Starting up again, after a long writing drought

If you’ve had a long non-productive spell in your writing and are making plans to start up again, structure your reentry plan so that failure is unlikely to occur. Protect yourself from the habitual tendencies that will predictably derail your train of words if given the chance.

Begin by taking small steps that would be very difficult to not do. For instance, if your goal is to start writing every day, make the sessions short (maximum of 15 minutes) so it’s hard to rationalize skipping the session.

Sometimes people in this situation complain to me that small steps are not enough, considering the scope of what they want to accomplish. I understand, but, small is better than no steps, and excessively challenging daily goals activate gnarlier resistances. Be pragmatic and don’t discount seemingly small steps – they add up over time, and your daily productivity will grow as the writing habit grows stronger.

If you have identified factors that have helped you write successfully in the past, incorporate these elements into your preparations and planning for your writing sessions. This could be as simple as recreating the same writing space you had when you wrote well in the past. If someone was very helpful on a previous successful project, is that person or someone similar available now?

Writers are always working on this issue of commitment to their work, and over a career, falling off the wagon and getting back on is a common dynamic. Getting back on the wagon sooner rather than later is better, but it’s never too late.

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About David Arnot Rasch

Author, psychologist, speaker, workshop leader
This entry was posted in Common Writing Block Problems, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination. Bookmark the permalink.

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