I’ve been in a reading rut, for two years, honestly. It might not seem that way to people who don’t read much, because I’m still choking my way through a few books, but up till a few weeks ago it’s been taking me months to get through one. I didn’t know what was wrong. I used to love to read, I still did, but for some reason it wasn’t working. I wasn’t getting sucked in like I used to and I didn’t think it was the books I was reading. They were good enough, I was just grossly uninspired. Unmotivated. Unmoved.
I was stuck in a nice big rut and didn’t know how to get out of it. I did get out of it, in the last month I’ve read five books. I’ve officially overcome whatever beast I was struggling with. I was moved forward, so lets talk about ways that you can un-stick yourself from the ruts you get stuck in, no matter what that rut is.
- Talk to a friend who is excelling where you are stuck. Inspiration is contagious. When we hang out with someone who is currently in love with what we can’t seem to deal with it helps open our eyes. It makes us feel like we are missing out and starts to move us back into motion. We remember why we loved what we loved, but more importantly we remember what it is like to be excited about our projects or hobbies. That reminder goes a long way.
- Make sure your working on the right project. If you’re a reader who can’t seem to read maybe it’s the book. If you’re an artist maybe your working on the wrong types of projects. If you’re a cyclist who can’t seem to get back into riding maybe you need a new route. What we are working on greatly reflects our drive to work, and while this might not always be what is wrong, it can often be. Make sure you’re working on something you care about and enjoy.
- Do something related but not the same. If you’re a writer who can’t seem to form stories, maybe you should read them. A reader who can’t read? Maybe you need to be watching some movies and taking in stories in a different form. If you’re a painter maybe you need to try sculpting. Whatever your skill is try something similar but different. You might find that you’re not burnt out on everything, and by giving time and energy to another outlet can help inspire you for the outlet you want to get back to.
- Buy new supplies. Books, pens, a saddle in the case of my horseback riding. Buy some new supplies that make you excited to use and experiment with. You might find that it’s the push you need to move forward in your projects or hobbies.
- Stop trying. Seriously, stop trying to read, or write, or draw. Take some time to step back and pour into your other hobbies or projects. Put things on the back burner and leave them there for a while. You’re not abandoning the hobby, you’re just giving yourself a break. Sometimes our brains need those. Take a month then come back to it. Look over what you’ve done so far. Reread a bit, flip through your sketches, stretch your muscles and try to get back on the bike. Sometimes all we really need is a break.