It can be challenging to return to your writing project after an interruption. Our family recently battled the flu and bronchitis. Then my husband had shoulder surgery. Life got busy and hectic as I sought to make up for lost time.
Soon, my latest novel and my life as an author took a backseat to “playing catch up”. I knew I needed to get back on track.
Have you ever been sidelined from your writing? Below are five ways to jumpstart your writing project.
1. Begin! This is perhaps the most difficult part, especially after a hiatus. The habit of simply writing can be a challenge. I love this quote by Louis L’Amour: “Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
2. Enlist the help of your family and friends. My oldest daughter, who is also a writer, holds me accountable like no one else. She is the first to ask, “Mom, are you going to get some writing in today?” I do the same for her, and we marvel with each click of the keyboard as we get closer to The End. Seek out family, friends, and fellow writers who will help you keep your mind focused on your writing.
3. Set aside time to write each day, even if it’s only 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be your future novel. It can also be your blog or an article. Feel free to set the timer. 🙂
4. Record your word count each day. When my web designer placed a “Novel in Progress” counter on my website, I was super encouraged to watch the percentage of completion rise each time I penned more words. I decided to do a similar counter here on this blog for a couple of different novels. This has definitely held me accountable.
Recording your word count doesn’t have to include an app or something fancy. It can be as simple as writing on your calendar (or putting into your phone) how many words you’ve written each day. Be sure to give yourself permission to take a day off here and there to avoid burnout.
5. Take your writing seriously. I had someone ask me what line of work I was in when I first began writing for magazines. “I’m a writer,” I told her.
“A rider? As in you ride horses?”
Those who know me know that riding horses is not something I am adept at or even care to do (Someday I’ll share my adventures in horseback riding). Running, power walking, or driving the motorized variety of vehicles is more to my liking.
“No,” I answered. “A writer.”
“Ah, a writer. So you write?”
If you don’t write the story or the blog post floating around in your head, who will? And there will never be a better time than the present to begin or to pick up where you left off!