryn. The Oregon Coast is gorgeous. Glad things are cooking for you again. We have to remember to replenish our souls in order to pour out our souls in our books.I’ve shared. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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