What to do if you haven't written for a long, long time.
Not long ago, I received the following question from a subscriber. I asked him if I could share it with you, and he graciously agreed.
I've always enjoyed writing, not just creatively. As an introvert, it's enabled me to communicate more readily. However, I haven't written anything creatively for quite a few years now. I'm concerned that I've squandered my passion, and lost the knowledge for creative writing indelibly.
In your professional opinion, Sarah, have I lost my edge? If so, how can I get it back?
Our creative life is always accessible to us. It may feel rusty, or far away, or foggy, yes -- but it's always there. It's in our nature. We are creative beings. I don't think anyone ever loses creative knowledge indelibly. Practice makes us better and better, yes - but the impulse to create is always pure gold.
Writing begets writing.
The best way to find your passion for creative writing is to write creatively.
You have to be good to yourself when you begin writing, though. Treat yourself like a sweet, sweet thing.
As you write those first awkward sentences -- treat them with kindness. Any dread about squandered time -- feed it love and reassurance.
These things will also help you reconnect:
▪ Put away clocks and watches for a month. Let yourself start to feel time in a natural way.
▪ Avoid television and movies for at least two weeks. Your writing mind needs emptiness and white space.
▪ Write by hand for ten minutes every day, before you turn on your computer, before you check email.
▪ Read a copy of Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg.
▪ Go for walks. Your walks should be least 20 minutes long. Do not pick a destination or goal - just walk.
If you are reading this right now and you're afraid that too many years have passed for you, that you've missed your writing window, please take heart. There are no writing windows that you have to squish yourself through. There are no walls, in fact.
Your creative mind is right here, right now. It's with you, in the big wide space of your being.
The very fact that you're reading this is showing you that you're still in a relationship to your writing. You might be out of touch, or even estranged from each other, and that's painful. But you can repair the relationship. Start simply. Start by writing a letter.
If you are ready to seriously reconnect with your writing, consider giving yourself the Story Course. It's not too late. SSMind reconnects you to your writing, your creativity, and your love of language. Why not just go for it? You'll feel so much better once you start.
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