Perhaps you dream of writing a book. Or starting a blog. Or reading your poetry on your favorite radio station one day.
But today, it doesn’t feel like you’ll ever get there.
This post is for you if:
- You’ve stopped writing altogether.
- You write infrequently.
- You write, but you just don’t feel inspired. Maybe you even hate what you wrote.
- You’re not quite connecting to the original project. Something’s changed and it’s holding you back.
Revisit Your Writing Dream
When you started your book or blog or poetry or journaling, what did you dream would happen?
- Did you envision your writing might change you and your life in some ways? How?
- How did you envision your writing would affect your readers (if you envisioned a public project and not just writing for yourself?
- What impact did you hope your writing might have on your community or the world?
Consider these dreams again. Perhaps they’ve changed a bit. Maybe you no longer want to write nonfiction but you want to return to a childhood love of poetry. Or maybe your audience is shifting from a broad audience to a more niche group of readers? Maybe your personal or business goals have changed. If so, it’s time to revisit your dream and revise!
Imagine you’ve completed the writing project and published it or read it publicly.
- Where do you share it?
- What does it feel like to publish or share your writing?
- What do you imagine people saying afterward about how your book or other writing affected them?
- What new activities do you find yourself enjoying since publishing your work?
Now go even deeper, close your eyes for five minutes and daydream about it. Then try one or more of these lists:
- List five emotions you would like to feel when you publish or share your work. You can choose from this list of emotions.
- List 5 activities or opportunities that your writing may open up for you.
- List 5 places you might go to share your writing or teach the lessons in your book, etc.
- List 5 people you’d love to be interviewed by.
- List 5 wonderful things people might say to you about your writing.
- If your old project isn’t doing it for you, list 5 new things you might write or write about.
Now pick a couple of these possible experiences and write about them as you imagine them in detail.
Are You Inspired Yet?
You can also reinvigorate your passion for writing by reading some of your previous work. Don’t judge but read rather for delight. Find words or phrases you enjoy. You may surprise yourself!
Once you feel re-inspired by your writing dreams, you may want to troubleshoot, to see if you need to change your thinking, your habits or your support network to stay connected to your writing dreams and to stay on track to realize those dreams.
The first thing to do is make time for writing. This may likely involve taking some things off your plate to make more time for writing.
- You can also find time by going to bed a half hour earlier and waking up a half hour earlier to write.
- Schedule writing time in your calendar and keep it sacred. Otherwise, it’s too easy for your day to come and go with no writing progress made.
- Consider making writing a daily habit (or a 5-day-a-week habit).
- Return to your writing dreams any time you find yourself drifting off course and neglecting the writing.
- Find a way to be accountable: a writing accountability partner, a writing coach/editor or a writing community.
Fire Your Inner Saboteur
Almost all writers have experienced that inner critic that says, “You’re not good enough,” “No one will ever read this,” “Boring,” “Blah” or feel free to fill in your negative self-talk _______________________________________.
Thank the critic for its opinion and beg to differ. Some new replacement thoughts you can choose include, “I know I have this passion for a reason and I’m going to pursue it,” “I enjoy writing and I’m just going to see where it goes,” “I can write a crummy first draft and get feedback from beta readers or editors to improve it later,” “I remember when I won that poetry prize; I must have some skill,” “The more I write, the better my writing will get,” or, “I’m just going to experiment and have fun writing today; no pressure.”
Just Start Writing
Set an alarm with a commitment to start writing when it rings. Use your outline to find a place in the project you feel inspired to begin with today. Or use a prompts journal if you don’t have a specific project in mind. Journaling can serve as a gateway to new ideas or can spark creativity before diving into your bigger project.
You can time yourself and say, “I’ll just write for 15 minutes,” for example. Set a timer. When those 15 minutes are up, stretch a little, take a few deep breaths and then reset the time to write more. Small increments can make it feel easier.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received when you felt stuck? Or what advice have you given yourself or others to get back in the flow of inspiration? Share your advice in a comment below.