How to Find Your Way Back to Writing #WritingCommunity


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


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Still waiting for the Sleepless in Seattle film sequel. Romcom Author. Book Blogger. Mum of teens. Owned by a golden Labrador.

22 thoughts on “How to Find Your Way Back to Writing #WritingCommunity

  1. I’m glad you’re back at it Lucy, and I look forward to reading the next one. But you’re right, you can’t force it and sometimes it is best to step away. I took 2 months off writing last year. I needed to and it meant I could come at the next book with fervour. Great post.

  2. Glad you found your way back to writing and thank you for a very timely reminder and nudge. I’ve been in the wilderness for 4 years or so, it’s very painful coming back to writing after such a long break.

    1. It’s been a struggle Ritu but hopefully it will come back. I am one of those people who likes to look back on stuff and say β€œyea that’s why that happened. I get it now.” I hope one day I will look back and think yep there was a reason why my muse ran away 😍

  3. One of the worst things you can do is worry. And I speak from experience, for I worried myself inside out for weeks when my muse left the building!
    Once I stopped beating myself up about it, it all came back. It must be something like reverse psychology!

  4. Great post, as always! My issue now is jumping back into the driving seat with my “big book”, AKA “the book of my heart”. I have to be in that big book zone…music helps (I make a soundtrack for each of my WIP), exercise helps, however, I think the other thing that factors in for a lot of us writers, and the thing which bugs me enormously is TIME. There is simply never enough of it…ever! And that can create pressure of the “I have thirty minutes so I really should be writing but my brain refuses to cooperate” anxiety. I guess the trick is to remember all the reasons that you love writing, and then to go with all those positives. Make writing your ultimate “hygge” experience; whatever that means for you. A large cup of tea, classical music playing softly, chocolate (for me, a “must”) and that calm acknowledgement that you are doing the thing you love. I’ve almost convinced myself now!!

    1. Oh Tracy! Love this comment. I don’t know what happened to my writing head. 6 drafts of Heartbreak cafe sucked the life out of me. I think I stopped seeing writing as my β€˜hygge’ experience. Writing lost its magic. I feel sorry for my characters who now eye rolling me. One day I will be in a better place to finish it.

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