Writing

Getting back to writing #1: Making writing a priority again ๐Ÿ–‹

Writing 1

Hello fellow bookworms ๐Ÿ–‹ย I’ve got exciting news: I’m starting a new post Series all about getting back to writing again! ๐ŸŽŠ (I’ve honestly never been more nervous to publish any post … because this is the first time I’m actually trying to give some writing advice about things I’ve learned ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฑ )

As you might now, I have been pretty busy with my internship and classes these past 4 months, which is why I failed Camp NaNo in Aprilย (my last writing update btw) and haven’t done anything writing related since. I really tried to, but things got especially bad in May, so I kind of gave up trying to do anything. I simply couldn’t do it. However, now I want to get started on writing again. I have been meaning to edit my WIP since last year and it finally needs to happen.

To be honest I have always had issues writing consistently in the past, with only NaNoWriMo really being the most productive time for me. However, since I’m on my semester break right now, I decided that it was the perfect time to explore how to consistently work on my writing and put it into practice before life gets a lot busier again! After all, I love writing, otherwise I wouldn’t still be trying to do it.

What I did last week was the following: I set up aย weekly schedule for myself with posts to read about developing a writing routine, tackling creative burnout and generally finding motivation to write again. I thought a good way to start off getting into writing again was figuring out how to write consistently again, tackling my writing doubts and planning to become a more productive writer. Each day I would take notes on anything interesting and helpful by hand to later go into my physical writing folder. I also did a free 7 day course about rocking your writing practice, that I loved doing ๐Ÿ’•

schedule
Look at my *much professional* excel spreadsheet ๐Ÿ˜‚

Spoiler: the next update will be all about getting ready to edit my WIP and *gasp* actually doing it ๐Ÿ˜ฑLet's Talk (2)

How to make writing a priority again ๐Ÿ–‹

Develop a writing routine

My biggest problem is that I never had much of a writing routine except for during NaNoWriMo which is probably also why I got my best writing done during that time. After combingย  through a lot of articles about the topic, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp now about how to best build up a routine as it seems like the best way to get back to writing for me personally. I need the routine to make me show up consistently. I especially recommend reading the productivity pyramid by Susan Dennard for the basics,ย  it was aย super helpful tool to learn about the psychology behind habits. Let’s talk about what I learned. (hopefully there might be something among those tips that might help you too)

๐ŸŒท Start off by develop a ritualย as it serves as a behavior cue that reminds your brain itโ€™s writing time. You need props (e.g. your laptop, notebooks …), a location (e.g. your desk, an armchair, maybe in a cafe …) and an action (e.g. making coffee, playing music …) to constitute a ritual that can get you into the writing mindset every time. E.g. I need my laptop to work and would ideally be sitting at a table where it’s quiet as I don’t like any background noises when I work. I’m also a big believer in coffee, so I would 100% be making myself a big cup โ˜•

๐ŸŒท What’s now important is to have adhere to a routine. I’d explain a routine as a daily repetition of your ritual that gets you into the writing ‘zone’. Ideally make writing part of your daily routine by blocking out time in your calendar, so you’re more likely to show up and get it done. It takes about 30 days to build a habit, so sticking to it is important.

๐ŸŒทย Know your energy rhythm, meaning at what times you have most energy and use that time for writing/highly energy consuming tasks. You can try filling out a daily productivity heat map for a few days to find out when you’re most energetic. For me this is the afternoon, but I know some incredible people who are morning people ๐Ÿ˜ฒ It’s also important to find out for how long you can focus before you need to take a break.

๐ŸŒทย Set attainable goals that you want to achieve each session, so you can make the most out of your writing time.

๐ŸŒท Figure out what motivates you to write and how much pressure to apply. Maybe you work best with a reward system or punishments if you don’t hit your goals (definitely not for me ๐Ÿ˜ฑ), figure out what gets you writing AGAIN. As for pressure it’s important to know if you work best with tracking time or words (my favorite!) and if you’d rather set strict ore more open and flexible goals. It all depends on how much pressure you can put on yourself without it overwhelming and burning you out. Everyone has a different level that feels motivating and not draining ๐Ÿ˜Š

๐ŸŒท In Summary: Find your WHERE , WHEN and HOW you write best. It’s often suggested to try out several options before you settle on the perfect conditions for your routine, because you might be surprised to find out what works for you. And for everyone who needs to hear it: you can do this! ๐Ÿ’•

Let's Talk (2)

Use a planner to keep track of your writing

I love planning, so this is a must for me, as I need to have an overview about what is currently going on in my life. I especially recommend Madeline’s posts about planning, because she has so many amazing tips that I found really helpful! ๐Ÿ’–

๐ŸŒท Plan out weekly & monthly writing goals that take you close to your dream. Setting goals has always worked for me, because I need to write down what I want to achieve, so I get motivated to do it. Breaking big goals down can also make you feel less overwhelmed and lets you go after what you want with more structure. It’s always important to set realistic goals, because if youโ€™re like me you often set yourself too many big goals ๐Ÿ˜…

๐ŸŒท Know how much time you have for writing and what other time needs to go into your personal life and other hobbies. That’s really important, because sadly most of us cannot spend our entire time writing and have other tasks or events that we need to do. Basically, plan with how much time you actually have.

