Has your writing taken a summer vacation? My critique group took a hiatus during the summer and so did my writing life. I needed the break. Spending time gardening, camping with friends and cooking over a fire was just what this writer needed. But now I need to refocus.
Did the hiccups of a summer routine interrupt your writing? Maybe you took a vacation or have been playing solitaire way to much. If so, here are four steps to get back on track.
- Connect with your critique group or writing support system—My critique group met tonight. It’s only been two months since we last met, but it was like meeting long lost friends. We mostly spent the time talking about our summer and how we feel about our writing at this juncture. We set a date in September to begin are bi-weekly meetings. Just connecting with this group, starts my creative juices flowing.
- Identify small action steps – Select one writing project and dissect it into manageable pieces to get you started. This is especially important if you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Mind-map your writing life—In the last Writers On the Move blog post, Shirley Corder discusses mind-mapping as a way to stimulate the right brain. For me, mind mapping my writing life is especially helpful when I have been disconnected from my writing. I use the program Freeplane and identify the progress and next step for each of my writing projects. Freeplane provides a visual map for my small action steps.
- Commit to a time to write – For the last few years, I had the luxury to be able to write for long blocks of time. With a new job, I now have to squeeze writing into my life. My plan is to write four mornings a week, before I start my day. I’ll start my day by putting my goals first.
Have you slacked off this summer? If so, how do you plan to reconnect with your writing life?