Developing Your WIP Without Writing

Writing is a process. And sometimes part of the process means taking a step back from writing. Besides writer’s block there is also the challenge of writer’s burnout, where you have the words and ideas, but you just can’t get them out. When you experience writer’s burnout, sometimes the best thing you can do is just take a step back.  When this happens, you can take a few steps to still develop your manuscript without necessarily having to write.

Contemplation:

It is quite simple. Sometimes just sitting and thinking about things like your character/plot and events that haven’t happened can help move forward with your WIP. 

Create Visuals:

Make things related to your story such as family trees, mood boards, or research fashion trends of specific times that might be related to your WIP – basically get creative without writing. Creating all these visuals can help you think about your world and better understand the fantastical world that you’ve created. And this will help you to better understand your story. Fully knowing your story inside and out is a great combatant to writer’s block. But taking a break from writing and doing something related to your story and creative is a great solution for writer’s burnout. 

Re-read Old Work:

Okay, this can be quite cringy and I will be the first to admit that. However, there are some benefits to going back and reading your old writing. For starters, it can be pretty motivating to see just how far you’ve come in your writing journey. But it can also provide some interesting ideas for characters or plot points. We all have a least a couple WIPs that we know are never going to be finished. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t use their bones to build up the current story that we’re working on. 

Author Interviews:

It can be helpful to watch, read, or listen to interviews of your favorite author or a famous author. They will often address how they got their inspiration or how they write, and it can be so inspiring as well as insightful to hear other writers’ writing process. 

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