Monday, March 8, 2010

Answers To Your Questions: How to Avoid Boredom When You Write

You’ve done the research and now you have to write it up. The idea that seemed tantalizing and fresh when you first started to gather material has started to sour and bore you. You have the answer to the question that drove your search and it seems obvious. You want to work on a new project.

We’ve all been there. Today’s question is from a writer who has something she must write, but she’s bored by it. That boredom leads to a lack of focus and poor writing.

It is said that writers write to discover. We uncover something about the world or ourselves through the practice of writing. In turn, when we are surprised by our discoveries, so are our readers.

The trick to conquering your boredom is to move beyond the reporting aspect of writing and continue to delve into the subject and the manner in which you are presenting it. Ask yourself, “What else is there is to uncover?” or “How can I write this more precisely?” These challenges will help to stimulate your brain and you’ll be immersed in your subject again.

Sometimes, especially when you are working on an assignment, you just have to plow through. There is nothing left but to finish the work given to you by someone else. In this case, set daily (or hourly, if you’re on deadline) goals for yourself. Be sure to take breaks; edit and revise after the work has sat for a while so you can look at it more critically. If you try to complete the editing and revision process immediately, it might all blend together and seem perfect simply because you want to check it off your list of things to do.

If you aren't completing an assignment and you are truly bored, maybe it is time to let it go. The research and notes might come in hand for later pieces. Perhaps you’ll be re-inspired by the topic at another time. It was good practice, which is a vital part of writing: practicing the craft. What artist doesn’t need to practice?

Have a question related to writing? Post it below in the Comments section or send me an email (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.) I’ll let you know when the answer is published.

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