When You Fall Out of Love With Writing…

What can you do about it? There are a myriad of answers to this question, and there’s no magical solution that will help every single author crave the sensation of bleeding their heart onto the page via a pen. Or, as is the case with most of us, clickety-clacking the ever loving hell out of the keyboard to spew our soul onto the screen of whatever digital device our readers have chosen. Because seriously… who would have thought that we’d have pocket computers that could do everything from reading a book to video chatting with strangers on the other side of the globe?

I fell out of love with writing around the same time that my reading time fizzled out. One day I had so many plot ideas running around that I had to quickly type them into a Notepad file before they had the time to disappear. Once my second son was born, I realized that the little relaxation reading time I had with my first was going to become nearly non-existent. Then even stories that had flowed from my fingertips to the page like water became tiny, trickling streams that were eventually stopped altogether by the dam of the demands of motherhood.

Now, my second son will be three in the fall and the urge to create those worlds in my head again is returning. I don’t really have more time in my day, but as my boys become more independent, it gives me more frequent breaks in the whirlwind that is raising two children who are less than two years apart in age.

If you came here for a list of steps to try and rekindle your love of writing, you’re in luck! We’re finally to the bullet list you’ve been seeking. These aren’t guaranteed to work for everyone, but here are five things I’ve been doing to stoke that creative fire.

  1. Read. If you can manage it, read from a hard copy of a book. I’ve discovered that digital reading doesn’t get the juices flowing in quite the same way.
  2. Listen to Music. My world has been engulfed in a hundred different iterations of “The Wheels on the Bus” over the past few years, so a lot of the music that drove my writing hasn’t been in my life, or my ears. Recently, despite my eldest son’s protests about my music being “too loud”, we’ve gone back to the music in the car being “Mommy’s music time”.
  3. Visualize. This sounds hokey, but taking a minute or two to visualize your writing goal can help you achieve it. Do you want to hold a nicely formatted paperback in your hand? Do you want to make a decent side hustle with your writing? Do you want to ultimately quit your day job with the income you plan to make? Will visualization alone help you achieve your goals? Hell, no. And you’re a fool to listen to anyone who tells you that’s all it takes. There’s a lot more involved in it.
  4. Indulge in Another Creative Hobby. Draw. Sing. Sew. Knit. Crochet. Get yourself one of those adult coloring books, if you’re into that. Find something else that fosters your urge to create without stressing about writing. Personally, I knit and crochet… And do crafting vlogs on YouTube.
  5. Just Write. I’m the worst at this one. Even if you write a paragraph and never touch it again. If you sit there and literally write “Blah blah blah. Why did I ever think I was going to be good at this?”, it’s a start! Go from there. Make it into dialogue. Ignore it completely, or go full stream of consciousness. Whatever. The only way you’re going to get anything written is to actually write! For me, that means blogging more frequently when creative writing isn’t working.

None of these ideas are really reinventing the wheel, but hopefully it can help you get out of a dry spell. What are some things you do to get back into the writing mood?