Thursday, July 28, 2011

Easing In

First off, thanks to you all for your best wishes and kind thoughts. Without saying too much about the situation, a very little guy in our close circle has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition. His folks are the best, but we're all helping out and will continue to do so. Family and friends come first. Always. So, thanks again. We appreciate every kind word and thought sent our way - they do indeed make us stronger.

So, obviously, writing has been pushed to the background for the last little bit, but it's pushing its way forward again. It always does! :)

It's only been a couple of weeks, but it's amazing how much momentum and rhythm I've lost. I tend to be the kind of writer who works in spurts anyway, but this has been a long stretch. I'm right at the climax scene in one story, and in the middle of that dreaded rewrite in the other. I think I'm just going to reread the last chapter or so of the one I'm near the end of and ease back into it that way. Or maybe I'll work on the query letter to immerse myself back in the story. Hmmm.

What hints do you have? How do you ease yourself back into the routine and rhythm when you've not been able to write for one reason or another?

72 comments:

  1. Go back and read something you wrote previously - that should jolt your senses again.
    Prayers for the little guy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alex - thanks so much! We'll take all the positive energy we can get!

    I think that's what I'm going to do ... maybe tomorrow. Still no energy tonight :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes. Re-reading what I have written nearly always helps easing me into the story.

    And I'll be praying for the little guy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Emy - thank you - he'll appreciate the prayers and so will we :)

    Sounds like rereading should kick start me then. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. ...sounds like the above comments stole my advice. Not only re-reading your own work, but reading any published material from our peers tends to rev up an idling muse.

    Hoping the little one in your life gets well soon ;)

    EL

    ReplyDelete
  6. Elliot - thank you! We're doing everything in our power :)

    I like the idea of reading more blog buddy pubbed stuff! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow--that's terrible. Sending good thoughts to the little guy and his family.

    I tend to write-write-write then have periods of unproductiveness. To get back into it, I re-read something I've written and fiddle with it or I start making lists, which helps me get my head back on straight.

    Best of luck with everything!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mary - thank you - it's been a tough go lately, but we'll get there.

    I've never tried the list idea - that sounds like a good one too! I'll give it a go :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. A good way to ease back in is to do some writing exercises where you give yourself 3-5 minutes and just write. No editing, no reading back, just keep writing. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't even have to make sense.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lynda - that's a really good idea. I've had my students do that one, but I've never actually done it myself - thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'll be thinking of Jemi! :)

    One thing that helps me when I've been away is to just think about the characters. Even about stuff happening around you now. Like what would my MC think about this? Or what would character X say about this current event?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Karen - thanks so much - I appreciate it!

    I think I can do that. They tend to run around in my head anyway - maybe I'll just focus it a little more to start. Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Read over what you've written and revise that, then take the dive into new words.

    So very sorry to hear about any little one with anything serious. Prayers to you all.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anne - thank you so much. It's been a bizarre couple of weeks - but we're all coping and he's a great kid! :)

    I think the reread is looking like a must-do. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Jemi, I think the way to get back into your writing is to listen to your characters and start writing.

    Praying for the little guy!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree with everyone else, re-reading. I'll be keeping the little guy and his family in my prayers too.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress
    Freelance Editing By Mason

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hugs!

    Yep...like most people read the old stuff to get familiar with it again. Then put your fingers on the keyboard and goooo!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Prayers for the little guy....

    As for diving back into writing. I generally back track and read a few chapters to get back into the swing. You'll do great once you get through your first few pages...


    Good luck, Jemi!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Healing hugs and positive energy for your little guy and family!!!

    I think re-reading and taking your time to just focus on your wip might help. Take care and all the best! x

    ReplyDelete
  20. So sorry to hear your bad news. I'm thinking of you and your family.

