Ever since I published Instructions for Falling in Love Again I have struggled to find my way back to writing.
Soon after my debut novel launched I threw myself into my second book; working title Heartbreak Cafe. This is a story which has been through six drafts and the Romantic Novelists New Writers Scheme. I had started writing it in the gaps between the drafts of Instructions so it seemed logical to me it would become book 2.
But then my writing wheels fell off; the creative tingles disappeared, my characters went quiet, my ideas dried up and fear set in. I had many failed attempts at forcing myself to sit down in a chair to write my seventh draft, it was horrid. Writing felt like an unreachable faraway land.
So, I stepped away from writing, ranted a lot on social media, put my heart into hitting my Goodreads challenge, started going to the gym and ignored the dust gathering on my laptop.
Something which has been comforting and has given me a lot of reassurance is spending time reading my old blog posts and writing journals. This has shown me that I am no stranger to finding my way back to writing.
Over the years I have endured several bleak spells and every time I have, somehow, found my way back to writing.
So, how do you find your way back to writing?
I have gone through my writing journals dating back to 2014 and noted down what has worked in the past:
- Let go of whatever you are working on. I did have a conversation with author Lucy Keeling about this. She suggested putting Heartbreak cafe aside for a bit. It’s worked for me in the past. Well, I have now done this and I already feel lighter.
- Positive self talk. I haven’t been talking to myself in a positive way during this bleak spell. Questioning whether I am still a writer and telling myself I am a one trick pony has not been helpful. So over the last few days I have started talking positively to myself and saying stuff like, I am creative, I am a writer and I will write lots of books in my lifetime.
- Visualisation. I have been visualising me sat at the kitchen table writing and scribbling in a notebook. I am doing this when I wake up and before I go to sleep.
- Change the music. I listen to a lot of music and since the summer I have been listening to a lot of 90’s dance music. It reminds me of my youth. So I have changed my music. I now listen to classical music. I don’t know why but classical music always gets my creative juices going.
- Signal to the universe you are open to receiving new ideas. I have stuck a sign on my mirror which says, I am open to receiving new ideas.
- Be patient. While you are busy working on something new your brain assign a few brain cells to assessing what went wrong on the project which caused the block.
I can confirm I do feel different. After spending time with two friends earlier I did come home and scribble down a wisp of a new idea.
Reading my journals and blog posts have really helped. I can find my way back, I have done it before and I will do it again. Which brings me on to my last tip – keep the faith!
It’s not easy finding your way back to writing.
Keep writing x