by Phoenix A. Desertsong, Staff Writer, Healer & Advocate
Don’t have time to write? Please, don’t feel bad. Sometimes, we just don’t. Other times, we have the time, but not the inspiration or the drive to actually set to work on writing something. Sometimes, we writers feel like we have to force something to regain lost momentum. Whether it’s major life events, family commitments, long work hours, or just general writing disinterest keeping us from writing, there’s some easy ways to pick up the slack from a lack of consistent writing.
Go Back to What’s Consistently Worked for You
As with anything you want to succeed at in life, consistency is very important with writing. Not only is consistency important in keeping your existing audience aware that you’re still alive, but it’s important for yourself, too. It’s important to find some balance in life, and more often that not, there are going to be things that disrupt that balance, especially when it comes to work, writing, and life in general.
But even more important than consistency is momentum. Whenever you find that something you’re doing is gaining traction, keep at it. Sometimes, though, life takes you away from being able to work at something consistently. But before you try and reinvent the wheel, go back to what worked for you before. You may have been onto something. Sometimes, you really can pick up where you left off.
Part of this is resharing old pieces that always did well for you in the past. Even if you can’t sit down and write something brand spankin’ new right now, there’s likely something you can dust off and get back into the public eye again. There’s a reason that what’s done well for you before has done well, unless it’s something super trendy that is well done and over with. But we writers always have our standbys, even if we have to sort of dig a bit to remember what they are. While you’re getting your writing mojo back, though, it’s good to remind people that we still exist and aren’t actually gone.
Tinker and Tweak Some Old Stuff
If you’re finding the old stuff just isn’t working for you, or you’re simply not happy with it anymore, you don’t have to necessarily start from scratch. Sometimes, all it takes is some tinkering of old writing pieces, whether they be blog posts or what not, and figure out what YOU don’t like about them. Don’t try and figure out why other people may or may not like something; go with your own gut. A lot of times, if you feel something is holding back a piece, and you feel that you can make it better, go ahead and tinker.
Whatever you do, though, don’t get stuck on a piece. Tweak something and move on to another thing. It’s way too easy to get caught up on one or two pieces that you FEEL should blow up and make you gazillions of bucks, but just won’t. It’s usually the pieces that you don’t expect to do well that end up being your best ones, after all. So, consistently go back and tinker and tweak with your old posts that just need some polishing up. In the long run, you’re helping yourself grow as a writer and keeping yourself from getting too out of sorts with your writing.
It’s also possible that in going over your older work, you realize something that you should’ve written about before, but never did. This happens to me all the time after a break. Like, duh, I should’ve written about this before. Or, I go somewhere without going ALL the way there. That’s why it’s important to constantly revisit old work. Just don’t get stuck on it, because I certainly have!
Just Write and Write and See What Happens
Sometimes, after the resharing and retooling of your existing work, you just aren’t getting back in a writing mode. That’s when you have to bite the bullet and just sit down and write. You may have to take a break from everything else for a half an hour or so and just spill out everything on your mind. It seems cliche to say that your seemingly random thoughts are a gold mine, but it’s actually true.
Even if you write down a bunch of what seems like nonsense, chances are there are one or two bits that may turn into something workable. As with anything, you just have to work at it to really get at something that will work. When you’re a bit rusty with writing, chances are your thoughts aren’t going to flow as well and things will come out awkwardly. That’s fine. Nobody’s perfect. The trick is to get back some momentum and turning the idea faucet on is often the best way to do that.
What if the Writing Just Won’t Come?
Forcing good writing simply doesn’t happen. If you force writing, it will read as forced. Just relax and let your thoughts flow. Sure, it may not be your best work, but if it’s readable and has some good ideas, then you’re onto something. If you really find the words just aren’t coming or the piece just isn’t going anywhere, set it aside. I’ve talked about taking a break from writing before and sometimes, you can’t just jump back in right away. But if you regain some of that lost momentum by reconnecting with your audience and making the best of what you’ve already done, the chances that you’ll return with success as a writer go up quite a bit!
Any other tips on regaining lost momentum with your writing? I’d love to hear them in the comments!
~ Phoenix <3
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Often known by her nickname "Ami," Ms. Phoenix Amelia Desertsong has written for many online publications, often under pen names.