What I Do in a Serious Reading / Writing Slump

For when your TBR list is longer than your have-read list.

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile. I’m here to talk about my two-month reading and writing slump.

Now that it’s the holiday break, I’ve had days on days to write, read, and be generally lazy--which is SO nice because I haven’t read a book in over two months. Granted, some of that has been because Netflix-ing is a lot easier than making an effort to read, but for the most part my schedule has been bonkers.

Now, I’m here to talk about it! And give advice on how to get out of it!

I think that, for the most part, my slump was self-imposed. I felt guilty for reading when I should have been studying or working on my book or seeing my friends. So, I started to reason with myself. (I could just watch an episode of The Office…Whaaat? It’s only 20 minutes!)

But that’s so dangerous! Suddenly I found myself watching four episodes and getting no work done.

And still, not reading.

But that’s okay! Because I figured out a way to get out of my slump: reread your favorite book.

I know italicizing it makes it seem like some wild, revolutionary thought and it’s not, but it was really helpful!

I have several (if not dozens…) of favorite books, so the real challenge for me was choosing the book. Eventually, I landed on Again, But Better by Christine Riccio because it’s sweet and it makes me feel good. Not only that, but it also is an easy book to read chapter-by-chapter.

One chapter a day. That’s all it took. About ten minutes before bed.

Once I finished that, I decided to read Serpent and Dove again, because I missed Lou’s wit, and then I reread A Court of Mist and Fury.

Now, I’m on Dangerous Alliance, and I just finished The Queen of Nothing, A Case for Jamie, and The Tenth Girl.

Y’know, just six or seven books, because I’m a crazy reader.

So, in conclusion, I think rereading favorites is a tried-and-true method in securing yourself your love for reading.

Now, on to the writing!

I feel so much guiltier about my writing slump than my reading slump because each day I don’t write is a day less to get my book published, to write another novel, or to generally reach my goal of at least knowing it will get published before I graduate high school.

Writing is also, in my opinion, so much more difficult than reading. I have to make my own plot, develop my own characters, decide what I want them to act like, etc.

In short, my method for working on my writing, even when I was struggling, was to delve deep into each of my characters.

My main character (let’s call her A) is really sharp and witty, but sometimes can’t see signs of betrayal if they smack her in the face. My other characters all have distinct features, powers, and more, so I spent a lot of time perusing Pinterest, stealing traits from favorite book characters, and drawing up their life before the book.

I discovered that developing a personal backstory for each was a sure-fire way to tell where they were going to go in the future.

For my other character, L, everything is a game, masterfully woven from his king. L struggles between two sides, but ultimately chooses one over the other because of his situation in the past, his reliance on his king, and the internal struggles he wrestles with.

Developing his character was significantly easier because right off the bat I knew where he was going to go. Other characters were much more difficult.

So, develop their backstories! Ingrain their personality so deep in your brain that in a moment you know exactly what their going to say. Come up with fake situations to decide which side they would take, good or bad.

No two people have ever had the same life. Even your immediate perspective is shaped by the situations you’ve been brought up in. Make sure that you give the same situations to your characters so they can be unique, and the story will write itself from there.

Remember: every story you ever write is based off the decisions of the characters. Every problems is caused by and solved by your characters. You just tell their stories to the world!

I hope this was helpful for you, especially since now most students are on a long break. Happy reading and writing!

(Also, Merry Christmas everyone!!)

Do you have a way to get out of your reading/writing slump? Let me know! My DMs are always open (@maevesbookshelf) and my email is, too (www.maevesbookshelf@gmail.com) Hope to hear from ya soon!

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