- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Commercial & Creative Writing»
- Creative Writing
How to Start Writing Again After a Break
Nothing to Write About
You're a writer but for some unknown reason you haven't written anything for ages, there seems to be nothing to write about. This could be for a number of reasons.
- Took a break because the words weren't flowing any more
- Were busy with other interests or commitments
- Became discouraged because you seemed to be getting nowhere
- Had health issues that affected your productivity
- Felt like you wanted to give up writing
There could be many reasons for not getting down to your beloved writing.
Now you feel ready to start again, but don't know how to get started.
Here are some pointers for getting back to writing
Waiting to be inspired by something probably isn't going to make you a successful writer, we all know that; we need to write regardless of what inspires us or what makes us put it off continuously. Start writing something today.
Inspiration seems to come in different forms, doing something else could get you into the right mode for writing.
If you really can't get down to it, you may just a need a short break from writing. This would be a good time to do something different like clearing out the garage, desk drawers or cupboards.
Walking, exercising or doing some menial task can stimulate the mind into generating ideas for writing.
The Best Time to Write
Set aside a time to write, the morning is often a good time for many people. Commit to that and practice it every working day. If you can't manage it in the morning due to other commitments then find a time later in the afternoon or at night when you're able to. You might even find writing at a different time of day than what you were used to, suits you better.
I personally don't have a schedule but I prefer to write in the mornings.
Put some inspiring music on, I opt for something instrumental because I find it difficult to write if there's singing (unless the music is soft) – voices unfortunately are a distraction to my thoughts. Find what music suits you best.
Where To Get Ideas
This is not always as easy to put into practice as it sounds. Ideas come from all around us; whether it be people we know, news, events, the media - consciously absorb what is going on in the world and in our own lives to get ideas for what to write about. Look back into your past for encounters that stood out for you.
Seemingly insignificant things such as finding your coffee has gone cold or observing a cat in the garden could be inspiration to begin a story that suddenly takes off as you let your imagination take over. Remember to keep your readers in mind to give them something that will get their attention.
Make notes of what you want to write about - whether it is instructional, poetry, fiction, non-fiction or any other genre, know what it is you want to write. Do a brainstorm and get ideas from all the knowledge you have as well as reading up on topics that interest you.
Reading books and online writings is important for writers, it's an inspiring way to start writing ourselves, not to copy but to get a sense of what others are writing about and what styles and formats are suitable. Bookmark instructional writing sites on your laptop or phone, read and learn from them. Watch instructional videos.
Unfinished Writings, Completed Works
Do you have any unfinished writings that you haven't looked at for a while? If so, it is a good idea to attempt to complete them. Perhaps you felt ambitious about them before but you got stuck and couldn't complete them.
Reading your completed works is also an inspiration to create new ones – look over yours and think of new topics to research.
Hone Your Craft
'Hone' is an odd sounding word, isn't it? It means “to make better or more efficient.”
It also means “sharpen a tool with a whetstone.” Thus you strive to sharpen your writing skills by practising your craft.
It's essential to read through what you've written at different intervals, doing as many edits as necessary and if you have someone to read your work then ask them to help with this.
Why Give It Up?
Let's face it, writing is absorbing so why give it up? It's great when the words flow and you forget about everything else, you might get so caught up in it that you discover the cup of coffee on your table has gone cold and it's lunch time already.