It happens to all of us. We've been working long, hard hours with our writing and we think we'll step back for a few days and take some time off. And then that "few days" becomes a week, and then a few weeks. Or we come back to work and find we can't sit still for long. Pretty soon the work that began last week actually began two weeks ago or a month ago, and that goal to finish grows farther and farther away. We all need some down time, but then how do we get re-energized to get back to work. I don't know how many times I've heard writers say they just can't seem to get re-motivated once they've taken a break. When that happens to me I sometimes have to force myself to get going again.
1. Re-read Your Last Pages -- This is always a good way to get back on the ball and get excited about your story again. Look for problem areas that might have been slowing the story down that made the work seem like such a drudge in the first place. Some writers will re-read their work every day, and that can also be a good way to keep going.
2. Try Writing Some Place Else -- Sometimes your desk is the problem. Maybe it's a mess or maybe you just need a change in scenery. Try to work at a coffee shop or if you don't like all that noise, there is always the library where you can have peace and quiet.
3. Try Doing Research -- This can be good if you know you need a break but you also have information you know you need for the story. Yes, you can get the information online, but get out of the house. Instead of reading about the 19th century, visit a museum where you can see actual articles or clothing from the period. One caveat here -- don't get so wound up in your research it becomes another excuse for not writing.
4. Try a New Time to Write -- Last weekend I had a reader ask me when my best time for writing was. It has been in the early morning for years, but that was when I had a daily job to get to. I would write from 6 to 8 and then get ready for work. While I still often write early in the morning, I also have found that late in the afternoon is a good time for me to write too, so sometimes I let my writing go until then.
5. Try a Retreat -- Getting away from it all to write can be a real blessing. It is a great way to get a story going, to get a story plotted or to totally immerse yourself in your story world. I've done personal retreats where I've locked myself in a hotel room and worked to finish a story, or just gone away for a weekend and written. I've also gone to writers' retreats and I heartily recommend them. Next month I will be going to one in Denver -- Danica Favorite's "Nourishing the Writer's Spirit Retreat" and I'm really looking forward to the experience. It's a chance to talk to other writers and work on my story as well as get come creative ideas. If you'd like more information, please visit: http://danicafavorite.com/retreat .
There is still time to sign up! Good luck with getting re-energized!
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