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Tips for When You Lose Writing Momentum

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As the summer started to roll in, my momentum to write began to fade. It's not uncommon for me to lose interest in writing new stories in the warmer months. Yet, it can feel a little defeating too, because I had such strong motivation and pull to write these past several months. Unfortunately, I've accepted that until the rainy season returns, I'm likely not going to be at the top of my writing game.

If you tend to write by the seasons, I have a few tips for you to make the most of your changing writing motivation:

Focus on a new stage in the writing process.

Even though I've been inspired these last few months to write new stories, I haven't done any revising. So, even though I'm not inspired to create new work, I'm now motivated to revise existing work. I often feel like revising is a totally different part of my mind, so this new focus feels fresh to me, and less like discipline. 

Continue submitting.

In my writing phase this year, I didn't do much submitting. I'm usually better about it but I also blame new busyness too. So, to make up for it, I plan to spend the next few months focusing on submitting existing stories. This leads me to my next advice:

Read where you want to publish.

I'm a short story writer, so becoming familiar again with literary magazines - new and old - is a big part of this summer writing phase. Remember, WOW has a great newsletter focusing on new literary markets, so if you can't think of new lit mags to read, make sure to subscribe and find out who is asking for submissions. That will give you some ideas for which mags to read. 

And if you are trying to get published, read the books in your genre, or the literary agents you are aiming to represent you. Pick up books published in small and large presses.

Be kind to yourself. 

Probably the worst thing to do if your writing momentum has changed is beat yourself up over it. I think the worst thing I've done during these seasons is trying and force myself to write. A lot can be said for discipline, but know yourself enough to know when it's just time to give yourself a breather. Try out new projects, update your blog, try pitching editors looking for article ideas, or journal regularly. There are ways to make the most of this momentum change without feeling like you've missed a step.

What advice do you have for someone who's lost their momentum with writing?

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