Learning How to Write Again
Lost the motivation to write? Don’t fret, we’ve all been there.
I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time writing daily. As much as I love to write, it’s hard for me to find the time, and quite frankly, the motivation. When I stop writing consistently, I almost have to reteach myself how to construct sentences so that they flow nicely. Hopefully, I’m not doing too bad right now. But the question is: how does one get back into the groove of writing after a bit of a break?
Write even if it’s bad
One of the most important aspects of writing is getting the words down, any words, no matter how subpar they may seem. I would suggest 750words.com because it’s a great website that rewards you after you write. They do monthly challenges and give you data about your writing afterward, which is super cool and enlightening. If you’re getting back into the swing of writing, set goals for yourself. If you haven’t written in a few days, try to write a page’s worth. If you haven’t written in a few weeks, start smaller with 300 words. And if you haven’t written in months, try to just get a paragraph down.
After you get back into the habit of writing, raise your word count a little bit each day. Meet your goal but then write more. You will eventually find that you won’t have to force yourself to write, but rather it will become second nature. The ideas will start flowing and your brain will be moving at a hundred miles a minute, and you’ll wish you had more than two hands to help you type. Getting the words down in the first place can be the hardest part, but once you get that down, it’s only easier from there.
Finding inspiration in the people in your life
If you’re not sure what exactly to write about, I would recommend making a list of people that make you happy. These people could range anywhere from one of your best friends whom you’ve known for six years to one of your favorite actors whom you barely know anything about. After you’ve compiled the list, think about why you admire each of these people. List specific personality traits or characteristics next to their name. Do you like these people for merely physical reasons or aspects, or is it much deeper than that?
This exercise not only inspires your writing, but it forces you to reflect a bit on the people in your life. Recall certain memories with these people that you never want to forget. What makes these moments so memorable? Is there anything you would change about these people, and if you could, what would you? How do you think these people would think of you? Think of what words or phrases they would use to describe yourself. Whatever comes to mind, write it down.
If all else fails, think about why you began writing in the first place. Were you always drawn to writing, or did you hate it at first? Maybe you enjoyed writing essays for school and your love, over time, gradually just blossomed. Or maybe you were forced to take a creative writing class in high school because it was the only class that fit your schedule and it was an unexpected love. What was it that kept you writing? Some of us write because it’s an outlet for us, but there are so many other things that could be an outlet: singing, talking to others, playing music. Ask yourself: why exactly writing?
You probably write because you experience some level of enjoyment after the fact. Maybe you’re focusing too much on the art of writing itself, which can be tedious and difficult. It’s important to think about what comes after: when you finally edit and perfect your piece, feeling pride, and wishing to share it with others. That’s where the true enjoyment comes, from the connections writing creates.
Although we are all incredibly devoted to writing, sometimes we don’t give it the time of day. I think we should treat our writing more kindly, like a friend whom we must gently encourage during times of self-doubt and criticism. Rather than an art we must perfect and never fail at. Writing should be a companion, not an enemy.