Let's Talk (2)

Get organized with your writing

Didn’t I just talk about organization? Yes, I did, but for me this is key ๐Ÿ˜„ I not only like to rely on a planner, I also love Scrivener, a writing program that lets you keep all your files in one single project. Cleaning upย your writing space (be it physical or digital) can be good, as a crowded desk/files always make me feel like I cannot work and give me a reason to procrastinate and do something else.

๐ŸŒท Use Scrivener to get organized. I got this with my NaNo Winner discount and the investment has been worth it. Scrivener can hold all your notes and it also has a lot of cool features that I’m still learning myself. It’s a big relief to have everything in one place and not having to search all the for the information you had written down somewhere. I know that some writers prefer aย journal dedicated to writing (still in awe about that, my handwriting is terrible ๐Ÿ˜‚), so as always it might be best to figure out what system works best for you.

๐ŸŒท Make writing convenient! This feeds into having an organized workspace and having everything you need in advance of your writing session. Itโ€™s better if you can get just started with writing and donโ€™t have to clean up 20 min before getting anything done.

Let's Talk (2)

Self-Care is important!

I’m often bad at self-care but itโ€™s important to mention here that it’s okay if you have off days when you maybe cannot stickย  to your routine. It’s always important to listen to your body and mind and take breaks if things get too overwhelming.

๐ŸŒท Respect your reality. By this I mean, allow your everyday life and writing life to coexist without neglecting one of them. You shouldnโ€™t feel pressure to dedicate all your time to writing, it’s more important make sure you show up consistent.ly.

๐ŸŒทย ย Take breaks to recharge. Like I mentioned, it’s okay and recommended to take breaks every once in a while. That can be especially helpful, because it allows you to fill yourself with new ideas and inspiration by going outside orย consuming other media. A lot of authors call this ‘refilling the creative well’ and I really like that expression.

๐ŸŒท Call yourself what you are: a writer. This is hard for me because I’m often like ‘Am I really a writer???’ But it’s very freeing to embrace that you are a writer no matter what stage you’re at in your journey and no matter how much you have learned and need to learn. We all have the capacity to grow.ย ย Madelineโ€™s post dedicated to all aspiring authors was very helpful to me!

Let's Talk (2)

Get involved in the writing community

Surround myself with those that understand the writing struggles, watching their videos or reading their blog posts this can be so motivating for me. That’s why I started looking out for more writing youtubers and writing blogs that offer advice/writing life stories for me to consume. Feeling connected to the community again is also how I get back to reading and it feels like this can also be applied to writing.

๐ŸŒทย I have been watching a lot of Kate Cavanaugh recently! I’m saving a full recommendations up for another post, but I did want to include one of her videos ๐Ÿ™‚

๐ŸŒทย You might also now that I love Madeline’s Blog.ย She recently went self-hosted and changed up her layout, so I highly recommend that you check out her blog, it’s lovely and very inspiring to me ๐Ÿ’›

Let's Talk (2)

Find out WHY you write

๐ŸŒท This is important, because the WHY is probably why I haven’t given up on writing and why I want to start doing it more frequently again. I really like exploring what made me a writer and the deep seated reason behind it, I highly recommend taking a look at the Writer’s DNA, it’s an interesting post about that, even though the full online course is pretty expensive. Still, even without that one, you can make a list why you’re writing so you can remember that the next time things get difficult. I also like to write down a few of my writing dreams, because it is important to allow yourself those dreams too ๐Ÿ’•

Let's Talk (2)

Writing Resources I recommend for this topic

๐ŸŒท These are most of the posts that I read during the first week of August

Rachel Aaron/Bachย ๐Ÿ–‹ thisblogisaploy

Susan Dennardย ๐Ÿ–‹ susandennard

K.M. Weilandย ๐Ÿ–‹ย Helpingwritersbecomeauthors

Well Storiedย ๐Ÿ–‹

Rachel ๐Ÿ–‹ RachelGiesel

Madeline ๐Ÿ–‹ Happy When Writing

Let's Talk (1)

What writing project are you currently working ? How do you stay motivated to write?ย ๐Ÿ–‹

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25 thoughts on “Getting back to writing #1: Making writing a priority again ๐Ÿ–‹

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post ๐Ÿ™‚ I recently failed the July Camp NaNoWriMo lol and I’m trying to get into a regular routine of writing. I totally agree with you that it is very important to turn it into a habit and show up and get the work done, but to also balance it out with taking care of your self too. If you don’t feel right, your writing will reflect that. And eventually all that showing up and working and setting realistic goals (not big goals like I tend to do too) will eventually pay off! I’m looking forward to future posts in the series โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, that means a lot! ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh no! I totally get it though, as I didn’t win Camp in April and was too busy to participate in July ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m trying to build a habit now and not to be too hard on myself, I hope you manage to do that as well ๐Ÿฅฐ Thank you!! Currently working on revision but another update will come ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant post, Caro! Thanks for sharing so many useful tips and links ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been following Kate Cavanaugh for a while too – one day she popped up on my recommendations feed and I haven’t stopped watching ever since! She’s such a nice person and I love the challenges she gets herself into hahaha
    Keep up the amazing work and good luck! โค โค

