Return to Writing: 3 Sort-of-Easy Steps

One of my favorite writing quotations ever. Inspires me every time.

One of my favorite writing quotations ever. Inspires me every time.

We may have the best of intentions for our writing habits. Inevitably, life gets in the way. Weddings, funerals, holidays, illness—I myself have recently been fighting a bout of sickness for which the doctor prescribed two kinds of antibiotics. I did not write for over a week.

Returning to writing after a break is always difficult. No matter how long I’ve been writing, or how many returns after breaks I’ve had, moving back into that rhythm is always tough. So, here a few of the things I do to get back to it:

  1. Seek inspiration.
    1. This post on Buzzfeed, with a list of awesome quotations by writers.
    2. Reading
    3. Connecting with other writers
  2. Be compassionate to myself.
    1. My first instinct when I haven’t been writing is to feel bad. What kind of writer am I? I think. I haven’t gotten a single word down in over a week! Never mind sickness or whatever other circumstances, real writers write, and so I must be writing every day no matter what, right? Purge these thoughts. This is the time to remind yourself that it’s okay that you didn’t write for a while, and it means nothing about your worth or future as a writer.
  3. Take Nike’s advice.
    1. Yep, at a certain point it’s time to let all that inspiration and compassion sink in and Just Do It. Sit your butt down in that chair (or bed or couch or whatever) and write.
    2. Start small if you have to. It’s okay. Just a few sentences on that WIP, or a journal entry, maybe, or a blog post. Allow each small success to lead you onward.

When I do these things, I get my groove back. There is this thing called life, and we must live it, even though often we’d rather be in a cave typing perpetually. Let life do its thing. And when it’s done, get back to work.

What are your steps for getting back into writing? How do you hop that mini writers’ block?

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3 Comments

Filed under The Writer's Life

3 responses to “Return to Writing: 3 Sort-of-Easy Steps

  1. Pingback: Getting Back Into Writing

  2. I always have trouble writing at the very begining because I get hung up on having it be exactly what I imagined. When it doesn’t sound like I thought it would I get frustrated and give up. I need to take your advice and ‘Just do it!”

    • Oh, yes, beginnings are hard! The blank page is the worst. Turn off that inner editor and just write! For first drafts, I try not to even look over what I’ve written. Just get the thing out. A lot of it will be awful, but that’s what revision is for!

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