I’ve had several messages this week from writers who are finding it challenging to get back to their writing after the madness and (glorious) mayhem of the holidays.
Did you stop writing over Christmas and New Year? That’s OK. You’ll be fine. We’ll look at some tips to help you to get back into a routine.
Years ago, when my major income came from magazine writing, I’d goof off from December 15 to January 15. In Australia, this is the “silly season”; summer holiday time. Most print magazines started work on their summer issues in August, and by October, they were all done.
So, I’d take a little break, and it was always challenging to get back to deadlines and reality. I’d wait for “inspiration.”
It took years for me to realize that inspiration comes from the writing process itself.
Productivity and inspiration: you’re already inspired
Want to become inspired? Start writing.
Write anything at all. Yes, you can write without an idea in your head. Write anything — write a shopping list. Or write about your lack of ideas: “I can’t write, because I don’t know what to write about, and…”
Just continue the sentence. It often helps if you set a timer for five minutes — you’re not allowed to lift your fingers from the keyboard until the timer sounds.
Here’s another trick I’ve found to kickstart inspiration and writing.
Want to be productive? Challenge yourself to develop five ideas a day, for one month
By “develop”, I mean come up with five ideas, and outline them, or write at least three paragraphs about them.
Your ideas can be about anything at all.
Perhaps you decide to develop:
- Quirky and fun ideas for characters in your current novel;
- Unusual ways to promote your writing services;
- Five ideas for a new novel;
- Methods for eliminating clutter in your home…
Your five ideas a day equals 150 ideas a month: productivity is guaranteed
This strategy works. It rekindles your inspiration, and you’ll be a productivity powerhouse before you know it.
Again, the key word is “develop.” Your idea may be just a few words; a short sentence. Flesh the idea out in several paragraphs. Once you start writing, your initial idea will breed other ideas. It’s like magic.
Whenever I’ve passed this strategy on to a student who was all out of motivation, it takes just a day for the student to start writing. And writing.
Have fun with this.
“Five ideas for a month” can change your life as a writer.
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