Getting Back Into a Writing Groove After a Long Break

I am back! After not putting any thoughts or ideas down on paper for close to three weeks, I feel my writing has found a comfortable spot in the metaphorical backseat, waiting patiently for me to invite it back up front. Without putting in any sort of real effort lately, it may take some time to revive my skills and bring my writing abilities back into focus.

Being stagnant is something I am sure all writer’s out there can relate. When you put the pencil down, or stop tapping thoughts onto the keyboard, your writing skills, well, they get rusty. Isn’t this the case for everything – work, exercise, housework, a project, homework, and even love? Taking that first step can be the most difficult.

First, I want to thank all of my guest bloggers for keeping my blog running while I was traveling in a far away land. You are all a blessing! It meant a lot to me, and I hope it was beneficial for all of you as well. So, thank you!

Getting your writing groove back can be a challenge and the first attempts may not fare so well. It may take a few attempts, but once you find the rhythm that has been buried under dusty thoughts, you are golden. Right? So, how can you get your groove back?

I came up with some ideas on how to get back into writing after a long break.

  • Simply start writing again. This may seem like I am insulting your intelligence by making such an obvious point. However, this truly works. It does not matter what you write, just get the creative thoughts going and worry about spelling and grammar later. Just get thoughts out of your mind and onto paper (or a computer screen).
  • Read. This is another obvious suggestion and one that has been mentioned before. This is true as well though. I find reading writing that has a similar style as my own is even more helpful. Find inspiration in others.
  • Allow quiet time. Having time alone with your thoughts can release the energy needed to begin writing. Devote time to yourself, your thoughts, and your spirit. As a Christian, I need quiet time with God and this allows my spirit to be free and peaceful. When you recharge your spirit, wonderful things can happen. Do not neglect this – ever!
  • Do anything creative. After a break, the writing may not come back so easily. You may need to jolt the creative side (the right side that is) of the brain. Start by doing something creative – draw a picture, play an instrument, create a funny story in your mind, complete puzzles, etc.
  • Jot ideas down. Just start writing ideas of all the things that entered your mind while on the writing hiatus. Even though you may have not been writing, thoughts were still bouncing around in your brain – I am sure! With the long rest, your writer’s mind will be thrilled to release ideas and they will probably come out like a flood, even if in chaotic jumbles of words.
  • Set goals. This really works (when I do it). If you create deadlines for yourself, you will have a better chance of getting back into the groove.
  • Think of your readers. If you write publicly, you most likely have readers. Some have more readers than others. I think I have about 4 faithful readers. However, my small handful of regular readers are still important to me – whether you have 10 or 10,000, they are important and you want to hang onto them. If you stay away too long, they may stay away also.
  • Give yourself time. Do not rush back into writing, you may have needed a break for a variety of reasons and it is best to begin again when – and only when – you are ready. Creativity can not be forced, only encouraged.

One important thing to remember is to not beat yourself up or feel guilty about taking a break. All writers do it. All writers need it. Most of the time, the break gives you a chance to regroup and gather thoughts. Even though those thoughts were not put on paper, they are still inside of you. A creative mind never really sleeps, it only rests its eyes.

About Julie McElroy

Julie writes for Inspired to Write where she offers tips, resources, and writing inspiration for writers and bloggers. She is also a freelance writer for various websites and blogs.

Comments

  1. stgemma says:

    I wanted to thank you for your words. I am still having a hard time getting back into the habit of writing. For me, I really found that I loved to write almost by accident. I had started writing a book, back in 2002, and then I stopped. There is a great deal of change going on in my life as I transition into a career that will see me teaching at the university level, once I finish my MA/PhD, and I know that this is having an impact on me. I was hoping you might be able to address the problem I seem to be having, which is to say that I seem to have all the desire in the world, save for putting it into action. Might you have any suggestions for this dilemma?

    Thanks in advance :)

  2. Well, I totally agree with you. Good writing skills are learned, not inherent. You can improve your writing with practice. The more you write, the better it gets.
    Manjusha@English Tests recently posted..Infinitives and Gerunds Exercise

  3. Even if take a leave I think you just can’t leave the ideas just like that. you’ll need a pen and paper to jot down everything while u have the new ideas.
    Nadia @ ShahAlamCity recently posted..Ekspo Selangkah ke UiTM 2012 – Dewan Agong Tuanku Canselor, UiTM Shah Alam

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