Getting Back Into the Habit of Writing Again

Thursday, December 16, 2021

I read something recently that talked about how we need to embrace our creative seasons. We're in the midst of the winter season and I tend to feel pulled towards new drafts rather than rewriting. I wasn't sure that was the case for me this year, and to be honest, over the past few months, it has been a while since I approached any new creative work. I've had my share of revisions, sure, but I've not written anything new. 

Until this past weekend, of course. 

I really didn't have it in me to do anything creative this weekend but I thought of advice I came across where someone said they just wrote 100 words a day. And well, I figured I can manage that, so I brought up my phone and took out an app I used in the past to write stories, and I opened up a story that I've been meaning to return to for months. And I wrote. Honestly, I think I got 50 words down, but that's 50 more new words that I wrote than I did the last few months. 

It felt weird to write again, to be honest. This year has been stressful for a variety of reasons. Finally, though, this past month I found a job and I think the cobwebs of worry cleared a bit, allowing me to continue some creative projects.

This led me to think about how I approach things creatively lately. Earlier this year, in January, I wrote in my notebook, but this time around, I'm pulled towards the blueish glow of the digital screen. Even in the midst of my revision process, I still examine, edit, and rewrite my story on my phone. 

I have a few bits of advice for those of you who are trying to see what works for you creatively lately.

Consider this:

  • Try a new method of writing. If your last plentiful season of writing included notebooks and pens, break out your digital device instead. It feels like a fresh start when you use a method of writing that's the opposite of when you were last successful.
  • Return to something familiar. I dragged up a story that I had left off halfway finished. While I may not stick with it until the end, it got me back into the mode of writing new stuff again.
  • Do a little bit each day. I'm not a fan of word count goals but try and do something with your writing each day. Revise a sentence, write a new paragraph, and jot down a new idea or two. Re-read your favorite book of writing advice. Do something just a little bit each day that moves your writing forward.
  • Don't get too down about your progress. Because as long as you are still pursuing and trying, it's progress! If you have been away a while, all that matters is getting back into the habit of writing again.
So if you have been away from writing for a while and want to rebuild that habit, I hope my advice has helped you. Don't wait for the new year to start your writing goals. Start them today!


tobyo said...

Thank you for this! Especially that last idea to not get too down on your progress. Boy, if that isn't me! And likely others too. I'm hoping to do more writing this winter, after the holidays of course ;) And I've been perusing the class offerings trying to decide which one to take.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Thank you for reminding us that even a little progress is progress. Too often, in my opinion, we are pushed to push ourselves. You can do more! You can do better! Everything is possible! But there are times we need to pull back and do only a little.

Nicole Pyles said...

@Tobyo: I deal with that so much too! I hope you do sign up for a course, I mean to one day soon as well :)

@Sue: And you know, sometimes that thinking entraps me into not doing a thing at all! So if we can only do a little, it's good to celebrate that :)

Renee Roberson said...

Nicole--I'm glad you broke through that wall and let those words take shape! It is hard to write something new when we're anxious or depressed. I've been struggling with something similar with my podcast--I feel like I've created some really good episodes but maybe I've peaked, so I'm scared to even start the brainstorming process again. I'm going to work on a new episode today about research that goes into a true crime podcast so maybe that will be a good motivator.

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