    People have already suggested the re-reading idea. I'm with Lynda. I call it free-flow writing and it never fails to kickstart some sort of ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sorry to hear that sad news. Hope it turns out with good news.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Just dive back in, and it'll come. Write something in your journal, revisit the query letter. Hope all turns out well in your circle of family and friends.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Praying for the little boy. As for the writing I suggest leaving all of them for a day and reading or write something brand new. See which one you fancy going back to when you've had a bit of distance.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Theresa - thank you!

    Those characters do walk around in my head a lot anyway - maybe I'll just focus in on them.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Mason - thank you! I appreciate your kindness :)

    Re-reading is sounding like the best plan!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anita - thank you!

    I think that 'goooooo' is probably what it's mostly about, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you Michael.

    I think it's just getting back into the flow. I should have a little bit of time today, so I'm hoping for the best! :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Old Kitty - thank you. I appreciate the kindness :)

    Re-reading sounds like the most common plan - I'll give that a shot

    ReplyDelete
  29. Rosalind - thank you so much.

    I don't usually do the free writing - but I think that might be a fun way to start & see where it takes me.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Laura - thank you. We're working hard to make it as good as it can possibly be.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Yvonne - the people in our cricle are amazing so it will be the best it can be.

    Diving right back in sounds like fun! :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Catherine - thank you so much.

    That's a cool idea! I'm hoping for some time today, so we'll see how it goes!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Inspiration and motivation can be ebb and flow things oftimes. If I really want to get something done I sometimes just have to force myself. Other times I just have to wait until my drive returns.

    Prayers for your friends' child.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
  34. Lee - Thank you - I appreciate it.

    Just getting it done is good advice. I've got some time later today (I think, so I'm hoping to get going!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm so sorry to hear of the difficulty in your life. Prayers for the little one and his family.

    I recently had to get back into my WIP after many weeks away (moving). I was worried, but once I read the last chapters I'd written, the characters began to talk, as if ready to go. I hope you find the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I reread, too, but it takes more than one chapter. I have to start from the beginning to get the flow - which is why I'm trying to get clear through my first round of edits before vacation. :)

    Sending prayers, positive thoughts, and healing energies to the little guy and all who love him.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Tricia - thank you so much - all the positive energy helps!

    You definitely have been there! Thanks for the tips - I hope it works for me too :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. VR - thank you! He's a cutie patootie and such a happy camper :)

    I may have to go farther than one chapter - I flip flop pov between the 2 MCs so I think I'll go back a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh no! Sorry to hear about the little guy.
    I think rereading definitely helps in getting back into the groove. Or daydreaming about your characters until a new scene idea emerges...

    ReplyDelete
  40. Sorry to hear that. No hints or tricks for you. I'm currently in the same boat you're in. Hope everything gets better soon!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Deniz - thank you.

    I do the daydreaming thing a lot. Most of those scenes don't end up in the story, but they help me to get to know the characters :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Kimberly - thank you. And good luck to you in getting back into the flow. It's not as easy as it sounds! :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. I would go back to your favorite part of your favorite MS. Give yourself a chance to fall in love again with what you've created. Another thing I do is find a fresh love song for two of my characters. Music always pulls me back in.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Leslie - that's a good idea! I like that :) I've never attached a song to a character or a wip, but that sounds like fun!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Best wishes for the little one! I'm thinking big healing thoughts right now.

    ANd I can always jump back into things. Even if it turns out to be data dump I take out later. The important thing is to write regardless if it stays in the story or not. Hey, the data dump can turn out to be a short story.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Stephen - thank you! We appreciate it.

    That's so true. Thankfully we're able to edit and take out all that stuff. Very handy :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. so writing is like our biological clock? You know when you ruin your schedule of waking up and then it takes days to hone the biological clock?
    But when I come to think about it I think it's the same with my translating job. I spend around half of my day doing it, and it's not always easy getting back to it after an unexpected pause.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Dezzy - exactly!!! I think it's about getting a rhythm established - when it flows, it flows easily. When you stop, it's hard to get going again :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. If I've taken a break from something I'm working on, I always go back and read a section leading up to where I left off. That helps me get back into the story's world. Next time you take a break or have to stop for a while, I recommend getting a mini recorder and use it to note ideas or plot points or whatever. Not long pieces, just quick things that come to you.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Helen - a mini recorder is a great idea! I've used one at school, but never thought of using one for those kinds of things. Good idea - thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Sorry to hear about the stressful time you're having hun - all my best wishes for the special boy.

