You probably clicked the title wondering just what a writer’s rut is. Well, it’s like writer’s block but it grinds your writing to a halt for a longer time. It’s also harder to break out of. Everyone has heard of writer’s block in an interview with their favorite author(s), but few of them seem to get stuck in a rut anymore.
For some, it’s having trouble coming up with ideas, while others have trouble making deadlines. Me, I land in the spot on the other side of that mostly. I have too many ideas going in my head at once that want to come out, and so nothing gets out. And, like any writer, I have deadlines, but I am lucky to have great editors and owners that I work for. And, having that support helps break the rut easier.
Just once the rut breaks, in this case, I have to find some focus again. I will end up with tons of drafts of various things to edit as I keep going. It can be tiring just to get it all out on paper so I will end up sleeping a day or so before doing the edits.
Even as I have been writing this article I have had the idea for articles on how high schools should be after the pandemic, how greed is a major problem for America, and more. It takes holding to that focus, along with jotting down the brief start to the others with plans to come back to them.
That doesn’t mean this time through a writer’s rut has been all bad for me either. This time Stephen King’s lesson about setting a time of day to do nothing but write sunk in better, but I also learned that for me it has to be a simple minimum time as well as more than one for each day. I also learned that some of my teachers were wrong about cliche. I’m not saying cliche is something to use all the time, but when it is what fits perfectly don’t try to force your way around it. But it has to fit the character and the story you are trying to convey at the same time. Ironically, all things I learned from “Stone Cold” Steve Austin during a sit down with Randy Orton on The Broken Skull Sessions.
Writers, comedians, and wrestlers are all storytellers in their way, and so are other professions. They just tell stories in different ways, yet all can get stuck in a rut. It just shows differently for each. Some can even make it work for them while they are stuck in that rut. I’m not one of them.
Alas, as my rut is breaking I hear Dr. Paine calling my name to come to tell his story. McBison is not forgotten either just being revamped, but I swear I am going to start making him do the mopping if he doesn’t stop spilling so much coffee. Can you tell the rut is breaking for me more and more?
*Tips his hat eyes shining bright blue as he smiles and walks out the door jotting down notes*
Picture courtesy of geralt