Entrepreneurial Writers: Writing Good Ledes and Staying Creative

entrepreneurial writingI’ve been in a bit of a rut this past week. I’ve been straying away from my personal ballet blog for a few reasons, including the fact that multiple Physical Therapy appointments that have kept me quite busy, and that I’ve also been dealing with the struggle of writing about topics I cannot participate in. Even though I only write about my own personal experience about once a week, it can still be quite draining emotionally to be thinking about dance and running all of the time when I can’t actually dance or run. It’s led to me feeling like I’m turning out fairly stale pieces just for the sake of turning them out.

I’ve also been dealing with issues with turning out stale pieces at work, just because I’ve had to turn out so many in the past week. I’ve focused more on getting them done versus turning out actual good pieces. While I haven’t been facing actual writer’s block (I’ve written quite a lot of words for each of the pieces)–I feel like I’m turning out pieces that all sound the same. Below I’ve listed some of the techniques I’ve used in the past to get out of a rut as well as techniques gathered from different sources that I’ll be using this week to try and help break the spell.

 

Experiment Using Different Types of Ledes

Often when I’m trying to turn out as much work as possible in a short time, I fall back on standard, informational ledes (aka introductory paragraphs or sentences), which can get kind of boring unless your writing standard basic news. I miss the days when I was writing for my high school and college papers when I’d have days and even weeks to contemplate a good lede–and usually I’d come up with them at the weirdest times of day. Unfortunately, in a digital world, we don’t have that kind of luxury. For the next couple of pieces I work on, I’m going to experiment with different types of ledes  when working on my pieces. Even if they don’t work out perfectly, I’m sure they’ll lead to a better crafted piece.

 

Take a Walk, or a Break

While I also mentioned this during my writers’ block piece, I feel it’s worth a mention again. If you feel like you’re writing is stale take a break from it, and all other writing. One of my issues this past week was when I felt myself getting stale, I jumped into a different piece. While it helped somewhat, I still found myself falling back into a rut. What I really needed was to take a walk break, grab lunch, or get a cup of coffee. One internship editor I had liked to go on walks to come up with ideas to help deal with writers’ block and other writing ruts, and it’s really something I need to use and take advantage of more.

 

Practice Writing Creatively

I know, I know. I sometimes hate writing creatively too, but it can help a lot with writing better as a whole, even if you can only find a little bit of time to practice it, it can help with imagery a lot (something that I learned the hard way while attempting to write dance reviews. Check out Creative Writing for Dummies and Creative Writing 101 if you don’t know where to start. I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time this year to help get the juices flowing, but writing creatively every once in a while (such as on Sundays each week, for example) can help you out a lot too.

 

Carry a Notebook Everywhere

This is a pretty standard creative writing rule, but it works for non-creative writers too. You never know when an idea for a story or lede (or even a better sentence) will pop into your head, so make sure you have a place to write it down. You can also try writing for just 15 minutes a day (even if you don’t have a post or an assignment to finish) to help get those writing juices flowing.

How do you avoid getting stuck in a writing rut? 

About Kristen Gillette

Kristen Gillette is a freelancer who has written for a wide variety of publications including Philly2Night.com, two.one.five. Magazine, and Cred Magazine, thINKingDANCE.net, the Philadelphia Dance Journal, TechnicallyPhilly.com and more. She runs AdultBallerinaProject.com

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