There have been several times in my life in which I didn’t write much of anything for weeks or even months at a time. Life can come and sweep you away to more urgent things. But for a writer, having to write is urgent even if you don’t really have time.
Recently, I was thinking about how to get jump-started after long absences from writing, on the web or otherwise. Here are a few things to help you get back into writing after a long absence.
Ease Back into Writing
The number one thing to do when you’re returning to anything after a long absence is to ease yourself back into it. There’s a good reason why it’s suggested to work part-time first when returning to the workforce after long periods of not working.
Laura Whitelaw at Selfgrowth.com offers the advice to write down what you hope to achieve when you resume working. That’s excellent advice. The best way to start writing again is often to just begin by writing about what you are hoping to write about. That can help jumpstart your brain and get it moving on a good track.
Focus on What You Know
If you’re writing for money, especially for the web, it’s good to focus on what topics you can write at the highest level and jot these down. Having vague topics and ideas is perfectly fine. Writing these down regularly is good for anyone, even people that don’t write for a living. You never know when you might use them.
Whitelaw also mentions updating your skills at a local community college. This is also particularly good advice for writers if it’s something that may work for you. Online workshops are also a good idea if you can afford them. There are free webinars and workshops all over the internet, too.
Study.com has some online writing courses that offer credit. But along with their own offerings, they have a list of 10 universities offering free online writing courses. Of course, you may not have time for all that. Just reading up on the topics that you want to write about is fine.
Refresh Your Online Presence
When you do get writing again, make sure any writers’ resume or “about me” sections you have online are up-to-date. Even if you’re not actively applying for any positions, you never know if someone may have interest in hiring you for your skills.
Donna Fuscaldo at Bankrate.com offers a couple of good tips when it comes to resume-writing after a long work absence. Her idea of a writing a functional resume, where you list your skills first, is an awesome idea for writers. Again, you never know who may need content in a given area.
Fuscaldo also mentions being upfront about everything you’ve been doing. Say you haven’t written much but have attended trade shows or other events related to your writing topics. It’s good to mention these. It’s also fine to say if you took a break from writing to attend to family matters. That simply happens, and helps explain long absences.
Also, every experience that you have is important to writing. Keeping anything that lists your experience when it comes to writing up to date is essential. Web writing resumes, in particular, need to be updated more often even more than traditional resumes, because of how fast the writing game can change.
What Else Have You Been Up To? What Have You Learned?
While it may not be absolutely necessary for writers so much, listing work outside of writing is not a bad idea, paid or not. Anything you’ve done that has given you practical experience that affects your writing is a good idea to mention, paid or not.
Looking credible is extremely valuable. It's become even more important in a writing world where the competition is continually growing ever fiercer. It also helps you in case someone just happens to be looking for someone to help them write about topics you’re an expert in. Backing up your expertise can only help you obtain potential work. It can also help you gain a better overall following.
Have you ever been away from writing for a long period and have found certain ways of getting yourself “back in the game?” Be sure to let us know!
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