Getting Back Into the Habit of Writing

Yoga Class at a Gym

Stretch those Writing Muscles!

I attended a writing group yesterday and it reminded me of how rusty and out of shape I am. I often equate writing to going to the gym. Once you slack off for a significant amount of time, you get flabby and lazy, and once it becomes a habit, it is more difficult NOT to go.

That is how my writing has been for a few months now. Lacking and sporadic. And each day that passes without me putting words on paper, the more I beat myself up.

At this writer’s meeting, someone else was also struggling with that menacing wall that stands in front of us when we  attempt to write. The Block. And the leader of the group said, Don’t beat yourself up for not writing.” I thought she was talking to me, but she was looking at him. Obviously, it resonated with me.

Slacker. That is the voice inside my head that I hear each day I don’t write. It is not healthy, I know, but she’s right – I am a slacker. But, it is okay to do that sometimes.

Stop Beating Yourself Up For Not Writing!

I think many writers go through this. They come to a point where they just don’t want to write. Or have anything inspiring to write about. Or become indifferent. Life gets in the way and we find excuses to tend to those life things. We get busy and the writing becomes less and less of a priority. And the wall begins to plant its feet with the absences of creative fuel to knock it over.

This last year, not only did the months fly by, but I realized, my writing skills were starting to develop cobwebs. Using the workout analogy, I was getting muscle atrophy in my brain. Yes, I wrote a few freelance articles for others and I also wrote a couple blog posts in my travel blog, but for the most part I was not writing consistently. Loser.

That comment last night really struck me because I think that self-criticism by itself was causing much of my wall to grow to towering heights. To a point I didn’t think I could jump over it. So, I just avoided dealing with it. And my writing suffered. Have you ever felt this way?

But You Have to Write.

Just like complaining that you are not getting in shape as you avoid any form of physical exercise, you can’t complain about your lack of quality writing when you just don’t write. To keep up the habit, you have to do it.  You have to write. Pen to paper, fingers to keyboard.

Another lady at this same writing meeting stated that you should write every day, even if it is just a sentence. She told all of us in the group to make it a habit, even when you don’t feel like it. When she mentioned that she has written every day in her life for the last eight years, the negative voice rose up in my mind: you really ARE a slacker. Yet, I knew she was right. Make it a habit.

Sigh. Okay, I am starting to shake off some of the rust.  I hope you can be patient. I hope you can continue to read about my writing journey. And I hope to somehow inspire you to do the same.

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. I found that reading and responding to what other people have written, keep me in trim. I write poetry and and love visiting writes like this for inspiration. The main thing is to right every day without feeling forced to write. great read.
    poetry forum recently posted..The Rape of Intelligence

  2. I agree with you that sometimes writers don’t have an inspiring idea, so they can start writing. I think the best thing is to start writing and not wait for the idea. We will get inspiration when we are writing and that article can be one of our best articles.

  3. One of the techniques that I use for writing is the Pomodoro technique. Essentially I have a timer that is set for 25 minutes followed by a five minute break. It then repeats. It really helps me to focus on getting the writing done.
    I’m a magician so I write reviews of magic tricks, as well as advice on technique and theory, on my blog. Occassionally I tip the secrets on an easy trick too.
    Ed recently posted..Manipulation Magic

  4. All the writers always need ideas for sure to write down and make some wonderful articles. but when you don’t have any idea it will really great to share and write down directly whatever it is. Cause a little mistake could have a chance to make a big things. Great topic and thanks for sharing by the way.

  5. It all boils down to self-discipline, to setting yourself a minimum number of words to write each day and to making sure that you do indeed write them. The wisest thing is not to spend too much time thinking about writing but rather to sit down at your pc and start writing regardless of whether you feel inspired to write. The process involved in pouring a concrete slab is still the same no matter how you feel about it.
    Brady Partridge recently posted..Sony XBR55HX950 3D LED TV

  6. I have always found the one thing that motivates me the most to continue writing and to continue writing at a high level…harsh criticism. I like to both receive and dish out the harshest (though justified of course) criticism possible. Writing is just as much about knowing what to do as it it knowing what not to do. When I write a piece I desperately need someone to call me on my bullshit and point out where I get lazy. Writing to me is a constant series of failures, but as someone wiser than me said, “a failure is only a failure if you don’t learn from it.”

    We need that second pair of eyes to criticize our pieces, because if we leave it up to ourselves, we will let glaring problems slip through the cracks or lose motivation. A harsh practical critique gives you a launching point to where to go from here.

    Anyway, thanks for the article Julie. Twas a good read.
    Dave recently posted..Benefits of a Strategic Partnership: Save Money | Naperville, Alsip

  7. Hi Julie,
    So true. I have been there many times when I just don’t feel like writing anything. What I usually do is get myself inspired by watching an inspirational video on You Tube or reading a good post.

    Also, I may just take about 10 or 15 minutes and just write without getting in my way and then I save it and leave it alone. Later I come back and fill in the details of the post.

    Take care.
    Justin recently posted..The Personal Growth Handbook – Personal Development 101

  8. Hi Julie, most of us are patient and awaiting your next post. remember, there is always a bunch of people who love to read your posts. I would love to see more of them soon!

  9. Great article. As a blogger I know how tough it is when you take a few days off and how hard it is to get back to writing. During those days you changed your life and chose different priorities. Been there, done that. Hopefully I force myself to write, and write. Thanks for your article.

  10. I love to write articles on online marketing. When I have no inspiring idea . I read my favorite articles. From that I got some ideas.

  11. Great post. Its really motivating me to give it my best shot and not worry! Thanks for the kind words!

  12. I think it is really useful because I personally like commenting on blogs with CommentLuv. But some sites have versions that are no longer supported asking them to upgrade to premium.
    rafeu recently posted..Workshops – the Simple way to learn (is to learn from someone else’s mistakes)

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