Be honest...we've all been there.
If you're anything like me, it's happened multiple times. I've gone through at least three major sections of my life where I didn't write. Some of it was lack of motivation or taking my writing seriously, sometimes it was really just being too busy (or worried about making enough money to pay the bills, or having some major life change throw you for a loop.
I think that's the true difference between true writers (published, public, or secretive) and those that just play at it. Real writers come back.
But it's hard. It's really hard.
So what do you do when you want to start writing again, but don't know where to begin? Here are some tips that have helped me:
- Read books about writing. For me, just reading fiction I enjoy isn't enough. I have to get the push and writing ideas from books about perfecting the craft. Two of my favorites are On Writing and Bird by Bird.
- Set goals--but make them small. Start out saying you'll write one paragraph a day. Hell, in some books a paragraph can be one sentence or a whole page. Make your paragraph whatever length works for you.
- Write fanfiction. I know, I know, a lot of people think it's a terrible thing. And clearly it'll never get published, but if you're really having to get over the hurdle of coming up with characters and settings, a little fanfiction can be enough to get the wind back in your sails.
- Procrastinate by other types of writing. Where do you think 80% of the worlds blogs come from?* Authors that are putting off writing their masterpiece. But really, writing anything for me, even silly posts gets my brain working in the right way to move on to other things.
*Completely fabricated statistic, but it sounds pretty authentic, huh?