Ever sat before your creative masterpiece and thought: ‘Why? Why must I write this?’ I know I have… And I think that we both know that you’d be lying if you said that you hadn’t!
Well let me explain the reason behind this feeling (or at least my theory as to why we experience it)
Writing, just like anything else in life, can become rather mundane. After you do something day after day after day, it can easily go from something that you love to something that you hate and you shouldn’t feel guilty for encountering this feeling. Nowadays, with TV and what not, our attention span as a human race is probably at an all time… SQUIRREL!!! Sorry, um, where was I? Oh yeah, attention spans… You are part of a population who are suffering from the dwindling of the attention span, so like I said: don’t feel guilty for encountering this feeling, you should only feel guilt when you succumb to it. When you are beaten by it.
And how do I avoid this ominous defeat? I hear you ask. Well, one thing that I like to do, is just as the title of this post suggests: branch out in your writing. I like to try different things in my work, different genres, different formats; different everything! For example, one day sitting down to work on my novel may be the last thing that I want to do, but instead of not writing entirely, I might substitute working on my novel with writing a poem or a short-story.
I quite often juggle a few projects all at once. And if you can manage it, I’d strongly recommend that you do the same. It is definitely a way to avoid boredom with your writing. But then again, it can be difficult to avoid cross-contamination if you catch my drift. It’s about being able to focus on the task at hand and not thinking about your other work. And yes, that’s another super-power that we all wish we were born with!
As well as avoiding boredom, branching out in your work and trying new things can also help to develop the quality of your writing and you can gain valuable experience from it. A good example of this would be to try writing a play – a piece of writing which mainly focuses on the dialogue between 2 or more people. With this skill in your arsenal, it would certainly make writing the dialogue in your novel a whole lot easier… And it could work the other way too: if you’re typically a playwright and you decide to try your hand at novel/short-story writing, you will gain wider experience in descriptive writing and said writing can be used to enhance the scenes in your play when you’re setting them.
So there you have it, branching out in your writing is not only fun, but it can also be a practical way of making you a more versatile, well-rounded writer. What more could you ask for?! It’s just like anything in life, it requires a balance. But in this case, the thing which grants us balance is also productive and it enhances our creative abilities, which ultimately means that you can have the break that you deserve but without the burden of guilt which usually comes with it! And that most certainly makes for some: