When you’ve been away from your writing for a while, set a date.
For whatever reason, you’ve stopped. You either had something go wrong in your life, or in your writing, and you are out of practice. Life or your writing has thrown you and you need to get back on the horse . . . but you are shying away from it.
You may be listing reasons why you can’t write, but you know they are just excuses. Admit to yourself that you are afraid to get back on the horse.
Just admitting that to yourself will make you start to feel better. Then . . . Set A Date. Write it on your calendar – knowing that you are organizing your life to start writing – again – on that date.
And as that date approaches . . .
Set up your Environment
We all have a tool box – we know what we need from dictionaries and keyboards – to candles and music and pictures.
Mary Balogh (who says her writing is very chaotic) keeps her external environment very controlled. She has a pen – just so.
Think about changing your environment
Work somewhere other than your usual writing place. Try the library or a coffee shop or your backyard. If it’s winter where you live, dress appropriately.
In extreme cases, when housework (or some other necessary evil) is calling to you, you could try an out-of-town retreat. But, retreats can become expensive, so it’s best to learn to manage our environment where we are.
And, if housework is the thing that distracts you, remember, you may be socialized to clean. And if you are, one of the Truisms of Your Writing Life is: the amount of writing you get done is inversely proportional to the amount of housework you get done . . .
Mix with Other Writers . . . to get the writing bug again. Join a writers group and volunteer. BUT don’t get Overcommitted. Remember, it’s volunteering not conscription. There is a time to volunteer and a time to clear the slate. You will know what you need.
Have you fallen off your horse? Will you set a date for When You Will Begin Again? What will you do to prepare for that date?
calendar from photos.com #106561919
I did fall off the horse, for about a year and a half after my dad died. I lost hope of ever getting published and I had no ideas. Unlike you, I didn’t set a date. I didn’t do anything. I kept in touch with my writing friends, but other than writing my dad’s eulogy, I had no desire to write. I gave myself the permission. It took a year and a half and a certain Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but I got it back. I got my drive, my ideas and my love back. I know “professionals” are supposed to write no matter what, but for me, the best thing was giving myself permission not to.
Oh, I don’t know about that “write no matter what” stuff. That is just One Way of doing it and there are many ways.
What you did worked for YOU – very excellently – with your Pirate series. I love your books!
Suzanne, due to an intense job that drained me, I didn’t write for several years. And even though I’m now writing full time, I still find that if I spread my time too thin between family and social media and writing groups, the urge to write just disappears. The drive to do it all totally fries my brain and I need to pull back and refill the well with something other than work. Thank you for the wonderful reminder. I need this today. 🙂
Sheila – I think it’s that old question of balance. Sometimes we simply have too many rods in the fire and something has to go.
Setting a date works for General Procratination. Other times, we need to fill the Creative Well.
I’ve been bad with my novella. lots of blogging not much else. bad, bad, bad. need to go back to the novella and delete the last scene and get back to writing. right after vacation
You have lots of time, Louise. Enjoy the vacation, fill the Creative Well, and when you come back you will be Ready!
Thanks for some great but simple motivation. Just what I needed to hear!