Returning To Writing After a Break… Even If It’s Slowly

Are you on a writing break? Here's how to return. A bit of advice. | writing advice | writing tips |

I mentioned in my post last week that so far in 2018, writing has felt like pulling teeth.

Can anyone else relate?

After Christmas, I had every intention of returning to this blog and carrying on as I had. I had every intention of cranking out a sequel for my treasure hunter series within the first quarter of the year. I was finally going to finish a World War II story I’d started last August.

But every time I sat down to write, I stared at the blank page and my mind felt equally empty. The tricks that had worked for me in the past just weren’t doing it for me this time around. I had no idea what to do.

I had felt something stirring in me for The Lexicon Writing Blog around Christmas time. I wanted to expand this blog from the listicles and click-bait titles I’ve subsisted on for a year and a half and get into what I really love to write: the heart of the situation. The heart of writing.

Writing about the heart of things means revealing your failures. And that’s never easy to admit, even to ourselves.

But throughout your writing life, you’ll encounter pinnacles of achievement and valleys of barrenness and there’s nothing right or wrong about either location. They’re simply a part of the journey. We’d be blind not to acknowledge the entire trip.

Once I’d realized that it was alright for me to be in a writing winter, I got the inspiration for last week’s post. The words still came slowly, but they came one after another like ants on the march, pouring out of me until I had a complete post.

My writing is still coming slowly. This post has taken me two attempts to finish but here it is on the blog, alive and well.

If your writing in 2018 isn’t going like you’d planned, don’t stress. The more you stress about it the more you’ll find yourself with undue pressure, agonizing blank pages, and some negative self talk.

My friend India is one of the most incredible writers I’ve ever read and also one of the most wise. I asked her for some encouragement and advice a few weeks ago and this is what she came to me with:

“Remember: the gap between where you are and where you want to be should inspire you, not scare you… you can made steps everyday to get there… before JK Rowling was JK Rowling, she was just an intelligent woman with nothing talent and a good idea. You’re not any different.”

I hope you’ll carry this advice with you as we venture further into the year and carry our writing with us. Much luck and love to you, writer friends!

Postscript: If you ever need advice or have ideas for what you want to see on this blog, shoot me an email at contact@thelexiconwritingblog.com. I’d love to hear from you!

 



Writing Droughts: What I Learned While I Was Away

Writing droughts are never fun... the lack of writing, the lack of idea. But they offer opportunity to learn and grow as a writer, even if writing is like pulling teeth.

Hello friends. Have you ever noticed that things can get lost on the internet? I once lost an entire website to the bowls of the interwebs and to this day I have no idea what happened to it.

And if you’ve been wondering if my weekly blog posts and Friday email newsletters have been lost to the internet too, don’t worry. The posts and newsletters didn’t get lost.

But I did. Continue Reading

Life After NaNo

If you participated in NaNoWriMo, take a deep breath, wipe your brow, and pat yourself on the back.

It’s over.

Whether or not you got to 50,000 words, you’ve accomplished something many people aspire to, but never actually accomplished: you attempted, and maybe finished a novel. Break out the champagne, because you should be proud. You had an idea, you wrote your characters, your setting, your dialogue.

And you probably became a better writer in the process.

This year was a crazy November for me. I plateaued after reading 27,000 words and didn’t write again for two and a half weeks. I almost called it a wash and thought I’d come back to my story once November was over.

Yeah right.

Instead, with three days remaining in NaNoWriMo, I sat down and banged out 6,309 words. I hadn’t written more than a sentence here or there for weeks when all of a sudden I banged out several thousand. I had several thoughts running through my head, but one was crazier than all the others: I could maybe finish this thing.

So the next day, I wrote 10,000 words. I had seven hours to sit at my computer, so did and typed until my wrists were sore, my hips were convulsing, my shoulders felt like they were about to detach from my back, and my brain felt like I’d experienced emotional trauma.

The final day of NaNo, I wrote 7500 words and finished NaNo with two hours to spare.

For the past week, I’ve been living in this euphoria of having unexpectedly finished a novel, one that had initially started a short story series but grew before my eyes to include characters who surprised me and a world that enchanted me. I can’t wait to share it with you.

If you’ve finished your story, even if it didn’t get to the word count, you’ve accomplished something incredible. But it can be a bit strange to all of a sudden go back to normal life holding an incredible feat like that close to your chest.

If you’re looking at your life a little differently now that you’ve got a full, complete story on your hands, don’t panic.

This is just the beginning.

As you go into the holiday season, take a few minutes to ponder the following questions:

  • What does this story mean for you?
  • What does it mean to have made the progress you did?
  • What do you want to do with this story now that it’s finished?
  • How will writing this story color your future attempts and accomplishments?

Happy holidays friends, and congrats on participating!

Cheers!



Why a Writing Community Can Make or Break Your Writing Life

I’ve mentioned this before and I’m sure I’ll continue to mention it all the time: I’ve written more this year than I have in any other year of my life. It’s incredible and empowering to have spent 2017 learning what I’m really capable of as an author and writer. To put it in list form, I’ve written:

  • Two ebooks
  • Five novellas
  • Nine and a half short stories
  • Six creative essays
  • Sixty blog posts

and

  • Forty-three newsletters

Not to mention the additional writing I’ve done on projects that are coming soon, like my new resource for writers, Writer’s Caffeine (hopefully coming out Summer of 2018!), two short story series that are in progress and will be self-published in 2018 and 2019, and the writing I do for my job in marketing. Continue Reading

How Deal When Writer’s Block Paralyzes You

We’re getting to the end of NaNoWriMo and if it hasn’t reared its ugly head at you yet, beware: writer’s block may be coming for you.

But don’t worry, that’s why we’re here today! I’m sharing my best tips and tricks for how to deal when writer’s block hits. Because it can be paralyzing and scary and no fun at all. And when you’re on a time crunch, like our dear friend NaNoWriMo, it can be overwhelming.

So what’s a writer to do? Continue Reading