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September 11, 2013 / anthonykzullo

3 Tips to Start Writing Again

Get Back on that Horse and Write!

It happens to even the best writers. Maybe they got caught up in work and school. Maybe family priorities had pushed their stories to the wayside. Maybe they were probed and prodded by aliens, then ended up waking up in a hospital bed ten months later…

For whatever the reason, they stopped.

Recently, I took off from writing to pursue my other passion, computer programming. It was an intense two month long coding bootcamp that focused on Ruby and Rails, and though the class was fun, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to succeed in the class and continue writing so I was forced to take a break. That’s actually one of the reasons why I haven’t updated this blog so regularly.

Now, after two months, it’s intimidating to start again. Luckily for me, I’m deep into the editing process for my book, The Guardian’s Charge: Book I of the Bloodborn Series, yet still, there’s an feeling in the back of my mind that tries to prevent me from starting. It’s fear.

Let’s take a step back to when I first started writing this book, back in November 2012. That was my longest break from writing. I hadn’t written a story in eight years, but the interesting thing was that even though I was a bit rusty I wasn’t scared. No, rather it was freeing.

Soon I analyzed what was different between those times and came up with these really great tips that helped me start writing once again.

1. Pretend that You’re Going to Suck

You’re probably questioning my sanity when I say this, but this is actually a really effective tool at starting a project. Yes, really! Think about this. You sit with yourself and you think, “Hmmm… I want to do a good job so everyone will like my work.” Well, now you have all these expectations and desires to want to impress people. Do you really need other people’s approval for you to write a story?

Try changing your thinking to, “Well, this might turn out horribly, but I’m at least going to try my best and have fun with it.” Do you see what happens there? You switch your thoughts, and your desire isn’t with creating something awesome that everyone will like. No, your desire focuses on fulfilling something within yourself and having fun while doing it. Now you have no expectations about quality so you’re free to do anything.

2. Think It Out

If you keep promising yourself that you’re going to write something tomorrow and you never do, stop. For one week, or one month if you can do it, don’t even attempt to do any writing. In fact, forbid it. Just take a step for a moment and DON’T THINK about writing or editing. You’re not allowed to for this first week. Instead, focus on the story and playing with the story in your mind. Think about the plot, the characters, and the setting. Even take time out of your day just to sit and ponder about how everything connects. Eventually, you’ll be thinking about so many different ideas that you won’t be able to help yourself but want to write. From there, just let the story take you to somewhere special.

3. Inspire Yourself

Rather than focusing on writing, start to go out on adventures. Start listening to music and looking at art. Do this while you’re thinking about your story and some amazing ideas will come to mind.

The point of all this is to basically black out the fear in your mind. Don’t worry about what you’re going to create. Just be involved with the story. Let it be something that you love, something that you pour your heart into, and everything else will follow. At least, it did for me, and that’s how I was able to start writing again and now editing.

 

Anthony Zullo is a novel writer who aims to self-publish his book in late 2013 or early 2014 The Guardian’s Charge:  Book I of the Bloodborn Series, which is a paranormal/dark urban fantasy about what happens when the six alien Gods of Niburu return to Earth to decide the fate of all Life.  To follow his pondering thoughts and to communicate with him, check out his twitter @anthonykzullo.

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