Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How to get your writing groove back

Tip of the Day: did you know the CW shows are back on this week? Not only are they full of gossip and fun, but they also make excellent research tools.

Setting up my new Wii Fit this weekend and having the voiceover tell me that practice can improve your balance, strength, and overall physical wellbeing, I was once again reminded how much fitness and writing are alike.

Not only that writing everyday improves your overall ability. But that coming back to it after a break, I always feel sluggish, out of practice, and feel like a beginner all over again.

This summer I’ve taken a short break from writing, just to regroup, think about the latest book, and take a breather. In the past few weeks, I’ve attempted to start up writing again. But after such a long break, it’s hard to find the groove again.

Now that I’m struggling starting up, I think I’m going to try a few of these writing-related exercises/tips to get me productive again.

  • Writing for 15 minutes immediately after waking up. In the past, this has really helped to get my mind thinking about writing.
  • Giving myself a goal everyday. Right now, I’m going to try time goals, instead of page length goals or word count goals. Just to mix it up.
  • Free writing. Writing about anything without stopping for 15 minutes or more.
  • Making my writing space more inviting. For me, this means, I need to pitch the fifty papers lying around my computer that really don’t need saving.
  • Just force myself to sit down and write. Because usually once I'm there, I'm fine. It's just getting into the chair that's the hard part.

Hopefully some of these will help with writing again. Now, if only I can get a calendar to stamp everyday to measure my writing accomplishments for the month. I think it would help me tremendously.

Do you have any other tips that have helped your write again after a break?

--Emily, Miss Awaiting an Agent


amuse me said...

"How Emily Got Her Groove Back" -- sound like a good title for a movie? I like your reinforcement of writing everyday. I hope I'm improving, but the surprising thing I have found are the words come easier and faster the more I write.

Kate Fall said...

Clean up my desk??? I guess that's possible, but my husband would probably have a heart attack.

15 minute spurts really help! They helped me a lot during NaNoWriMo last year. I like to have support, too--someone I can report back to and say "I did it! I met my goal!"

Lisa Schroeder said...

All I can say is - OMG, you have Wii Fit??? I want it, the kids want it, we WANT IT!!

It's been out every time we've asked about it. I need to try harder though, because at this point, I think it'd make a great Christmas gift.

I think it's great you took a break. I bet you'll find your groove very soon! :)

Emily Marshall said...

Marion--I was actually thinking of that movie when I named this post :)

Kate, 15-minutes spurts definitely make a difference.

Lisa, it took me forever to find. I finally tracked one down in a near-by city. And grabbed the last one they had for the day. It's crazy how hard they are to find.

Kristina Springer said...

Can you post somewhere (maybe your personal if not here) a review of the Wii Fit? I've been wondering how it is too! :-)

And how do I get back in the groove? Just go out to the coffee shop again and it kicks in. I was nervous when I took such a big break with the baby but it all came back again.

Emily Marshall said...


I might have to do the review. I do really like it so far. I just got it though.