Whether we want it to or not, life intervenes from time to time to stop your writing. In my case it was an unexpected surgery and an even more unexpected reaction (or non-reaction) to any pain killers afterward. I’m fine now and the surgery was a success, but back to my point.
I fell out of the writing habit. And may I just say, man this sucks. There’s a reason I religiously sit my butt down and write every single day in my regularly scheduled life. Getting back into the writing habit is worse than trying to establish an exercise regimen. At least I can bribe myself with good music in the headphones while I sweat or a treat after a workout.
But forcing myself to write again is like giving myself a root canal without anesthesia.
Here’s the thing. I love the book I’m working on. It’s completely outlined, so I know what comes next. I need to to get this thing turned into my publisher who’s eagerly awaiting it and being totally nice about when they get it. I enjoy creating this story.
But I’ve allowed bad habits to creep into my life in place of actual writing. I built an awesome website to go with the fantasy novel franchise I’m writing on. I got caught up on my fave TV shows and found a couple of fabulous shows to binge watch on Netflix. My house is clean. Well, clean-ish.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: WRITING IS A HABIT.
There are any number of ways to form a habit, and some of them may make you completely crazed and do nothing to help you write. I encourage you to find your own methods to get yourself writing consistently. For me, I’ve had to resort to a timer and forcing myself to stare at my computer and do NOTHING else until that stingy little bastard of a bell finally rings. I bored myself into actually producing new words.
I’ve had to forbid myself from editing any previous part of the current manuscript. I’ve bribed myself with chocolate-dipped frozen bananas. I’ve stayed up late to write, I’ve gotten up early to write, I’ve left the house to write. I have written long-hand, I’ve written in my favorite leatherbound journal. I’ve outlined, I’ve used writing prompts, I’ve written scenes out of order. I’ve disconnected my laptop from the Internet.
I’ve resorted to every trick I know to get my butt back in the chair, my hands back on the keyboard, and words appearing on my computer screen.
I’m not back to anything near my usual level of productivity, but I know that will come with time. Until then, I’m trying to be patient with myself. I’m managing to get anywhere from three to ten pages a day written. But I’m finally doing it again every single day.
Writing. Is. A. Habit.