Monday, August 29, 2011

When You Want Write But End Up Doing Anything But...

One of the things I love about my writing is the way I can pick up the story where I left off, even if I haven't worked on it for a few weeks. Sure, I have to read over what was there and remind myself of what I was trying to do with it. But I can also just start typing stuff and see where it takes me.

That's assuming I actually open the story file and begin. And there's my problem.

For me, the hard part of getting back to writing is actually making myself start. I don't know why, but when I sit down at the computer, I end up doing anything but writing. Working on blog posts, checking mail, organizing my desk top, finding new quotes for my notebook. I tell myself it's getting me ready to write, but it really isn't.

This not-opening-my-file-and-writing mystifies me, because I know I love writing. I even have a project ready and waiting for me to continue. So why is it so hard to start?

Here's what I'm going to try. Beginning this week, I'm going to start back to my Five Minute Free Write. If I do that first, before anything else, I know it will help me get back to putting writing first.

What do you find hard about getting back to your writing when you've been away from it? Do you have any good strategies for "breaking the ice" in a writing session?


  1. I will wait to hear what strategies you and your other readers come up with and maybe they will help me :) I have the exact same problem!!!

  2. Shoot! I was hoping the person who posted had some great idea! lol Looks like we're all in the same boat. :-) I've been playing around with the idea of setting a timer and writing without stopping, though. Never tried it but my daughter (whose class did NaNoWriMo last year) swears by it. She's was 13 at the time and wrote over 12,000 words...which totally kicks any word count I've ever done in a month.

  3. This is a perfect post for me to return to today! I've been on a blogging hiatus for most of August and a writing/revising break for two weeks! It is hard to restart!! I was revising my MG novel before my break, so I had to reread the 15 chapters I had already revised and get the voice flowing again. I also had a CP send me some notes right when I restarted to give me fresh insight.

  4. Andrea, I think I wrote this blog post instead of you :) I so have this problem. I WANT to write, and instead I am commenting on blogs. Or watching Wheel of Fortune. Or washing my washing machine. Seriously! What's up with that? Here's to getting over the distractions for both of us!

  5. Okay, I'm going to put a large sticky on my computer that says, "WRITE FIRST".

    Car, that timer thing is a good idea. I've done that. So, did your daughter give you any tips? (she probably doesn't stop to worry about "just the right word").

    Barbara, critique notes are good. They do help, because if you have something to fix, that can get you into going beyond the "fixing" part.

    Ha! Laura, on vacation we actually watched some of the Game Show channel. How lame is that, watching old re-runs of not-so-great game shows! If we're going to waste our writing time, we'll have to come up with some better excuses!

  6. I'm avoiding diving into my WiP because I have major revisions to do and I'm dreading it. I know that once I start it'll be fine, but right now all the work is overwhelming!
    Good for you for being able to pick up where you left off. That means your stories are true representations of you.

  7. Oh my gosh, I SO have this problem. I'm having it right now, actually :) I always enjoy writing once I get into the document, but there are so many distractions on the internet...especially if you happen to be querying :)

  8. The hardest part for me is starting too. It's just so easy to do something else! I think doing a free-write is a good way to start the blood flowing.

    I keep a writing journal so I usually write in that first.

    Good luck! :)


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