One of the worst years of my life has been 2017. Why? I totally stopped writing and blogging. Well, I can put 2016 in that bucket too and I even vowed to turn things around during my last yearly review but procrastination, business diversions and the black dog got the better of me. I would say I’ve had long hiatus from writing and, I don’t like it.
I like to think the cause of my depression are many little complications and big problems like my day job but probably a big part of it was I switched off the creative tap. The outlet that I enjoyed so much, my blog, got neglected and put down the list. The books I so enjoyed writing (although still drafts) got put aside.
But rather dwelling on the lost years and the lost years before that.
Here are my tips to get back in the writing saddle when you’ve had a long hiatus:
- Write one page of pure consciousness every morning. I got into the bad habit of reading news and emails on my phone in the morning but now I try and write between half a page and one page of writing, then as a reward, I let myself check the Daily Mail.
- Read the first two chapters of your all-time favourite book. You know, the one that made you want to write in the first place.
- Read one chapter, paragraph or sentence (whatever is easier) of your own work-in-progress. Don’t be afraid, just plough in. Don’t edit. Just read.
- Spring clean everything. Yes, clearing away old files and papers really does work and makes way for new ideas and motivations.
- If you’re self-published you probably have a good review or two? No, I’m sure someone has said something complimentary to you at some point in your life. Read or recall the review/comment and get those positive vibes flowing.
Lastly, the most important thing you can do to get over your hiatus is to not beat yourself up. In addition to writing unedited pure consciousness in the morning, write positive affirmations and forgive yourself for the hiatus. Time off can also be reinvigorating and needed.
Getting back into the writing saddle after a long hiatus is not easy and is the start of a new writing journey and probably one of many to come.