Five important things to remember about jumping back into writing your WIP – work in progress.
Perhaps you’re a writer like me and have had some important life-interrupts that have kept you for a period of time from jumping back into your work. Instead of seeing this as a negative, it’s better to look forward and use these tips to shortcut your way back into that writing mindset.
Sometimes it can feel like you’re racing snails in your writing pursuits – how do you get a wider perspective and press on while challenges or interruptions are pulling you aside?
I’ve managed to survive a wildfire, huge medical crises, nine moves, accidents, and mounds of paperwork for claims and still am actively pursuing my writing dreams. How did I do all of this? Let me share five crisp moments of perception with you this week to inspire you to dig in. And please connect with me here for fun upcoming blogs to inspire your creativity and resilience once again.
Five Critical Tips for Restarting Your WIP – work in progress
- Remember your favorite time of day for reading and writing – for me, writing is a morning endeavor. I can edit and read for leisure later in the day, but mornings are when my fingers and thoughts and creativity fly. Cater to your best time of day. Set that alarm and consider your writing time as a work commitment and rise before dawn if it’s necessary. I know other authors who write in the evenings when family obligations have quieted and they can think most clearly. Find your lane and protect it.
- Connect with a community – if you’re re-starting your writing adventures, reach out to your friends or discover new ones who are in step with your writing journey. I’ll be looking forward to connecting with former critique partners (CPs) and new ones. In the past, I’ve also followed #Pitchwars and #amwriting hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to find others who want to critique or are writing in the same genre. There’s CP match ups on Twitter which are super. And your local SCBWI also may host opportunities to connect with writers who would enjoy your work.
- Immerse yourself in your notes and drafts – find an uninterrupted time slot to read through your original notes and chapters. Glance through and update your Pinterest boards and display them in your work area. Resist the urge to edit as you are reading. This is like putting a large hat on. You’re just trying it on, seeing if it still fits, noticing little nuances. One benefit of having let your project rest is objectivity. Don’t lose that first and second read to the editor inside of you. That objectivity is actually a gift and can propel you to make sure the plot is working well and see bigger-picture perspective on your work.
- Connect with creativity – I’m a gemologist and this summer was able to interview some wonderful jewelers. I’m going to enjoy making videos and blog posts about their work as well as others I’ve crossed paths with who are inspiring people. I also just bought some art supplies and plan to take up painting again. Even if no one sees my art, just meddling in the colors and mixing them to pretty music in the background is so soothing and fun. It stirs a different level of creativity than cooking or other endeavors do. Find some other outlet to continue to grow your creativity and express it even if it’s just in small pieces of time.
- Communicate your plan with those you love so that expectations are clear. Are you committed to spending a month getting your systems up running again? I’m trying to block the mornings so I’m not interrupted, but will tell family that afternoons are a better time to reach me. I know that organizing, getting ready for school, house projects, and redoing my office after a water heater exploded are beckoning to me for attention, but if writing is really a priority, I can afford some morning hours to dedicate to moving the ball forward.
What inspires you to keep writing? Make it a priority this fall and it can help you face into challenges and see opportunities that would otherwise fall to the side if you ignore your creativity and that small voice inside that won’t be quieted. Or that character who keeps popping up in your imagination and dreams. Listen to them and see where the path leads. And find your adventurous muse once more.
One great interrupt this summer was our vacation in Hawaii. This was my office for a week! I got to visit some possible locations for my second novel which was so fun!
But now it’s time to write again…here comes the work.