I received this terrific set of questions a few days ago: “How do you start again after stopping for a few years? In writing three novels, I built skill upon skill and felt pretty good about the third. Now I am petrified to write again. I start, the writing is horrible, I stop. I’m not even sure I can write a blog anymore. Could you address starting over after taking a long break?”
Every writer can pose the same question. They just have to substitute the length of their own dry spell for “a few years.” For some it will be “while my kids were little” or “until we paid the house off” or “when school visits had to pay the bills and I traveled so much I forgot my home address.”
How long have you been off track? How long was your worst dry spell?
It’s different for everyone. Sometimes, the same person goes through years with no break in the flow of creativity or the flow of words, then – suddenly – whammo! Dry spell. Block. Or the constant intervention of real life that seems to sidetrack every attempt at getting back to writing.
Do not despair. You have more control over this situation than you realize.
Ready… If Aerosmith isn’t your cup of tea, select a piece of music that is and play it obscenely loud while you write today. Extra points if you find a way to throw in a couple of Steven Tyler screams.
Set… “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” Stephen King
Today’s prompt: If you are having a hard time getting back in the saddle again, this prompt is for you. Write down all the nasty thoughts that go through your head when you think about writing, or you try to write. Everything. All of it. Then write down all the specific behaviors (i.e. sites you waste time on) you engage in when you start to hear the stream of negativity in your mind. Then sign up for web-blocking tools that will limit or eliminate your access to those sites.
And if you wind up with extra time today, write the list of things that you want to write about. Post that list where you will see it many times a day.
Scribble… Scribble… Scribble…