Whether you’re writing your first novel or your fifth at some point you have or will experience the post-novel slump. If you’re an avid reader maybe you’ve experienced that empty ‘I can’t believe it’s over and it’s time to get back to the real world now’ feeling after reading the last page of a great book. That’s close to how I felt when I finished writing and publishing Healer’s Oath. I spent almost a year looking forward to writing Doctor Bane Christopher Hemlock’s story and months writing it when the time came. Caught up in the experience I didn’t realize after the excitement of publishing wore off I’d miss him and his true-mate Lee Knight as if they were real people. I should have. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced the post writing slump. I hit the big publishing button on my Amazon KDP dashboard and celebrated! Doctor Bane Hemlock’s story was in the hands of readers in time for me to consider participating in Camp Nano with a pen pal. I was ecstatic! But- I’d forgotten the slump on the other side. Yikes! With only a few days to break the slump I knew I had to get to work on some serious self-care. Camp Nano was the perfect motivator to get book 5 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga under way. If you’re wondering if I’m participating this year – Yes, I am!
Today in honor of the commencement of writing book 5 of my series I’ll share 5 ways to overcome your post novel writing slump!
1.Get Some Rest!
This may seem obvious, but as a writer it’s not uncommon to give up sleep to finish the story you’ve worked so hard on! Writing is mentally demanding and your brain has went from 90 miles an hour to a complete stop overnight! Take some time and recharge your batteries! Sleep in! Take a nap! Spend a lazy day binge watching your favorite feel-good show! Your brain and creative soul will thank you!
2. Read a Book! (Or 10!)
Most writers took to their craft after falling in love with reading and storytelling. If you’re anything like me your personal reading lays neglected on the nightstand while you bring your own story to life. I always describe the reading frenzy I dive into after finishing a novel like refilling my brain with words after pouring all of mine onto the pages of my book. Reading also reminds me why I write in the first place. I love the experience of sinking into a story and being transported to another world. I love storytelling and imagining readers sinking into my book that way!
3. Reconnect with Friends or Mingle with New People
If you’re rolling your eyes at me because you’re an introvert and need to recharge your batteries alone, don’t worry! I’m not saying to drag your writing slump rear end to a club or other crowded place. Reconnect with people who make you happy. That friend you canceled lunch with last week? Call them!
If you’re looking for a new experience to grow your social circle, but not break your introverted habits look into finding a pen pal. I’ve connected with a few since I started writing Healer’s Oath and they have made my transition through my post novel slump so much easier! Learn about someone else and their part of the world! I know you collect random facts and tidbits to use in your novels later. Pen paling is a great way to reach out and research at the same time!
4. Write Something Horrible You Never Share
Does the thought of writing while in a slump make you cringe and shake your head, but your head doesn’t know how to quit telling stories? Don’t be afraid to write a few bad chapters of a book that doesn’t go anywhere. It’s like a brain dump to get all the bits and pieces out and make room for new ideas. I’ve used this technique after every novel and my bad writing I wouldn’t share with anyone else has inspired some of my favorite stories of the Hemlock Mpreg Universe.
I know exercise can feel like a daunting prospect when your brain is rebelling against your favorite past time, but even a quick walk around the block can clear your head. I love the feeling of music pounding in my earbuds while I exercise. It blocks out the rest of the world and allows my mind to wander into new ideas, characters, and settings! It’s amazing the things that come up when you get in your body and out of your head.
If you haven’t read the latest installment of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga be sure to check out Healer’s Oath today!