Friday, October 14, 2011

The Most Interesting Thing: How I Got Out of a Rut

"The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions."--Ellen Glasgow

The Rut
Six months of drafting
Six days a week
Drove me
Into my writing grave 

My joy
My creativity
My love of story

Then along came a challenge
Could I revise a novel 
In three weeks? 
Mais oui! 

Change is good 
Popped me 
Straight out of
The Rut

Has your writing routine ever buried you in a deep writing rut? If so, what helped you get out? 


  1. It's usually me that buries me in the rut, and I just blame it on the 'stupid story' not working.

    Though once, it really was. What got me out of it (and to finish the draft) was to change tense. 2/3 of the book is in past, 1/3 is in present. Once I changed the tense, everything else seemed to fall into place.

    That was a long time ago though, and now I have the problem of difficulty to NOT write present tense. Past and I no longer get on *headdesk*

    I'm glad you popped yourself out of the rut. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Oh, I so get this. I can't wait to start editing the rubbish that my 'rut' made me write in the middle of this wip :-)

  3. Admission is the first step to recovery! I allow myself time NOT to write if I'm stuck. There's something about consciously staying away from the computer that kick starts the idea flow again. When that happens, I DO NOT go to the computer. I write them down by hand in my notebook. When the pages start filling up with random ideas (dialogue, scenes, character descriptions, etc.), then I know I'm on my way out of the rut.

  4. K.T.--I totally hear you on the tense change. Sometimes I also change from third to first person.

    Sarah-Something to look forward to ^_^

    Dawn--Interesting that the computer itself can contribute to the problem.

  5. I can too easily fall into the rut of "because I'm not published and don't have an agent yet, I don't have a deadline and can take as long as I damn well please". It can be disheartening, and frustration and self-doubt sets in, but that's what happens.

    Realizing that it's probably mostly my fault (I haven't been submitting anything), and setting myself some deadlines (such as, I will finish the rewrites of my WIP this weekend) has really helped. Connecting with community, both in-person and online, is vital to jump-start my creative juices.

  6. You have seriously got a way with these little poems.

    Er. Yeah, challenges help me... as you know :) I can't say no to them since I'm way too competitive for my own good ;)

    Glad you're out of your rut!


  7. Totally agree with Dawn. When the rut is deep, I gotta walk away from all writing, not just another form of it. But congrats on the Revision Request. That's super fabulous! Keep us in the loop, please.

  8. LOL. Your opening quote up there? Yes, I'm still chuckling.

    I've been in several ruts--broken by a week off and sunshine, playing with kids rather than stressing, reading my brain away, and staring into oblivion for extended periods. Oh--and cheese. Definitely eating cheese.

    Change is good. It's the spice of life! Maybe I should try trading out muenster for feta this week...

  9. Yes, it has. It did that for me back in August, but I think I'm climbing out of it now--NaNoWriMo is energizing me. :)

  10. Thanks, everyone. Sad to know I'm not alone in my rut problems, but misery does love company, eh?

  11. I LOVE this quote. And your poem is pretty great, too!

  12. Truth, Angelina? For me, my last rut, was you. :))) Your cyber rope was thrown out just in the nick of time. I was truly cratering that lonely Friday evening. Thanks, friend!

    No, darlin' you're not alone, nowhere near being alone. Ever need it, 281-450-6860, plug it into your phone. I'm a few buttons away!

    btw, I've had to sign up to follow your blog 3 times now. Have a clue why? I don't. I just signed up again. Oh well, I'll just check it each time I pop around. And, I love your rut poem. Great!

  13. What I wrote reads funny. I meant for me, how I got out of my last rut, was because you. :))

  14. That's such a cool poem! When I'm in a rut, I take a break and work on another creative project, like altered art scrapbooking, something like that. I'm glad you got out of that rut. Ruts suck!


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