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5 Tips for Getting Back in the Groove

Cheryl's Musings: 5 Tips for Getting Back in the Groove

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


5 Tips for Getting Back in the Groove

Spring Break! Those two words take me back to memories of school—and a few days’ freedom from it. What do you think when you hear those words? Sunshine? Beaches? Sleeping in?

100_0008This year, our Spring Break involved four days of camping, hiking, and biking in the desert of Moab, Utah, where it rained and snowed and didn’t fit the typical Spring Break imaginings. No high-speed internet, no cell phone coverage, no electricity…just lots of time to explore, read, play card games, and hang out. And it was wonderful.

But now here I am, back at my desk, trying to figure out what the heck I was working on when I left. I’ve written before of the importance of keeping your writing momentum—but everyone has those times when, for whatever reason, you’ve had to take a break from the page. How do you get back in the groove?

  1. Refamiliarize: Re-read your work in progress (WIP), plot outline, setting notes, character bible—whatever writing you’ve done on the project, re-read and re-group. Fill your subconscious with story details and watch what happens!
  2. Immerse: Find a block of time with minimal distractions, a time when you can take all the time you need to wrap your head around your project and start writing again.
  3. Or Start Small: If diving back into your WIP gives you a panic attack, try re-entering the work with small assignments. Freewrite a scene or a bit of backstory, or set a small #writegoal with Twitter friends for encouragement and accountability.
  4. Avoid Excuses: It’s hard to take time to write after a break. I know—I’m studiously ignoring the laundry that still needs to be put away. But I also know it can wait. I know that if I worked a desk job, I’d put in my work hours before tackling housework; my writing time deserves the same respect!
  5. Think Nike: Just Do It! Sometimes it’s hard to get started on projects, but remember: every word you write is a word that takes you nearer to your destination. The sooner you start moving again, the sooner you’ll rediscover your groove.

Happy writing, everyone!

:) Cheryl


*Lily, rock-climbing poodle extraordinaire. Note the dog booties: the rock’s sandpaper surface wears out the pads on a dog that runs as much as this one. The booties helped—although she ran holes in them, too!

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At April 2, 2011 at 8:59 AM , Blogger Pam Asberry said...

Cheryl, I'm glad you had such a wonderful break and admire the way you are jumping right back into your writing. Our spring break starts today; we aren't going anywhere, but are taking a few days to work on some home improvements projects - painting my son's bedroom and my piano studio, and making over my writing space. I am looking forward to some time off from my daily routine - including writing - but I know I will be ready to get back to it when this break is over. Thanks for the inspiration!

At April 4, 2011 at 9:34 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Hi Pam! Taking a break from writing is sometimes the best way to help me remember that--oh, yeah! I *love* it! That's why I keep hammering away at this career .

I hope you're enjoying your time off!

At April 19, 2011 at 11:32 AM , Blogger Julie Musil said...

I would love to visit Moab, UT! It looks like you guys had a great time. Our spring break isn't until next week :D

Great tips for jumping back in

At April 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM , Blogger Jennie Bennett said...

Yeah for Moab! I have taken many a respite there (mostly at the end for march so I sympathize) But I know how hard it can be to get back after enjoying nothing but fresh air and sunshine for a few days. Thanks for the tips!

At April 23, 2011 at 2:10 PM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Hi Jen--Yeah, March in Moab can be iffy, but we still had a lovely time :). Thanks for stopping by!


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