How to get back into writing after a break
Writers’ block is hard to deal with – but
it’s also hard to deal with a writing break. Whether you haven’t written in
ages because of writers’ block, because you lost faith in your story, or simply
because you haven’t had time… it can be damn near impossible to get started
(You might also like this post on how to deal with writers’ block.)
The job I’m in now is a grad scheme, so I
had five exams between October and December. Every minute I wasn’t sleeping or
working, I was studying. I didn’t write for months because of this. I haven’t
read a book in months, either. Not even fanfic, or stories on Wattpad. Then
come December, by Christmas, when I finally had a couple of days off and some
time, I was so exhausted I needed the time to recharge.
You might also like to read: Hello, 2017!
I have projects I want to work on, though.
Projects I want to start, finish, edit… The struggle was finding the drive to
get back to them.
So I’ve put together a few tips I hope will
help you put a stop to your break and get back into writing!
Work out where you are. What projects do
you have on the go? Do any need editing? Are you on deadlines for any of them?
If you’ve got more than one WIP to pick back up, choose one – either the
highest priority, or your personal favourite. Before you try to write anything
new, though, read back over what you’ve already got, including any loose drafts
or notes you left yourself about it. That’ll at least help you get back into
the feel of your characters, the tone, and story.
Just write something. Anything. Even if it
sucks. Even if it falls flat and doesn’t fit. You know how after summer it
feels weird to suddenly put on a woolly jumper, but the next time you wear a
woolly jumper it doesn’t feel as strange? It’s kind of like that. Write
something, even if you delete it an hour later. Just try to get back into your
story. But go back in knowing it might take a few attempts.
Not working? Try fanfic. Or pick up an old
story you wrote for fun but abandoned for more ‘serious’ work. I find it easier
to write fanfic when I hit a serious block, and it’s what I’ve gone back to
now, to get out of my writing break before I tackle my serious projects again.
The characters (and ofen the setting) need
less work, there’s more ready inspiration, and it’s easier to write a 1,000
word one-shot of fanfic from a prompt or gifset than to write 1,000 words of
For me, the worst thing is the first bit of
writing you do after a while of not writing. Like, the physical and mental
effort of writing, more so than the content I write. Once that first hurdle is
out of the way things get a lot easier.