By Liz, grudgingly admitting summer is over here in Connecticut
So, another Bouchercon is over. The day job is (hopefully) about to quiet down some, although I have my doubts about that. Shaggy just celebrated her 8th birthday. I have a few author events coming up in the next few weeks, but otherwise the fall and winter months are stretching ahead with shorter days and longer nights, and writing time aplenty (theoretically).
The problem? I’m having some trouble getting back into the swing of the writing thing. Yes, I brought my computer to Bouchercon. No, I didn’t write a word. And in the days before I left, one crisis after another kept me from getting too much work done. When I returned, I was home for a day then gone for another two on a work trip. No, I didn’t get any writing done there either because I was too busy catching up on the work that didn’t get done while I was on vacation. By the time all of that was handled, well, I just got out of the habit.
And many of us writers know how hard it is to get back in the saddle when that happens.
So the past few days, as I really sink back into normal life again, I’ve been trying some tricks to get motivated. Here are a few things that have worked:
- Re-immerse myself in the story as I left it. I’ve been doing that in a couple of ways – reading through scenes, reading my plotting notes, doing some research to get me excited about the story again. As my wise blog sister Barbara Ross says, the longer you’re out of the story, the longer it takes to get back in it. What also helps is walking the real town green that I’ve mirrored the fictional one after. It helps get me back into Stan’s head.
- Moving myself. Working out has always helped me focus. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of yoga which does wonders for my monkey mind.
- Taking back some routine. When you’re traveling or dealing with stressful situations, it’s hard to do the things that keep you sane and grounded. So I’ve been making a conscious effort to get back into my good sleeping-eating-juicing routines. It really does help.
- Journaling. I’ve done morning pages as outlined in The Artist’s Way for years. Sometimes I fall off the wagon and sometimes I’m really dedicated. I’ve been dedicated lately, aside from my traveling time, so I’m making sure to carve out that space in the mornings. It helps get the detritus out of my head and better prepares me for the day.
And with any luck, I’ll still get that draft done by December 31.
Readers, what gets you motivated after time away from a project?