Writing Hiatus, How to Come Back From One
Don’t Give Up
As I’ve said in the blog post Coming Back from a Hiatus, a hiatus will often sneak up on you. It usually starts with an excuse, “I am tired from work. I’ll write tomorrow,” then you continue to excuse yourself from writing. Consequently, you’ll end up in a writing hiatus. Never fear, though! A writing hiatus doesn’t spell the end of your writing goals and dreams. As long as you come back and get back in the habit of writing, all isn’t lost. Let’s talk about how to come back from the dreaded writing hiatus:
Recognize that you are in a writing hiatus
As they say, the first step to remedying a problem is recognizing you have one. The way I realized it was when I was talking to friends about my writing. They asking how much I write every day and it dawned on me that I hadn’t written anything in a week or more. Nothing is more sobering than your fellow writers talking about writing and you having to admit you’ve made no progress. As a result, I recognized I was a writer that talked about writing, but didn’t actually write. It wasn’t long after that I started working towards getting back to writing.
Start writing again as soon as possible
Preferably, the moment you realize you haven’t written in a while. However, that, of course, isn’t feasible for everyone. Ultimately, you just need to start writing as soon as possible. Write anything for as long as possible. At this point, you will be well on your way to recovering from said writing hiatus.
Start a writing schedule
At this point, you just need to set a schedule. For example, every day when I got home from work, I’d sit in my office for at least an hour. Some days, I’d only write a few words. In the beginning, especially, I would find myself just sitting there, doing nothing for the hour. That’s okay. The key here is to just get in the habit of creating time for writing.
While you are on hiatus, you find yourself making any excuse to avoid writing. You find yourself wasting time and claiming there is no time for writing. You are essentially going to be proving yourself wrong and force yourself to make time. It doesn’t have to be a long amount of time or even at the same time every day. Ultimately, you just need to make the time. Sequester a chunk of time and just sit somewhere where you plan on writing a lot.
Over time, you’ll regain your ability to write daily
As you sit there day-by-day, staring at a blank screen or page, you’ll eventually start writing again. The more you write, the longer you’ll be able to write. As a result, you’ll build that writing habit back up. Bye bye hiatus. Hello, writing.