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The Importance of Being Able To Find Your Way Back To Your Writing #AmWriting

After reading as much as I can about the literary journeys of different authors, I have come to the conclusion that writing success comes to those who have…mastered the art of finding their way back to their projects.

We leave our stories behind for a variety of reasons:

We need to distance ourselves from them at the end of drafting.
Beta reader criticism has started to sting.
Rejections have broken our heart.
We don’t think it is working as a story.
We have lost faith in our abilities.
For whatever reason we bid farewell to a writing project, finding our way back to it can be one of the hardest things we will ever have to do.

Returning to a first or second or tenth draft which you finished writing a few months ago can be tough, especially when all those fuzzy, warm feelings have vanished.

Trying to find your way back to something which came under heavy criticism from beta readers requires bags of bravery.

Going back to a story which didn’t work the first time but you know you have to try again is challenging.

Finding your way back to a project which got a lot of rejections is character building. There are a few projects of mine which have been rejected and are now burning holes in my writing folders.

I ADMIRE all the writers out there who find their way back to projects, which were rejected, criticised, hated, broken or faulty and either improve them or turn them into something better. You are my heroes.

So, how do you master the art of finding your way back to your writing?

You become a believer in the art of revision. The famous quote, ‘almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts,’ is on your desk.

You know you’ve been here before with a first draft. You know that after a couple of drafts your feelings will change.

You believe in your work and your abilities.

You are able to wrestle your ego to the floor when it starts telling you all sorts of unwanted stuff about rubbish your first draft sounded.

You know you can touch people with your stories.

You are willing to accept writing success is all about playing the long game. Your story might not work now, but in time when you have grown as a writer, distanced yourself from it AND found your way back, it might set the world on fire!

Have you ever had to find your way back to a project?

Keep writing x

8 comments on “The Importance of Being Able To Find Your Way Back To Your Writing #AmWriting

  1. Amen this this, Lucy!
    I’m experiencing it a little right now, but I know deep down, the story will sort itself our, eventually… But right now, there is too much other stuff crowding my brain, which won’t allow me to go back to it, happily 🥰

  2. I too, cannot seem to summon up the necessary enthusiasm to write. Just hoping it’s temporary!

  3. I’m quite lucky that once I start a project, I generally see it through (minus the time taken to distance myself from the first draft for editing). But I totally get this in reading, because sometimes I put down a book for long enough, and I end up not being able to pick up where I left off.

  4. I have a project I’ve put on hold. I have the beginning and the end, but the middle wouldn’t come, so I’ve shelved it.
    I’m sure the idea is good, but I can’t bring myself to return to it. It’s not writing as a whole I can’t bring myself to do. Just this one project. I’ve finished a novella and nearly finished the final draft of a novel, but I can’t get around to this one!

  5. Yes Lucy! So true!! I am continuously working to find my way back to projects. It’s not easy. Great post.

  6. I have to admit that I’m going through a slump right now. My editor/cover maker lives in another country and I haven’t heard from her in over a month. The 2 books that were supposed to be published are on hold, and I worry if she is be all right. Sometimes the internet in her area is C#@p, for weeks or months at a time, so we try to get things done ASAP when we can.

    Sometimes, I just have to let it all go — binge watch a series, take walks, write a blog post — and accept that slumps happen. For when the inspiration hits, I watch my fingers dance on the keyboard as they spin a story, and hold on for a wild ride. 🙂

  7. I abandoned a barely-begun novel for two years (years!). Then in January 2017, I committed to my critique group to have a chapter ready for each of our monthly meetings until it was finished. This went against advice to keep a first draft to oneself until the work is finished, but it worked! I cranked out a chapter every month for 16 months. Then I spent six more months rewriting and editing, and published the book in the autumn of 2018.

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