What Do You Do When You’re in a Rut?

stuck in a rut

We’ve read more than enough articles and quotes about that thing called writer’s block and how to overcome it. But what if you’re experiencing is not a “simple” case of the block? What if, maybe without realizing it, you’re in a rut, the reason for which is deeper than you might know?

stuck in a rut


Of course, if it’s depression – more than a case of the blues – then it’s a whole different story. You will probably need professional help to sort that out.

If, however, it’s just the blues, or whatever you want to call it, and it’s interfering with your work, how do you get out of that funk?

I realize that we all have different ways of dealing with things, but here are some things I’ve found to be effective in getting me back on track.

Talk to someone.
A real person, preferably face to face. I say real person and not yourself or your imaginary best buddy. I don’t want to generalize, but I think work at home writers tend to be solitary people and don’t get to interact face to face with others enough.

I’m probably the epitome of this stereotype, and while I usually have to force myself to talk to someone, I find that it does help. Now, actually making myself do it is something else.

Write, but about something that is totally NOT for work.
This is something I don’t do often as well, but I would love to have more time to do so. I’ve tried journaling but I’m so erratic when it comes to this. I have a personal blog, and that serves as my mental and emotional playground when I’m in a rut. I write about whatever is bothering me, or whatever is making me happy at the moment – it doesn’t matter what. Writing is indeed cathartic and if it doesn’t come with the pressure that work brings, it’s even better.

Get off your bum!
Yes, I am preaching to myself. You probably know by now that going out, for me, is a rarity. Still, I cannot lie and say that it doesn’t help me get my mood up. It doesn’t even have to be a “work outside thing”.

I find that a quick trip to the supermarket is therapeutic. Taking a short walk – 30 minutes tops – also helps. Endorphins and all that. Going window shopping also helps sometimes, if that helps. Actually buying something you want (and can afford) works even more!

These are the three things that almost always gets me out of a rut. Sometimes, though, nothing but a good, long sleep will do.

What are your proven pickmeuppers? Share them in the comments. Maybe we can learn from each other!





4 responses
  1. Toni Star Avatar

    There are several things that get me out of a rut: walking, taking a break and resting for 15-20 minutes, shopping–if I can, or doing some baking.

    1. Noemi Tasarra-Twigg Avatar
      Noemi Tasarra-Twigg

      Everyone says go walk…and I know it works once I actually do it. The first step, as they say, is always the toughest!

  2. Grant Avatar

    Remember how much student debt I have…

    Nothing like the throbbing pain and fear of debt to get one properly motivated…

    1. Noemi Tasarra-Twigg Avatar
      Noemi Tasarra-Twigg

      That should work for me, too!

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