After completing my YA Gothic Horror, I had stumbled around for a good three months trying to figure out what to write next. I started a new WIP. Quit. Started something else. Quit that. Resurrected an old story. Quit that too. I began to wonder if I would ever fall in love with a new project since I had already fallen in love with my YA Gothic Horror. I felt that nothing I wrote could ever top that. Every sentence seemed forced and awkward, and I found myself comparing my new stuff to my old stuff. It always fell short.
Self-doubt crept in, and I thought that was it for me. Maybe I only had one book in me and now that it was done, there was nothing left. I was relieved to discover I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Some of my 2015 Pitchwars peeps were going through similar struggles so that helped me believe this was all part of the normal creative process. Still, it didn’t help me start writing again. I kept thinking—what could I do to become inspired again? To find my confidence again?
I took some time off. Okay, I took a lot of time off. I didn’t write—at all—for a good month or so. Instead, I brainstormed. I played around with some ideas. I moped a bit. I also signed up for a writing class, which always helps me when I’m in a rut. And I started some terrible stories just to get myself writing something—anything—even though I ended up scrapping them. And then… I fell in love.
Something just clicked and I knew I had found my next story. And the funny part is I love it so much more than my YA Gothic Horror. I think it’s so much better than my YA Gothic Horror. I was so afraid I would never be able to write again, and now I feel that this new story is the story I need to write. I’m so excited! (It’s YA Western Psychological-Horror!!)
So if anyone else is in a writing rut, don’t give up!! Give yourself some time. Recover from all of the hard work you’ve already done, and be proud of finishing a manuscript. That is huge!!
Don’t give up hope that you’ll never write again. You will. J
Happy writing everyone!!