    Try writing just on good line a journal each night. Or one plot idea or record a dream. You could also just start off by expanding on one character. If you get time, check out Wagging Tales this week, we're having a blogfest where writers post their favourite writing warm up exercises, you might find something that helps?

    It will come - you're very creative.

    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

    ReplyDelete
  52. Charmaine - thank you - he really is a special kiddo!

    I saw your blogfest - sounds like a fun idea! I'll definitely pop on by - thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  53. I don't think you're going to like what I do, but just in case...when I've had to stop writing on a book for a while, I usually read it from the beginning. That way I find rough spots and I make notes on things I need to tie up by the end. It works for me.

    So sorry to hear about your friend's struggle. Hope all goes well.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Kathi - I actually have started doing just that!! I thought it might be the best way to get right back into the story! I've found 2 spots I need to fix up already and I'm feeling the flow building! :)

    Thank you. They're going to be great - it's just going to be different from what they expected.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Looks like you've already gotten lots of great advice about getting back into the swing of your writing.

    Prayers for the little guy and his family.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Susanne - thank you so much. We're using all that positive energy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  57. I have no magical hints other than to say, "Just do it." Start with your last chapter and keep plenty of chocolate next to the keyboard. :-)

    Sending good thoughts your way.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm sorry to hear about the little guy. I wish him the best and hope he gets better.

    Numerous times, for personal reasons or because of writer's block, I haven't touched a manuscript in weeks. I look over my outline and read the last chapter(s) of the wip to ease myself in.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Liz - chocolate is always a good idea and a great inspiration :)

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Medeia - thank you. I appreciate the thoughts.

    This is another good reason to outline - but I can't do those until I'm done the draft! :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Oh---so hard! I go through this twice a year. My best advice is to write ANYTHING--letters, emails, get your mind flowing again. Then do something unusual for perspective. Doesn't always work though. Best of luck! I'll put in a prayer or two for the little guy you mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Heidi - thank you! I appreciate all the positive thinking :)

    Great advice - I've reading through the ms and actually worked on one scene a bit - so I thinking it's working :)

    ReplyDelete
  63. My heart goes out to the little boy and his family (and you). For me, I find that re-reading does the trick. ;D Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Lisa - thanks so much! I started rereading the other night - and it seems to be working. :)

    ReplyDelete
  65. I start from the beginning and re-read the entire MS (sometimes even making notes or minor changes/edits), this immerses me back into the story.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and especially with the little guy and his family.

    Love and hugs,
    Lola

    ReplyDelete
  66. Lola - I like it! Rereading always puts me right in the mood.

    Thanks so much - all your positive energy is much appreciated! :)

    ReplyDelete
  67. I've been on a long hiatus as well. It takes me so long to get back into the swing of writing, but that's just the way it goes. Usually the best thing I can do is read through the story again. If I write without reading, I'm usually doing more harm than good.

    I'm so sorry to hear about this little guy with a serious medical condition. I'll be thinking of you all!

    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  68. Amy - thank you. We appreciate all the kind thoughts being sent our way!!

    I've been rereading and fixing up little bits as I go - seems to be working. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  69. I'm very sorry to hear about the little guy.

    When I'm away from my work for a while, I like to reread my work from the very beginning.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Thanks Wayne - I appreciate the thoughts :)

    That's what I chose to do too. It certainly got me back into the story!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Jemi, you know I've been off blog for a bit so I just saw this. Sending prayers for the little guy.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Thank you so much Linda - he's a sweetheart and we appreciate all the prayers and positive energies! :)

    ReplyDelete