There seems to be a lot of articles on overcoming writer’s block. But I see next to nothing on overcoming writer’s shanks. A shank in golf is a bad mishit. The same thing can happen to writers. They undergo a dark night of the soul where everything written seems wrong, bad, forced, or some other means of being unsatisfactory. I went through this briefly while creating In Small Doses 3 (a collection of short stories).
How I Overcame the Shanks
It took awhile. But the following things helped me return to “the usual level.”
Have faith in yourself
You alone know what you are capable of. Things are always changing and eventually inspiration will come back. This is not the time to get depressed or angry.
Throw nothing out
At a later point of time, you may see that your content was not really that bad or just needs some minor changes. This is what happened with ISD3.
Try writing on something you are comfortable with. Soon you should regain your confidence to tackle again the challenging topics.
Rest and Recharge
Take a walk, watch a movie, plant some seeds. Whatever it takes for you to rejuvenate. You may have been pushing yourself too hard.
Celebrate every small victory
Be kind to yourself. For every time you get one step closer to being on track celebrate. It will keep reinvigorating you.
And once again you are happily writing full steam, briefly write down your “shanks period” and what you did to overcome it. So there is no next time or it occurs for a shorter duration.
Please share if you have encountered the “writer’s shanks” and how you overcame it!