Writing Wednesdays: How to get back into writing after a break

Writers' block sucks, but getting back into writing after a break is pretty rough too. I share some thoughts and advice on getting back into writing after a break in this post.

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 again.

(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.

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 something new.

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.

Have you got any tips for getting back into writing after a break? I’d love to hear them, so drop a comment, send me a message, or Tweet me them @Reekles!

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