We all have periods when we just don’t get any writing done. Whether it is because of school or a job or anything else that keeps you preoccupied, or because you “just don’t feel like it”, you’ll probably come back to a point where you want to start writing again.
And you find that you’re stuck before you’ve even begun.
The best thing for a writer is to make writing a habit. That way you get used to writing several pages a day and you keep involved with your story and your characters. After a long period of not writing a single word, you probably find that you aren’t as involved in your story anymore, can’t seem to come up with anything, and don’t feel that connected with your characters. It’s like not seeing your friends for a very long time and then running into them again at the supermarket. It’s awkward and you don’t know what to say.
There are several things that you can do to feel the lust to write again and get right back into your story. It’s important that you try several things until you find something that works for you. Or you get lucky and jump right back in on the first try.
Here are some tips:
1. Know your story.
You’re probably thinking something like “who knows my story better than me?”. But I’m not kidding. After being gone from your made up world for quite some times you may have forgotten details and forgotten the “feel” of being in your story. Think back to some events that happened in your story, or re-read the whole thing (or if you’ve written a lot, re-read the last few chapters) just so that you know exactly what has happened. This way it’s easier to pick it up again.
2. Run into your characters.
Remember your characters or act like you actually run into them at a supermarket. Think about how they would react, what they have gone through, what their favorite color is, what they are really afraid of, etc, etc. Rediscover your characters; it will make it easier to write about them.
3. Think ahead.
If you still don’t know what you’re going to write, think ahead. Try to remember the plans you had for your characters or make up something new what could happen to them next. If you know what is going to happen you can write towards that. This way you have a goal to write them to, instead of just blank pages.
4. Read your notes & study your maps.
Probably every writer at some points makes notes about their characters and story. Some are organized and write them all in one big map or on the computer. Others, like me, aren’t that fortunate and write them on every scrap paper that we can get our hands on…. And then don’t even put them together in a box. So search your room, every drawer, your pockets and bags. And collect all the notes.
Some people might also have made maps of the words they write about, or the city things take place. Take all these out and read and study them. Not only will you get ideas and back in to the story, but you’ll probably get some new ideas and an incredible urge to write!
5. Start writing.
In the end, no matter how much you prepare, to get back to writing … you actually have to write. So just start! Write a line, write another one and see where it goes! It doesn’t matter at this point if what you write is brilliant or rubbish. What’s important is that you’re writing. You can delete everything at the end of the day, if you’d like. But you wrote! You send the signal to your creative self that you wanted to write again, and need ideas .Your brain will start working on that and soon the ideas will pour in. It’s important that you write something every day, ideally for at least half an hour. This way you’ll get back into your rhythm and soon you’ll see that you have to delete less and less at the end of each day.
6. Don’t be too harsh on yourself.
Especially when you haven’t been writing for a long period of time, say a year or more, most people tend to get a little bit too demanding of themselves. They read their own writing again and think “I’m a year older, it must be better, it must be perfect”. With that attitude you’ll get stuck right away. Because it can’t be perfect. You can’t write better or probably as good as you did last year. Know why? Because you’re out of practice! So don’t set your standards too high and just enjoy writing for the sake of writing for at least a few days.
Then you can start improving your writing again and perhaps make it much better than before. But remember, the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect! The story is important in this stage, the language and elegant writing can always come in the hundred or so drafts after that (kidding stick to three till five drafts or so, or you’ll never get it done).
I hope this gets you all back to it! Summer vacation is finally here and I imagine a lot of people didn’t really get to writing the past couple of weeks.
If you still
find trouble with getting inspired you can always listen to music (classical soundtracks are my favorite), or watch movies that will inspire you to write, or dream about what it would be like to be a published author etc. Get inspired!
This post was requested by Gabelafastoe. I hope this helped and good luck with your writing!
I always love reading comments! And all requests are always welcome; I’ll get to them as soon as possible!