Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Take a Break From the Break

When I went to write my posts for this week, I found myself coming up blank. This is a problem I have regularly after an extended break. I get out of blogging mode, out of writing mode even (gasp) and then when I open a new document, find myself staring at the blank page for a long time, wondering how I ever thought I could fill it with beautiful words.

As a solution, I hopped around to a few blogs. Not many, mind you, since my writing time was already pretty limited due to the whole staring-at-the-blank-screen thing. But as always, reading a handful of posts by other authors got my brain moving again.

I think the same can be true for writing short stories or books. Whenever I find myself coming up blank, I head to my TBR stack (otherwise known as “to be read”) or the library, and find a book in which I can lose myself for a while. If the story is good, I find that my brain is humming, my thoughts spinning into storyteller mode. Then, when I open the document again, my fingers start typing of their own accord.

My friend James Dashner has said this same thing about movies. In fact, he makes seeing movies an integrated part of his full-time-writer workday.

So. If, like me, you’re having a hard time jumping back into your computer (or your housework, or job, or whatever thing from which you’ve recently taken a break) here’s a suggestion. Don’t jump in. Read a book. See a movie. Visit a friend. Go for a drive. Do that thing that most inspires you FIRST. Then get started.

It works! It really, really works. That is all.


Christine Fonseca said...

yes, yes! Totally agree.

Angela Felsted said...

I'm afraid there's no hope for me and housework. For writing, yes. For dishes, no. My poor, neglected, unorganized house!

Shari said...

I love curling up with a good book. I usually use that as a reward for getting my writing done. Perhaps I should read first. Hmm. Something to think about.

WindyA said...

That is all, huh?

Sounds a bit like procrastinating. Except, you know, if we can call it finding inspiration, I will TOTALLY jump on that wagon.

Maggie said...

If I take any break I totally lose my momentum, but I agree wholeheartedly that reading will often send me off in a new direction that I hadn't even considered before.

Pam Torres said...

It really does work! All I need is to get some inspired words twirling around in my brain and wala...I'm writing again! Love your blog! So glad I found it.:)

L.T. Elliot said...

Books totally rejuvenate me. In so many ways.

Have a great "renewal!"