When you commit to writing seriously it can be likened to starting a new relationship. Like all relationships this one, with your writing, will go through many emotional highs and lows. There will be times when your writing will light you inside, fill your body with tingles and make you have a strong urge to throw open your windows and burst into song for the whole neighbourhood to hear.
Sadly there will be other times when you will have to physically turn away from your writing, or be led away from it by a loved one. They will think you need to go lie down in a darkened room as they will sense your purple face means you are close to doing something you will later regret (like hovering over the delete button with a wicked grin on your face).
So, how does one fall back in love with their writing and return to those heady days of whispering sweet nothings at a laptop screen and letting their neighbours hear their own special dawn chorus?
Here’s my top tips for falling in love again with your writing:
- Change your inner script. This is a biggie for me. Change the way you speak about your writing in your head. If you constantly tell yourself you don’t like what you are writing I guarantee you will write more of the same. If you start telling yourself you have faith in your writing and you will soon see something you can start to work with I guarantee things will change. This is magic for me. It also works well with Writer’s Block. If you tell yourself you are blocked then you will carry on feeling blocked. Change your inner script and let the magic begin.
- Remind yourself of when times were great. Go back and read something you were really proud of writing. Dig out any positive feedback you got and read that too. Read as much as you can; comments, reviews and good feedback.
- Listen to your writing heart. When I mean listen I mean spend some serious time listening to what your writing heart is telling you. It’s easy to get carried away with ideas and emotions when writing and ignore our writing heart. When I fall out with my writing there is always a reason and it’s always because my writing heart is trying to tell me something. Either I have gone down the wrong track with a story or I am missing something.
- Clean out your head. You and your writing spend an unhealthy amount of time together in your head. Sometimes you need to have a clear out up there and shake things up a bit. Unplug from all forms of social media, change your music playlist, indulge in self-care and throw yourself into the arms of a good book. You want one of those books which inspire you to pick up the pen and write. Even though I am a romance writer I have a passion for fantasy books and they always give me that burning desire to write. Fill your head up with good stuff.
- Write down dreams and daydreams (if you can remember them). This is another biggie for me. The answers to a lot of my writing problems are buried within my dreams and daydreams. Even I can only remember fragments I still write them down. Follow what your mind is leading you to.
- Visualise yourself LOVING your writing. Think about what you look like when you are enjoying your writing. So, I will have a goofy smile across my face, I will be murmuring and humming, my eyes will be wide and there will be a pink flush taking over my face. Take that image of yourself and stick it at the front of your mind. Keep focusing on it. I have learnt that what I focus on turns up inside my life. If you go around visualising yourself slumped over your desk cursing every word than guess what? That’s going to happen to you.
If all the above fails go to my plan B:
Stick on some Luther Vandross, turn the lighting down low, slip on some thing fabulous – outfit wise, stick a rose between your teeth and invite your laptop for a slow and romantic dance. Twirl around the living room gazing longingly at your laptop and then take to the sofa where you work your way through a box of delicious chocolates whilst whispering how hot your latest draft looks on screen (ignore the typos or rubbish bits – no one is perfect in a relationship). Another guaranteed winner which will have you throwing open your window and bursting into song the morning after – *sigh*