|Hey, look! A squirrel!|
So anyway, last week the kids went back to school. I dove back into a manuscript. The first day of writing--well, actually revising--was pretty rough.
First of all, it took me a good two hours of Facebook, e-mails, and text messages to get the courage to open the manuscript. Then, I spent a whopping forty-five minutes revising before my head threatened to explode. I realized I needed to dust off my "get back in the writing groove" methods.
1. Start with a short session.
I identified my project goals: revise the first three chapters in two weeks. Naturally, I thought hey, I'll spend all day--six hours--cutting and rearranging. Not a good idea. I ended up fixing the first scene and calling it quits.
2. Write notes.
Remind yourself of the baby steps the project requires rather than the big picture. In my case, I needed to cut one chapter, decide on a new chapter, and not lose the important stuff along the way. A fresh cheap notebook works wonders! Just jot away. I wrote story questions, reminders, and anything else I could think of.
3. Take frequent breaks.
Sure, it's best if we hunker down and focus, but the first couple days back are excruciating. Why add guilt and stress to the mix? Go ahead and check your e-mail every fifteen minutes. Scroll through your Twitter feed. Grab a snack. Sit on your porch. Be good to yourself. But get something done, no matter how trivial.
Remind yourself this is a transition. It's like anything else--the more we do it, the easier it gets. Starting is the hard part!
How do you get back in the groove after taking a break from a project?
Have a terrific Monday!