Sunday, June 26, 2016

Back to the Books
I took a hiatus from writing, not because I was tired of it but for other good reasons which I’ve discussed before but don’t really want to rehash here. What does matter now is this—once you’re ready to start your writing again, how do you get your writing groove back?

I decided to look into what others have written about this. This is a compilation of all the advice that resonated with me.

On the website Live Write Thrive, guest blogger Janice Kersh gave a list of ways to start writing again. My takeaway from what Janice said is that you must create a ritual such as having a certain type of tea or reading a poem that puts you in the mindset.  It should be something that triggers the start of your creative process, whatever that might be.

The full text is here.
At The Write Practice, Marcy McKay suggested to let go of the guilt. You will not get the time back you’ve spent away from your writing. Another thing suggestion she made is something that has worked well in the past for me—to set a minimum goal for yourself that you must complete each day.  Whether it’s one page, 250 words, one scene, etc. just make sure that you complete your goal each day. See more on this here.

Nathan Bransford notes that you must realize that your first day back will not be productive. It will not be perfect and it will not be good. Accepting this fact will help you muddle through that first session. More on what Nathan said is found here.

At Standout Books, Paige Duke says to be intentional and organized. One way she suggests is to use an organizer. I used to use one of these and when I was faithful with it, it worked very well. I think that I need to dust it off and start using it again. It would help me plan and carve out time to do my writing. More on this here.

One last thing on kick-starting your writing that Janice Kersh said that resonated with me is to recognize that your writing style may have changed. Embrace what comes next and go with the flow. I do feel differently than I used to—not like I don’t want to write but not the same, either. Perhaps that’s part of why I don’t know what to do—because I’ve changed. So, if I’ve changed then maybe my process needs to change as well. This is something I’ll have to consider as I find my new normal.  

Does anyone have any other suggestions for getting your writing going after a hiatus? I’d love to know what they are.


  1. Congrats on getting back to writing, and thanks for all the great info you've shared here! :-)

    The one thing I can say about coming back from a writing hiatus is this: start with something that interests or excites you, even if it's not your most recent WIP. Just getting the writing momentum going again, however you can, can be very helpful.

    Can't wait to read your next story! :-)

  2. Love the post, Lisa. Yes, process is a journey and when jumping back in, we may find our process has evolved. How can it not? We are dynamic. Always changing. Forever absorbing new things and experiences. So, yes, the path winds in a different direction and our pace on it can be different today than it was yesterday or will be tomorrow. Good luck as you enter the fray again. 😋

  3. Hooray, Lisa! So glad you're at a point where you can embrace the writer in you once again. Sometimes re-reading my earlier writing helps to get me into a writing frame of mind. For me, it can't be too old, though. If I read stuff I wrote years and years ago, I'm amazed at how much I've changed as a writer (for better or worse), and I end up scratching my head instead because you and Mackenzie are right. We don't stay the same!

    But if I re-read something that's only a couple years old or less? That calls me to the creative mindset. Then I can get new work done.

    Hope you'll keep us posted on your new work!

  4. One of my long time successful "go-to"s is Ye Olde Writing Date. I'm pretty externally motivated, so knowing that someone is counting on me to show up in X location at Y time can be a great first step in a writerly direction.

    Mostly, I'd say be gentle with yourself at the same time you're firm. Writing is YOU time and YOU deserve your intentional attention.

  5. Misha - That's a great idea about doing what excites you. I'll have to consider which idea is the most exciting at this point.

  6. Thank you, Mackenzie. I think the advice about you being different and your writing being different as well was such a revelation. You're right - people change and grow and since your writing is an extension of you, how can it not?

  7. Thank you, Nichole. I will try reading some of my writing over again. That is what I used to do when I was in the middle of a WIP so that I could remember where I was. Reading it again for inspiration sounds like a good plan as well.

  8. Keely - Great idea! Being with other writers is so good for my muse. I like that - intentional attention. Thank you for the advice.