Combating My Writing Slump By Handwriting (Camp NaNoWriMo Update #3)

Hello folks! It’s Monday, which means I’m back with another update on my writing.

If you do not know, I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and challenging myself to write more this month. Originally my goal was 20,000 words, but that seems impossible now. In hopes to still “win” this Camp I’ve halved my goal to 10,000 words. To be honest, I’m not sure I will even reach that.

Currently, I’m at 2,597 words. I was only able to write 775 words this week, which is a small step-up from 0. There is only a week left in Camp and it will be a struggle to finish, but I’m hoping to get my shit together. I’ve finally found a way to combat this awful writing slump and that is hand writing.

That’s right, I’m writing the old fashioned way with a pen and paper. It’s something that I do occasionally if I’m stuck or without a computer. It seems like such a small and simple thing, but it really helps! I’ve crafted a small list as to why I think that is.

5 Reasons Why Handwriting
Helps Get You Out of a Slump

1. Handwriting Prevents Distractions

Whenever I’m in a writing slump, I subconsciously find ways to distract myself from writing. It’s extremely easy to do that on the computer with the internet being a click away. I know there are programs that block social media sites and the internet. However, technically the internet is still right there even if you can’t see use it. That is not the case when it comes to handwriting. It’s just you, your pen, and the blank notebook page in front of you waiting to be filled up with words. By not having these distractions you can strictly focus on writing and getting words down on the page.

2. You Will Not Fall Down a Self-Edit Writing Hole

It’s easy to find yourself in a self-editing craze, where you spend an hour on getting a paragraph exactly right. The backspace button makes it easy to rethink a sentence while you’re typing it. Self-editing along the way can be useful, but too much of it can prevent you from making progress on the first draft of WIP. Your first draft is really about getting your ideas down on the page. It’s harder to self-edit as you go when you hand write, which allows you to maximize your writing time. You will get a chance to edit your writing when you type your handwritten stuff up on the computer. I find that I edit more productively when I do this and my writing benefits from it.

3. Your Brain Can Think Things Through

Handwriting can be slow. While this can be seen as a con, as it prevents you from getting all of your thoughts out quickly, it can help you think through things easier. The “slowness” gives you time to collect your thoughts and figure out how you want the words to come out. It really helps me because I often don’t know how exactly I want to say something. I can self-edit a sentence to death, but handwriting helps me focus on exactly what I want to say. It makes me compartmentalize my thoughts, which makes it easier to work through my problems.

4. The Method is Calming

Okay, so this one might just be me, but there is something about physically handwriting that is calming. Sometimes I get anxious about my writing, especially when I’ve written like a sentence on Word and have no idea where to go from there. I find a rhythm with handwriting that makes it easier to go with the flow and see what happens. If I don’t like what I’ve written, I can always rewrite it when I eventually type it up on the computer.

5. Your Creative Juices Start Flowing

I don’t know what exactly it is about handwriting, but it never fails to get my creative juices flowing. If I had to give an explanation, I’d say it is a combination of the things I’ve already talked about and the freedom handwriting gives you. You don’t need to stick to a format or structure. My thoughts often come out jumbled. Sometimes I write a sentence that works so much better in a later paragraph. In a word document I’d have to copy and paste it, but in my notebook I can draw an arrow where I want things to go. Also you can doodle, make small notes, and just have fun with your writing.

Those are the five reasons why I think that handwriting is super helpful. It always helps me when I struggle with a section and has never failed to get me to write more. Most of the words I wrote this week were handwritten first. I plan to do some more of it this week, as I try to reach my goal.

If you’re in a writing slump, I definitely recommend giving it a go. It’s helped me and I know that it helps other writers too. I mean, what have you got to lose?

That’s it for this week’s writing update. The next time we chat about writing, it will be the end of Camp NaNoWriMo. Wish me luck as I try to write 7,403 words this week. How is your writing going? What is your preferred method of writing? Do you think handwriting helps you? Let’s chat down in the comment section below.

Writers Block Sucks Ass!

Happy Friday everyone! I thought it would be a good time to update you on my writing progress, or rather lack there of. After having a pretty successful writing month last April, I was hoping to also be super productive in May. Unfortunately, I’ve come down with the worst case of writer’s block ever!

Writer’s block is a curse that keeps coming back to haunt me. I have yet to find a good way to cope with it. Usually I avoid writing for a while, then come up with a new idea and work on that instead. Eventually I find my way back to the original thing I was working on. That could take anywhere from 1 to 8 months. I’m literally the worst when writer’s block hits me.

I think this dreaded curse has found me again for a few reasons. The first is that I have been quite busy lately and I think I’ve spread myself a little too thin. When I find time to write, I am so tired that all I want to do is watch TV, read, or sleep. Another reason is that I’ve gotten to scenes that I haven’t thought much about. I’ve only got 1 really figured out. The 1.5 are definitely vaguer in my mind.

The main reason writer’s block has found me again is definitely due to the current scene I’m working on. It has drastically changed from my original outline and has been throwing me off. The 2 characters the scene revolves around are 2 of my favorites, so it’s surprising and frustrating that I can’t get through it. I think what is hard is figuring out their slightly weird relationship to each other. They’re sort of friends, but one character is slowly subconsciously falling for the other. This is the start of that happening and I’m struggling with how exactly to play it.

Thankfully, I think I’ve made a break through. However, I can feel the writer’s block lingering and wantΒ it to just disappear.

Have any of you guys experienced writer’s block before? How do you typically get over it? Any tips for this is welcome. The only one that has worked for me is to find what isn’t working and fix it so I can move on. Any new tips are welcome, since I clearly need better ways to cope.Β