Taking a holiday and enjoying some time away from writing is always worthwhile.
Without the lure of the laptop, it’s easy to take a step back and relax, and forget about putting pressure on yourself to reach your goals.
The tough part is coming back from holiday and getting to work again.
I’ve realised that I left my rewrites at an all too convenient stopping point, so now I need to start work on the next section. It’s a bit like starting from scratch…
But if you’re struggling, there are a few things you can do to find your way back into the rhythm of your story.
Spend some time reading your work as though it was a regular novel: remind yourself of who the characters are and the problems they’re facing.
Allow yourself the space to get back into that world.
Rather than trying to write a big, complicated scene or deal with major structural rewrites immediately, pick something that is easier to fix.
Perhaps there’s a particular paragraph you want to rewrite, or a conversation that needs sharpening. Maybe you want to go through and check for phrases you’ve used too often or add some polish.
Now is the time to tick a few of those jobs of the list. It will make you feel productive and help you get flex your writing muscles.
Sometimes when I want to work on my novel, but I can’t quite manage to do anything too concrete, I’ll put my headphones in and mess around on the computer. Not very productive, but actually I’m allowing my subconscious to work on the problem.
By listening to my writing playlist, which I associate with my story, I begin to create the mood I need to write. I put myself back into that creative space.
Even if I don’t do much writing during that session, the next time I open my manuscript it’s much easier to find the right head space.
Make time for later
And if all else fails and you can’t manage to write, do a few other tasks or chores so that you have some free time later in the week.
If I’m struggling to work on my novel, I’ll try to draft a blog post instead, or do a few bits of admin. That way those things aren’t clogging up mental space the next time I want to write.
What tips and tricks do you have for writers who are finding it hard to shake that holiday feeling?