Recently, I got myself into a bit of a rut. I wasn't finishing the short stories I was starting. I didn't feel like editing. Was it perhaps a summer rut? Too many other things to do? Or just plain boredom.
I can't answer those questions, but I can say that I broke the rut by changing things up. I get the Authors Publish Magazine e-newsletter, which comes with a weekly issue including a listing of themed publications closing soon. One theme caught my eye, so I committed myself to a Saturday of writing until I'd finished the short story to their specifications.
Over the course of several hours, I wrote a 6000 word short story to the theme. I set it aside for a couple days before editing (the deadline was coming up, so I didn't have much time to leave it.) Then I submitted it!
I've now done this for five weeks, and I got my writing mojo back. Whatever the reason for the blah attitude, I worked my way through it.
This exact solution may not work for you, but others might. Take a photography break, draw, do a logic puzzle, read a book instead of writing one for awhile, dance, listen to music, lie out in the sun. Figure out what kind of break you need. Or find out how to change up what you're doing to bring some creativity back into it.
For me, it was probably the fact that it's summer, and I tend to want to be outdoors whenever possible. By doing the short story in a few hours, I freed up the rest of my Saturday, and made it so I wouldn't feel guilty if I did other things during the week. If you can figure out your actual issue, it will be easier to find a solution. But if you can't, no worries. Just find something that challenges you or helps you relax away from whatever else is going on. I'm always a fan of a challenge.
Now for some links (adding these late). Bear in mind that I'm merely passing along links I have happened across, not endorsing them. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.
Ladybug is looking for children's fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and activities with the theme Our World. Ages 3-6. Up to 800 words. Pays up to $.25/word. Deadline for this theme is July 31.
Spider is looking for children's fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and activities with the theme Fantastic Fantasy Beasts. Ages 6-9. Up to 1000 words. Pays up to $.25/word. Deadline for this theme is July 31.
Black Beacon Books is looking for short horror and mystery for their anthology Shelter From the Storm. 3500 to 7000 words. Pays .01 pounds per word. Deadline July 31.
NonBinary Review is looking for poetry, fiction, and essays with the theme The Tales of Hans Christian Anderson. Up to 1000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline July 31.
Upper Rubber Boot Books is looking for short dark speculative stories for their anthology Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up to No Good. Must be an element of horror. Must be about women and something culinary. Authors must be female, non-binary, or other marginalized sex or gender identity. Up to 5000 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline July 31.
Empyreome is looking for short speculative fiction. Prefer fantasy and science fiction. Up to 10,000 words. Pays $.0025/word. Deadline July 31.
What do you do to get out of a rut? Or writer's block? Does the same thing work each time, or do you have to try something different? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share?
May you find your Muse.
Bored Avatar, by OCAL, clker.com
Dancer, by OCAL, clker.com