If you’re in a slump, you’re not alone.
Authors sometimes have writing slumps. Despite our best efforts, the words just don’t flow. I sometimes see social media posts from people having reading slumps too. They’re just not getting the same satisfaction from reading they usually do.
For many people, reading is part of their identity. A slump can be just as uncomfortable for a reader as it is for an author.
So let’s talk about slumps.
When I’m in a writing slump, I switch to a different scene or chapter of my work in progress. Remaining focused is key. Because one bad day means nothing. The next day might be brilliant, as long as I can keep that project in my thoughts. Writing a less challenging scene is a great way to get back on top form.
But occasionally, I just can’t seem to connect with my work in progress. So I have a list of ideas for future writing projects, and I switch to one of those. I may be a bit later than planned on this project, but at least I’ll come in early on the next one.
I don’t take breaks from writing but I do change my writing routine sometimes. I’m usually a morning writer. If that’s not working for me, I’ll write in the evening. Or at lunchtime. Or, occasionally, in the middle of the night.
Reading slumps are very similar to writing slumps.
Sometimes you get halfway through a book and just feel like reading something else instead. And why not? Reading for pleasure is meant to be fun. Reading something you don’t actually want to read is hard work. And it’s not really fair on the author, is it?
When it feels like a chore, I find switching to a less challenging book can help. That can either be an easier subject, or a lower age range. At the end of the day, it’s better to be reading a book you like, than not reading a book you don’t like. It doesn’t mean you’re never going to finish the first story. One day, it might be exactly the book you need.
And if you don’t feel like reading at all, that’s OK too. Even if it’s a big part of your usual routine. Routines can be really helpful. But sometimes they just make life dull. If it’s not working for you, change it. You can take a break. Do something else. Mix it up.
Wait until you miss reading.
You’ll love it even more when you come back.