Into the Groove

2013-11-26 09.09.21

It’s that time of year again.

The kids have gone back to school and the house returns to something less like an explosion at Legoland.

I rush to my desk, eager to start work. Reaching for my laptop, I switch it on, the screen opens and…

…Nothing!

I stare at it again, waiting for words to magically spring to mind. Spots start to dance across my vision and a pain creeps across my forehead. An hour later I’ve made a shopping list, looked at Jamie Oliver recipes and bought a pair of jeans.

Another morning well spent then!

The entire school holidays consisted of me making notes on scraps of paper, endless planning grabbing every minute I could. Then when I finally get more than twenty minutes to myself I spend it studying the mating habits of the South American Sloth.

Feeling very sloth-like myself at the minute, I wonder what the hell is wrong with me. Do I have some kind of mental deficiency? (On second thoughts probably best not to pull on that thread). Did I bang my head too many times when I was a child and my focus simply fell out?

Whatever the reason, I can’t get rid of the feeling of total hopelessness and an intense need for cake.

It’s not writers block, it’s not even ‘writers can’t be arsed’ (as Jane Wenham Jones so aptly named it.) It seems to be a complete inability to function on a writing level at all. I’m not even sure I should be trusted with a pen of my own.

We have just welcomed a new addition to our family, and while I’m sure that this has something to do with my lack of focus, I’m running out of excuses.

I rang a writing friend for a bit of moping and it turns out she was experiencing the same thing. So it got me thinking about ways we could kick start our writing. I come up with three ways to try. By the end of the week I had one completed short story, with ideas for two others, I created a writing schedule for a screenplay and I was feeling a lot less like sticking my head in the oven.

So for anyone struggling to get back into their groove, here are three ideas to get working. Good Luck!

  1. Write something new.

The pressure of writing on working projects, a couple of which are very near completion, gives me palpitations. So I opened a new page and just started writing. I poured anything that was in my head onto paper. Eventually a story began to emerge.

  1. Write a list of WHAT I want to work on and WHY?

There’s nothing like purpose to get you excited about a project. But having goals aren’t enough. You also need to know WHY you want them. This way when you start to flag in the motivation department you can go back to your reasons and feel the flood of purpose all over again.

I listed down all the projects I want completed by the end of the year and why I want them. By the end of it I couldn’t wait to get working.

  1. Schedule and plan.

Creating a writing routine is great and gets momentum going, but you also need a plan to work to. Otherwise you are back to staring at the screen, resisting the urge to pour tea over the keyboard.

I created a writing schedule around my family, and then wrote out a very basic plan of what I would work on and when. Now there is no need to sit in front of the screen wondering what to write because I already know.

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