In a NaNoWriMo Rut, or an Outright Ditch?


Okay, so NaNoWriMo is going a bit rough for me this year. I’m around 12,000 words when I should be around 23,000. Chalk it up to a nasty cold for me and the munchkin that is still lingering on.  It’s left me with little inspiration. So, I’ve been thinking of things to help me get back into the game.

  1. Wikipedia random article – Just hit the link and write whatever you find into your story. First time I got a classic rock station in New Jersey and I happened to have my characters about to get into a car. When the ignition turned on a classic rock song blared out of the speakers and a discussion on music ensued.
  2. Cooking or baking – Made a new recipe yesterday I found on Pinterest, easy one bowl cinnamon scones. (Well, the way I made them used one bowl, and I was out of butter so I used olive oil. Then I put maple cream on them. Yum. Here’s the recipe.)
  3. Anything physically repetitive – rocking, washing dishes – I used to get my best thinking done while mowing the lawn with a push mower.
  4. Tell yourself, or someone else, the story out loud, It can help you think through problems and add to the story. Has always worked for me.
  5. Change of scenery – take your laptop out for dinner, lunch or a latte.
  6. Creative break – Watch a good movie or read a story or a few chapters of a good book. It might spark something for you.
  7. Another creative endeavor – I started a little quilted hot pad as a Christmas present (for I know not who yet.) Picking out the fabric, deciding on the design, cutting the fabric and sewing the pieces together by hand all give my mind a break and make me think in a new way.

Any other methods you use to get yourself writing again when things are slow or you’re feeling low? PLEASE, share them in the comments. Thanks!


  1. TJ Edwards said,

    November 15, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I’ll bite! What I do to get over a block is write. Write anything. It will be crap, it will be less enjoyable, but once you’ve started writing it’ll get better. Once you get going, don’t stop until you need to worry about cleanliness or social duties (work, functions, people, etc). You can always go back and edit. But another thing that can be fun is reread what you wrote and don’t think about where you want the story to go… see if you can interpret where the story should go- Sometimes it’ll be different than where you thought! Also draw inspiration from the lunatics that surround us in daily life. The bus? A ton of inspiration! A coffee shop? A ton of hipsters… But do what you need to. If you enjoy writing, get out of your own way, and write! Good luck!

    • melorajohnson said,

      November 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      Good points, all about where you find inspiration.

  2. lisenminetti said,

    November 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Hey Melora – I had the flu last week, and it sucked any ambition to write out of me. I sat at my computer, staring at a blank screen begging words to come, but all I could think about was how horrible I felt. I was so cold I was wearing gloves inside and so tired my eyes just wanted to close, but no I had to stay awake – so i started to write down how I felt. It ended up being transformed into a new scene that worked really well with the story. Hope you’re feeling better!

    • melorajohnson said,

      November 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Awesome! Wish I had your tenacity. I just napped when I was home. I’m doing better, Writing again, though slower than would be good.

      • lisenminetti said,

        November 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        Some stupid part of me still went to work. It was either write or fall asleep at my desk during my lunch break. Unfortunately my characters hate me now because they are tied up in a cave somewhere in the middle of the night left for dead. Still not sure how they’re going to get out of that one!

      • melorajohnson said,

        November 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm

        Hah, time for the Wikipedia Random Article! Then just get ridiculous.

  3. Tarren Young said,

    November 16, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Sometimes, I will combine both a prompt, usually words, but pics sometimes help too, and my lovely and wonderful sunbeam kitchen timer! I have it more by my desk in the last 2.5 months than in my kitchen! Maybe I should invest in another one! 😉

    Also, I bounce ideas off my husband as well. I know you mentioned that in your list.

    Reading the book synopsis’ (Did I use the grammar right on that word?) from the Scholastic book order forms the kids bring home from school.

    Trying really hard to pay attention to the stories Camielle is making up now.

    Listening to my favorite radio station.

    Eavesdropping…wait. We don’t do that. I’m a people watcher, yes. Stalker, eavesdropper, no. 😉 But, I love to watch people and make up stories of their background and what is going on in their lives if I happen to over hear anything they talk about.

    Definitely will have to try the random article generator.

    • melorajohnson said,

      November 16, 2013 at 11:52 am

      LOL I’d have trash my husband’s laptop to get him to listen to my story ideas most of the time. You’re lucky to have someone willing to listen. 🙂 And I have no problem eavesdropping. I’m not listening at doors. If they have that conversation in public, then they’ve got to know people are listening.

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