As you may know I’ve done very little fresh writing of late, this being due to my daughter’s impending wedding and all the work that a wedding entails. Well the great day is now past! Thank you so much for all your good wishes – we had a lovely, memorable day with family and friends – no disasters and lots of fun, so now it’s time to get back to the writing.
I’ve been looking forward very much to getting back to what I do but I have to admit that I wonder quite where and how it will happen…
Getting back to writing after a break of some kind, even after a summer holiday can sometimes be difficult. After all writing is hard, we may love it but it’s still hard work, possibly the hardest thing we do and it demands that we give a great deal of ourselves as well as of our time.
When we’re in the habit of not writing it can be easy to find distractions: emails that must be sent, business to attend to, people to meet, books to read, blogs to write, etc. etc. We can persuade ourselves that this is writing and in doing so we can avoid the real work.
If there’s a novel waiting then at least we know what we have to get back to and in this case I think it’s mostly a question of setting a date, then: Day 1 opening the file and reading, Day2 Editing what’s there so far (you may want to do this DAY1 as you read, Day 3 Writing on.
This process of re-acquainting ourselves with our work is key to starting afresh after a break. But what if there is no novel waiting? Here are 7 ways to help you get writing after a break: but firstly take your diary and pencil in a writing day, evening, or a few hours, whatever time you have when you know you will not be interrupted
1. Read something you’ve written, maybe the best thing – remind yourself you are a writer.
2. Find a past notebook, open it and read – discover something fresh, something you’d forgotten, the beginning of a poem, a note, an idea and develop it into a poem/ short piece/ story etc
3. On a fresh page in your notebook finish this sentence: If I could write anything it would be…………..(eg. If I could write anything it would be a novella about imprisonment, a story set in on a Greek island, an historical novel set in the American civil war…) There may be more than one thing you want to write – write them all down and mull them over. In downtime listen to the radio, go for a walk, daydream, while thinking about these.
4. Read something inspiring by someone else – your favourite novel/short story, the one you wish you’d written. Be inspired. Write a paragraph or two in the same style about one of your ideas from number 3.
5. Find a competition you think worth entering or a magazine to submit to and as well as deciding to edit something you already have, write something new.
6. Don’t get hung up on perfection, start small, use the freedom of the notebook in which you can just scribble away – sometimes getting away from the machine is key.
7. Go find a café or a favourite spot and write there, this way writing is a treat not a task. Enjoy.
Now it just remains for me to take my own advice……………..