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, I am so impressed with how much work and consideration you’ve put into your resolution to make writing a priority. There are so many great resources here that I’m definitely going to check out! For me, I think the biggest thing that helps me with writing is creating a routine that gets me into a writing headspace. Despite the fact that I am not a morning person at all, I’ve found that writing in the morning is weirdly helpful for me! I feel like I’m still in the process of figuring out a routine that works well for me in the long run ๐Ÿ™‚ Best of luck to you with getting back into writing, and thank you for all of this wonderful advice! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I hope the resources can be helpful for you ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’– A writing routine is definitely what I have been trying to establish lately, as it can help so much! I’m not a morning writer but I’m very impressed that you are ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you! Best of luck with your writing as well ๐Ÿ’•

      Like

  4. WOW Caro!! This is magnificent!! What an amazing collection of links and resources โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ I’m so glad that you’re getting back to your writing,. It’s hard to be consistent. I’m not sure many know but most published authors don’t write more than 2 hours a day. It’s hard to maintain the energy even when you’re successful. That inspires me because I know that I just have to keep doing whatever I can and I’ll make it eventually. Keep up the good work!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Dani!! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’– It’s definitely hard, but a routine has been helping so far – I definitely cannot do more than 2 hours of intense work, for me it’s more about what quality work I can get done ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, all the best luck with your writing as well! ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I just clicked on every single article you linked here and my computer might explode but I regret NOTHING. This is exactly the post I’ve been needing and thank you for this, Caro, I LOVE this series so, so much already and can’t wait to read more of it. I always struggle at being consistent with my writing, between blogging, full-time working and everything else it’s hard to make writing a priority again and even if I want to, sometimes, somehow other things manage to come first. Thank you for all of your wonderful advice and for everything, I love this and this is the best post ever, thank you, really โค โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much for the kind words Marie, they mean so much to me!! I’m happy that the resources could be helpful to you ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’– I totally get that, there are so many things going on and for me it was always so hard to fit writing in somehow, when I felt like I had to do everything else first ๐Ÿ˜ฎ THANK YOU!!! I’m so so happy to hear that โคโคโค

      Liked by 1 person

  6. First of all — congrats on getting back into writing again! And second of all — I’m bookmarking this post to check out all these articles later ๐Ÿ˜Š I feel like this coincided perfectly with where I am in life right now as well, because I recently started to make working on my WIP a priority in my own life, and I’m still experimenting with what routine works best for me along with school and everything else in my life.

    I can’t wait to see your next update, and best of luck with working on your WIP! โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Zoie – I hope these articles can be helpful for you ๐Ÿฅฐ Good luck with your routine, I hope you find one that fits perfectly! It’s always hard to make time for writing and stick for it, but I think we can both do it! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you! Best luck to your and your WIP as well โค

      Like

  7. Itโ€™s okay to get behind sometimes โ€“ you had a lot a to do, and I relate! I havenโ€™t written anything in about a month, and I just donโ€™t feel like it right now. I just started school again, which makes things harderโ€ฆ :/ But itโ€™s okay to have setbacks sometimes.

    Scheduling sounds like a good way to feel productive! I hope youโ€™re able to get back into a routine for writing, but donโ€™t be too hard on yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love all of these tips for making a routine, and Iโ€™ll have to try them myself one day! I have a planner for blog posts, but I should also try to plan out my WIP writing as well!

    I love watching Kate Cavanaughโ€™s videos when I need some inspiration! ๐Ÿ˜‚ And thank you so much for all of these great resources! Iโ€™ll definitely look into them soon! ๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’m trying to convince myself that it’s okay to not always be on track, especially with university and other stuff going on! It can be so tough to keep up with writing so I feel you ๐Ÿ˜”

      Thank you!! ๐Ÿฅฐ I have managed to establish a semi-routine for myself, so that’s good news ๐Ÿ™‚ I love planning and especially spreadsheets have been helpful lately!

      Yeees, she always manages to motivate me! Who says watching Youtube can’t be productive too ๐Ÿ˜‚ Thank you, I hope they can help a bit! ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  8. CARO I am so happy I discovered this post!!! I’ve also been wanting to get back into writing but could definitely use some help getting motivated to do it again, so I am so happy that you linked to so many great articles and resources! I’ll definitely be eagerly awaiting your next getting back into writing post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my goodness, I love this post SO MUCH! ๐Ÿ’› It’s the absolute ULTIMATE guide. I feel like all my posts always try to get at this idea — that if you want to commit to your writing and tell your story, you’ll have to make it a priority. And you just summed it up so amazingly and comprehensively and I LOVE it. This is such a great resource for writers, so thank you for taking the time and effort to share all your amazing knowledge with it. And of course, thank you so much for your support! It seriously means the world to me that I can positively impact your journey. ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›

    Liked by 1 person

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