How To Get Out Of A Creative Writing Rut

Creative writing can be deeply relaxing and rewarding, especially if you enter some of your short stories, novels, or poetry for potential publishing or as competition entries. Writing of this nature can help you learn what your perspective of the world is, express truths you think are true, or bring stories into the world you think need to be told.

However, to be a good writer you need to have something to say, and the means to communicate it. Either one of these capabilities can be arrested depending on your day-to-day life. If nothing is going on in your life, you might not have the creative energy you rely on to help your text remain vibrant. Sometimes, it may be that you know what to say, but are struggling to communicate it as well as you’d like.

Both of these issues can lead to a creative writing rut, also known as ‘writer’s block.’ Thankfully, getting through this, on your own time, is more than possible. Without further ado, let’s consider how to move forward within that lens:

Stream Of Consciousness Writing Can Help

It’s helpful to write with your stream of consciousness determining your next sentence. This flow of word association and putting together insights might uncork the bottle containing your creativity, or you may come up with a few interesting turns of phrase. This in itself can serve as a freeform approach to journal entries too, to the point where you may be surprised just how many ideas flow forth. Often, creative blocks come from setting too many parameters on ourselves, and so this can serve as a nice change.

Write Without Self-Edits

In some cases, our need to self-edit and write with such perfect phrasing can trip up what we’re actually trying to say. Remember, you can redraft and cut out as much as you like. What matters is writing and getting out the content of the scene or the points made in the essay first. Then you can link them together and make sure they follow the narrative or logical through-line you’re looking for. It can also be helpful to write with that form of unbound creativity when you’re feeling most expressive, not leashing that ambition with perfect vocabulary or anything else you can work on after the fact.

Play Word Games & Use Writing Prompts

Word games and writing prompts can help you take your mind off things to begin with. Using random words as a word association game you can use to write a small one-page story about whatever that brings to mind could be ideal. You may also use tools like ChatGPT (the generative text AI) to help you with certain ideas if you want to expand on them more, but make sure not to copy this content into your actual work.

In some cases, you may even use excellent writing prompts that others have posted to see exactly where these possibilities lie. In the long run, that might help you feel a little less bound and instead more trusting of your own talent and writing freedom.

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Jodi Carlson is a mother of 2 children, wife, and a full time product owner at a large Insurance company. She is a mom just trying to juggle a full-time job with a family life. She shares countless tips and tricks of things she has experienced first hand with her kids. As she continues to guide and teach them to become caring, sensible and responsible human beings, all while working a full time job, maintaining a home and some how still allowing for some personal time and growth. Are you a Girl Scout Leader? Along with Mom Connecting Moms, she shares her 25+ years of Girl Scout experience over at Leader Connecting Leaders , there she shares ideas and resources to help leaders who are inspiring girl leaders of tomorrow plan their troop meetings. Check out Leader Connecting Leaders .