Writers write in a variety of voices, particularly if they write for several different magazines/blogs/clients/genres/whatever and are professional writers or authors.
However, once you find your writing voice, sometimes it’s easy to get stuck there. This makes it harder to adopt different voices for different venues.
You can still sound like you but still adopt varying tones. For example, something written in a novel will be quite different than something on a sales page even if you still use similar words and phrasings. If you can’t do this, then you won’t be as successful of a writer.
Professional and aspiring writers alike both have to be able to write in several different styles to be successful. A writing rut hampers success and impedes progress.
So, how do you get out of a writing rut?
5 Easy Ways to Get Out of a Writing Rut
I’ve fallen into writing ruts several times over my seven-year career as a freelance writer, and I’ve found these tips to be helpful in shaking things up and getting out of a writing rut:
You knew I was going to say this one, didn’t you? It seems to be my answer for everything. But it is so important. If you feel like your writing is rutted and blah, read something inspirational. I like to read something like The New York Times or The Guardian if I want inspiration for journalism-style writing. If I need more blog inspiration, I’ll read something like Momastery. For writing inspiration, you absolutely cannot go wrong with a classic book like Les Miserables or any of these books that leave a lasting impression.
Try a Writing Exercise
I don’t do this often anymore, but when I first started out, I did a lot of writing exercises. Writing exercises give you a challenge to complete and have you write something specifically on-task. I like to imagine the exercises as if they were pitches for publication in a magazine that I really want to get into.
Take a Break
We all have those days when we know the day is a writing bust from the moment we wake up (or maybe don’t wake up). If you don’t have any looming deadlines, go ahead and take the day off. Do something completely different, like exercise or go for a walk in the sunshine.
Make a Deadline
Too many break days are unnecessary and harmful. At some point, you have to buckle down and do the writing whether you feel like you are in a rut or not. I have a whole list of strategies you can try to motivate yourself when you just don’t feel well or feel like working at all. Push through and be awesome!
Write, Rewrite, and Rewrite Again
It may be possible that you’re in a writing rut because your writing isn’t good. “Good” of course, is highly subjective, but if you aren’t happy with it, regardless of if another person is, it isn’t good writing.
What is the best way to improve your writing? By writing and rewriting. Make a draft and edit like crazy. Eliminate anything that can be eliminated, then consider adding some back in or perhaps adding something else in instead. Try things out and don’t be afraid of the delete button.
What I like to do is save each draft that I create and come back a day, week, or month later (depending on the scope/timeframe of the project) and pick the best parts of each draft to use as the final draft.
It’s also encouraging to see how the idea changed from the start and morphed into the final project. Plus, if you write a famous book, those half-finished drafts will be worth something some day.
Take a Writing Course
A lot of people stop learning once they graduate college, which is silly. There is always more to learn. There are hundreds of resources you can use to learn a new writing style, and many of them are completely free.
You Don’t Have to Stay in a Writing Rut
Above all, writing should be fun, informative, and entertaining. If you are in a writing rut, you cannot reach your full creative potential. If you feel burned out by writing, you don’t have to stay in your writing rut. Use these tips to pull out of it and get back where you want to be.
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