How to Get Back Into Writing After Time Away

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How to get back into writing after time away

It can happen to the best of us—life gets in the way, and before you realize it, it’s been a week, a month, or maybe even longer since you last sat down to write.

The good news is, it’s never too late to reignite your passion for writing and get back in the groove! But you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious about returning to writing, or perhaps even feeling like you’ve lost your touch.

If that’s the case, read on for our tips to make your return to a regular writing habit successful!

Don’t beat yourself up

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking, I’m not a real writer if I’m not writing every day, or I’ve wasted so much time, how will I ever finish my book now?

Life happens to all of us. Things like holidays, vacations, or house guests can easily bump you out of your routine. Not to mention life’s bigger events like career changes, moving to a new home, or family emergencies. It’s also possible to simply have your priorities change, or to lose interest in a project you were working on.

Whatever your reasons were for setting your writing aside, don’t waste more time beating yourself up. Even professional authors have been known to go on sabbatical from their work occasionally. You’re here now, and that’s what matters.

At the same time, acknowledge that your writing muscles may need a few workouts before they’re back to your usual standard. Don’t worry about how much (or how little) you get done in the first week back. Start small and celebrate the fact that you simply showed up for a writing session.

Create a writing ritual

One of the best ways to get back into the writing habit is to schedule some distraction-free time every day. Even if you’re not working on one specific project, try blocking out an hour or two each morning or evening to let your creativity run wild.

Having a consistent writing ritual can help train your brain to get into the writing mindset. It signals to yourself that it's time to focus and create. Choose a dedicated writing spot where you feel comfortable and inspired, whether it's a cozy corner in your home or a favorite café.

If you had a routine that worked well for you before your hiatus, you can return to it, but you may find that a new ritual is needed to spark inspiration and help you recapture the mindset of a writer.

Experiment with different writing rituals to find what works best for you. Some writers find that starting their day with a cup of tea or coffee and journaling helps them warm up their creative muscles. Others prefer to begin with a short meditation or a brisk walk to clear their minds before diving into writing.

Remember, the goal of the writing ritual is to create a routine that signals your brain that it's time to write and helps you get into a creative flow. Do what feels right for you.

Try something new

When you’re getting back into writing, it can be helpful to try something new or different from what you were working on before. This could mean exploring a new genre, experimenting with different writing exercises or prompts, or even starting a fresh project altogether.

Do you usually write historical fiction, but have always been curious about writing epic fantasy? Try it out! You don’t have to commit to a full-length project—try writing a short story, or even just a paragraph set in another world. You may be pleasantly surprised with what you come up with!

Also, consider reading books or watching movies in genres or styles you haven't explored before. Engaging with different storytelling forms can inspire new ideas and perspectives, allowing you to approach your writing with a fresh outlook.

Exploring new territory can reignite your passion for writing and bring a sense of excitement and curiosity to your work. It can also help you break free from any creative blocks or expectations that may have been holding you back.

Refresh your skills

Returning to writing after a break is an excellent opportunity to refresh your skills and expand your knowledge. Consider revisiting writing resources, books on craft, or online courses that can help you sharpen your writing techniques.

Review the basics of storytelling elements such as plot, story arcs, and character development. Remind yourself of the principles of effective description, pacing, and building tension. Try some writing prompts or exercises to stretch your creative muscles—practice writing a whole new scene, or hone your skills by focusing just on character description, subtext, or dialogue.

By refreshing your skills, you'll not only regain confidence in your writing abilities but also discover new tools and techniques that can enhance your storytelling.

Connect with other writers

Trying to rebuild a writing habit and find inspiration again can feel isolating. Connecting with other writers can provide valuable support, encouragement, and accountability during this journey.

Consider joining writing groups, workshops, or online communities where you can share your work, receive feedback, and engage in discussions with fellow writers. These interactions can help you gain fresh perspectives, learn from others' experiences, and find a sense of belonging in the writing community. If you’ve never worked with an accountability buddy or critique partner before, this is a great opportunity to seek one out!

Also consider attending a writing conference or local literary event, where you can pick up some new ideas, learn about the latest publishing trends, and meet other authors. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who understand the joys and challenges of writing can be a powerful source of motivation and inspiration.

Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. Building connections with other writers can help you navigate the ups and downs of the writing process and create a supportive environment for your writing journey.

Ready to get back into writing?

No matter how long it’s been since you’ve put words on the page, it’s not too late to make writing a part of your life again! Return to your writing habit with patience, establish a ritual, try new things and hone your skills, and connect with your fellow writers, and soon writing may feel even more enjoyable than it did before!

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