Life often has a way of making things feel dull, routine and just downright unfun. Even when doing the thing you love for a job sometimes it feels like a chore. The constant daily grins of meeting word counts, fixing errors and finding a way to market the books already published can be wearing despite the love of creating and telling stories. This can lead to ideas going stale and a certain loss in quality of writing.

When life gets like this I realise that sometimes it’s good to take a break, let the mind rest and refind the love of the job. There are several ways I try this.

Enjoying other good stories. Whether this is reading or watching them, I occasionally find that nothing reignites my passion for creating a good story quite like delving into someone elses does and being taken along for the ride. Sometimes one little line or spark of an idea makes all the difference. And at worst I’ve given my mind a rest and enjoyed something relaxing and interesting.

Getting out into nature. Going outside, getting a complete change of scenary and also getting a little exercise can often help me relax, refocus and get back into the right mindspace to enjoy writing again. Sometimes the routine and sameness of each day is what’s making it hard to focus. Going somewhere else and seeing something new can be the little bit of change needed to make the world feel fresh and interesting again.

Trying something different. Sometimes the problem is writing the same sort of story over and over again. I find it can really break open my writing to try a new challenge. Often trying to write in a new genre or a new style can break the monotony and at the same time be a great learning experience to bring back to the usual stories.

Fixing a problem. Occasionally the blockage is unrelated to the writing and is an issue or undealt with conflict in another area of life. It can be very hard to stir up the emotions and creativity needed to write about one circumstance when another in our own life is commandeering all our emotional energy. It can help to down tools, work out a satisying resolution to a problem and then come back to work knowing our quality of life has improved or is improving thanks to the effort we’ve put in elsewhere. Doing our dream job so much the rest of life suffers won’t make us any happier in the long run.

I’ve found that often when I don’t feel inspired to write the above, or a combination of them eventually lead to me getting back into my writing, but I’m sure there are other fixes to the problem too. If you find other things work please let me know in comments or email etc.