Until recently, I’d posted nothing here for months—all of the last 6 months of 2012, really. My pets column hit an all-time low for posts per week, month and year from spring through summer. And I’d done nearly no new work on fiction writing during the whole of 2012. I flogged myself to produce enough verbiage to fill a newsletter for my husband’s law firm every month, though not always in the target week.
I began to wonder whether I really deserved to call myself a writer after all. The word-drought had started with two of our 4 ferrets succumbing to old age early in the year (January and March). Losing our elderly dog, Crystal, in September did not help, either.
The problem with getting out of the habit of writing? All the things that move in to fill up the time you used to use for writing during the days/weeks/months you haven’t been writing.
So what can you do to get back into writing if you’ve had a hiatus, however short or long? One approach that works for me is to trick myself into it. I may not think I have time to just write, but I can usually steal ten minutes here, five minutes there, at least enough to jot down a sentence or two at a time.
Belonging to a writers group has also helped me. Getting together with friends twice a month to talk about writing keeps me accountable in the gentlest possible way. But the one or two short writing exercises we do every meeting also kept me stringing words together in a small way even when I wrote next to nothing on my own.
When I decided to start fostering rescue dogs, the excitement of dealing with new dogs helped bring my pet writing back to life. I still didn’t always manage daily (or even weekly) posts if life got busy, and there have still been gaps, but more posts appeared during the past four months than during the preceding eight.
And over time, as I get back into the groove of writing for one venue, I find myself thinking about writing in general more often. I’ve restarted posting here occasionally, and may even get back to my children’s novels soon.