Craft,  Motivation,  Self Talk

Return to the Page: Coming Back to Your Writing After a Break

OK, so you took some time away from your writing practice or your work-in-progress. Somehow, while you were gone, your work became this really huge challenging thing. Now, you feel weird and intimidated about starting again.

I know how that feels! 

It has happened many times in my regular writing life but today it was happening to me about this blog post.

Luckily, I not only worked myself out of the weirdness but I also documented my process so I can do it again. 

And, I offer it to you as an example of how to write yourself out of the same annoying situation.

Background images of a stack of books, a cup of coffee, a clock, and a typewriter. In the foreground is a yellow circle with the following text: 10 Minute Novelists. Return to the Page: Coming Back To Your Writing After a Break.

Here’s what I did, step by step:

1) Lowered my standards

No, I didn’t throw all of my writing skill out the window. I did realize, however, that I was trying to write the ‘perfect’ comeback post. Focusing on the result instead of the process was definitely not helping. So, I settled for doing a solid post instead of a perfect one.

2) Set my timer and wrote some nonsense

That’s not the complete truth. I actually set my timer and dictated a post that rambled along but never really got to the point. It was quite boring and but now I had actually written something. By writing, I cleared my head of the stuck feeling and I was ready for the next step.

3) Made a plan

Next, I followed Daphne Gray-Grant’s guidelines and made a small mind-map of my post-to-be.

That means that I wrote the question of the moment in the middle of an index card:

“How can I get started again after time away from my writing?”

Then, I threw out a bunch of answers until a few things started to make sense.

4) Set my timer again and wrote this post

When I sat down to write today, I knew I needed *a* post but I couldn’t figure out where to start.

So, I tried things that have worked for me in the past – free-writing, a timer, making a plan, focusing on the writing instead of the result.

And I had faith in the fact that I am a writer.

I knew that the words and ideas would eventually come – as long as I kept trying to write.

The same is probably true for you, too. 

Whether you use this method or one of your own invention, keep coming back to the page and trying new things. Your words will come.

I hope it turns out to be easier than you expected.

Write on!