Now that the holidays are behind us, we can all breathe in a sigh of relief, sit at our keyboards, and possibly stare at a blank page, with that ever-mocking cursor continually blinking at us and daring us to write a word. Holidays are chock-full of really awesome traditions and family time, but that time tends to take away from our writing and leaves us wondering how to get back into the game once we've fallen out of it for too long. So how do we get back in? That’s what this list of helpful suggestions is for.
(And this also applies to getting out of a writing funk in general when life itself gets in the way)
- Dive right in, head first. Now, this might seem like the most obvious choice, which is why it is number one, but it can also be the hardest. But hey—if you can do it, go for it! Sit down, butt on chair and fingers on keyboard and just go. Write whatever comes to mind, even if it isn't something you've been working on or something you've planned. Plot twist! You might discover a new story within you that needs to be told.
- Zen out. If you have a music playlist for your current WIP, go to a quiet room or put in some headphones, turn it on, close your eyes, and let the music take you to your story. If you don’t use music as a muse or inspiration boost, you can also search the web for images that inspire you or just think about certain plot points in your book and imagine them playing out like a movie in your head. Do this for scenes that are already written that evoke a reaction from you.
- Read the last chapter you wrote. Now, this is dangerous territory, because it can be very easy to open up your manuscript with the intent of just reading it and then decide it is all crap and needs to be rewritten. Sometimes, that’s the case and it’s a good purge. But other times, it is just that writing funk creeping its way back into your head. So try really, really hard not to edit when you are rereading.
- Let your readers inspire you. If you already have works published or readers (or just beta readers), go back and read interactions with them. Read positive reviews or comments people have left you on Wattpad. Sometimes it helps to let other people’s enthusiasm for your characters become infectious.
- Read! If you have a favorite author, go back and read something by them. Let them inspire you. Or if you have an author that you really don’t like, go back and read something by them and let your dislike fuel your desire to write something else. That sounds terrible, I know, but hey—sometimes a book just isn't a reader’s cup of tea. This can also work for TV shows and clips of TV shows or movies. Example: When I’m writing my YA series, I might go back and watch clips of Pacey (*swoon*) and Joey from Dawson’s Creek.
In summary, think about what inspires you and dive into that. Let it do its job and inspire you, whether it is TV, music, other books, your readers, or your own words. But don’t put it off. It is way too easy to say “I’ll get back to writing tomorrow” and watch another week or month pass without any productivity. Be your own boss and tell yourself to get your fine butt back to work!