Getting Back in the Groove

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Life happens. New jobs, finals, promotions, moves, family emergencies—we get it, you have a legit reason for not writing. Trouble is, once you have the free time to start back up, it’s daunting. It’s been so long. Where to begin?

Start with a confidence booster

What’s something you’ve written in the past you’re proud of? Read it! Remind yourself that you are a writer and you are capable of producing great work.

 

Next, sit down and refocus

Don’t join a writer’s group. Don’t Instagram your latte and journal. Don’t design your book cover. Focus on the basics. Review your outline, reread a couple pages, go over your character sketches—do whatever you need to remember where you left off. From there, outline a plan of attack.

What is most critical for you to get done to advance your progress?

 

Write it down

For me, I keep a word doc specifically for this purpose. I go through that section I’m trying to finish and write down everything that needs to get done. My lists usually include: write missing scene, insert foreshadowing, edit character development of protagonist, rearrange scenes. Get everything you need out on paper.

 

Decide what you will work on TODAY

This is where the rubber meets the road.

Once you’ve done the other steps and you’ve decided what to prioritize and work on, sit down and do it!

 

Plan time to work in the future

Set aside time to work where there are no interruptions each week. First, figure out how much time you need to write each week. Is it an hour? Seven? Fourteen? Whatever it is, budget your time and schedule accordingly.

Next, find a time that works for you. Are you the type who leaps out of bed early in the morning, makes coffee, and starts chatting away? If so, don’t talk to me. Are you the sort who stays up until the wee hours of the night? Figure out when your most productive times are and plan your writing times during those peak hours if possible.

Lastly, make sure your environment during these set aside writing times are distraction free. Hide your phone, hide your TV, and hide yourself cause’ there are distractions everywhere out there.

 

Now to take my own advice, I’m off to work on my book.

Candace signing off.

 

Photo credit: Micronesian Stick chart by brewbooks/CC BY

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