It’s insanely difficult to keep up the writing while you’re working all day, running errands, paying bills, and trying to live a normal life. It’s not some hobby you can jump in and out of like knitting or cooking or playing cards. It takes time to develop characters, to develop a story, and most importantly, to motivate yourself to write over and over again. It doesn’t matter how many days or weeks or months go by… it’s difficult to pick it back up. It’s intimidating, but here’s what you need to start doing:
- Join a writers group. They happen all over - network, ask friends, or start your own (it worked for me).
- Take a workshop. Take a class at a local college or organization, do a summer writer’s seminar, or do a drop-in writing class. In Boston, there’s Grub Street. They have hour-long writing sessions for $10.
- Read more. You may not realize, but reading and writing go hand in hand. If you want to start writing more, start reading more books. You’ll find the inspiration you need.
- Carve out time. If you don’t make the time, you’ll never write. Schedule an hour into your calender. Wake up early and go to a coffee shop. Find a time that works with you and stick to it!
- Carry a journal. I’ve been working on this one, because it’s tough. I feel silly writing in a journal on the subway, too, but I’ve realized: nobody cares. And some of the best material comes to you while you’re commuting, while you’re listening to a stranger’s conversation, or standing in a line. Take notes.
- Separate yourself from social media. This one’s a problem for me. I can’t help myself. I get home from work and all I want to do is watch SYTYCD or Orange is the New Black. Instead, turn off the Netflix, the TV, or the movie, and focus on writing. I work best with music, but maybe you work best in a quiet room. Figure out what works and do that more often than not.
- Commit to it. Whatever you’re thinking about writing, stop thinking about it, and just write it. Writers always have ideas flowing. Instead of letting them float around, it’s important to get them on paper to see if they’re worth pursuing or not.