Writing After a Break? Get back on the Horse!
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We all go through the tipsy turvy terrain of our life that affects us both personally and professionally. Writing, my bread earner, is one of the professions that gets affected the most by one’s lifestyle. After the routine tasks, I usually sit back, dive in the ocean of words, and pen the thoughts in my head. There are however days when I find myself a little lost, the time when anyone would be at the risk of procrastination.
Writing after a break always feels like a Herculean task, I’m sure, to most of us. Making a return to penning words after some time is like you have to begin from where you left off, step into your older self, into the state you were in some time ago. We all change with time, we are learning and growing with every passing moment. Owing to all this personal evolution, I must say, it gets a little difficult to step back into your earlier self.
When Writing Appeals You
Taking that first step towards making something happen is always a daunting task. A few years down the memory lane, I used to write, no matter it was 10 kids wailing around me, a full-time job, or a not-so-well mental health condition. I managed it somehow.
However, with the technology getting smarter every day, it’s hard to pull oneself off the internet. Sadly, none of us defines achievement in terms of the number of hours spent on social media, but we do define it in terms of the number of content pieces we develop, etc.
With a whole bunch of avenues on the internet at our disposal, it is very easy for us to get lost in a sea of entertaining treats. While we tell ourselves we’re just brainstorming, we get lost in unproductive/irrelevant activities. I’m sure you can relate to the fact there was a time nothing bothered you when it came to writing. And now is the time when we pick up our phone instead of the pen.
We all have moments when we pin ourselves down with the intention to write but the whole thing feels scary; when we sit and stare at a blank screen, anxious, if we would get the words right; and penning the first sentence comes to feel like torture.
Writing is like Working Out
My brother came to me the other day telling how he struggled to contain his breath after a run he went on following a month’s interval. He came back all huffing and puffing, he said, and that there were multiple instances when he wanted to give up on the entire idea of resuming running. Yet he pushed himself to finish, and also repeat the whole practice the next day and the days to come.
Writing, in my opinion, works the same way; we have to get back to it, however laborious it may seem at first. There will be times when our inner self says that we can’t fix what we’ve lost or get back on track, but we have to push ourselves out of that haze. Here’s how I do it:
Be Lenient to Yourself
Just like during the run, as I mentioned earlier, my brother encountered multiple instances when he felt on the verge of giving up, in writing too, I have to consciously push myself out of the sudden fear of blank screens that overwhelms me when I sit down to pen my thoughts. I tell myself this is just me trying to warm up, and I’ll get into the flow in no time.
At times like these, we need to understand trying and writing sporadically is better than not writing at all. After all we only fail when we stop trying altogether.
Reading and writing are two sister activities, one is incomplete without the other. Convince yourself to read more, who knows you might get that spark of inspiration from there. Join a reading group, being there keeps you motivated. Pick up a good book, go online for an e-book if you have a kindle, and continue the practice through the month. Check local cable deals for perfect internet packages customized to your needs to support your research. Nothing can be more wholesome than this activity I believe, and it will help you get back in the flow.
Remember, being a writer and not reading is like an English scholar trying to teach Arabic, like trying to do something you have never been trained for.
Create and Follow a Ritual
By ritual, I do not imply the satanic sacrificial type. It could be anything, like going out for a walk, brewing your favorite cup of coffee, gardening, watching the sunrise, or anything that lets you gather your thoughts before you write.
Setting up a ritual lets the brain recognize it as a stimulus to remember that now is the time to write. Your brain is already in the form to start writing; you might as well reduce the time spent in penning down the first line.
Over to you
How do you inspire yourself? Let me know how you get back into writing after a long break.
Nida Shahid – Digital Marketer at Local Cable Deals
Business graduate, writer, digital marketer, traveler, Interior design enthusiast, and a proud dog parent. She shares her expertise and writes for businesses to improve their rankings on Google. Probably one of the most amazing things about her is her ability to stay relevant. Her work has been posted on multiple blogs and e-zines across the web. Find her on twitter.
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