Getting Back On The Writing Track After The Holidays

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s time to get out of that magical land between Christmas and New Year when you’re full of chocolate and cheese and don’t know what day it is.

2020 brings the chance to start afresh, kick off some resolutions, and get back into the writing game.

If, like me, you took an extended amount of time off, getting back to your keyboard can be a real struggle. If the thought of sitting down to write instead of indulging in your holiday habits of doing nothing, eating, and binge-watching season 2 of You, you might need the following tips…

Getting Back On The Writing Track After The Holidays

Start Small

While it might be tempting to dive back into doing everything at once, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself or build back up the burnout that required you to take a break in the first place. Start small by writing one page or editing five pages and see how you go.

Ease Into It

Just like when you get to the end of a WIP and it’s time to start a new one, getting back into writing when you haven’t done it for a while makes you think you have no idea how to write.

You can’t help but convince yourself everything you achieved was a fluke and you can’t do it again. Just the thought of having to put words into sentences that make sense, page after page, chapter after chapter is enough to make you afraid of turning your computer on. This is when easing back into writing is the key.

You don’t need to start again with a six-hour session. You don’t need to spend your first week back with the goal of editing half your book. Decide on one goal, the tiniest one you have, and do that.

You should find it’s enough to remind you that you do know how to write and that you can do this.

Start Your Habit Again

When you’re in the habit of writing daily or most days, and you stop doing that for an expended period, it can be a little hard to kick that habit back into gear. Try the things you did to create that habit in the first place, such as writing first thing in the morning, or writing for 15 minutes at a time/a day, until it’s your new normal again.

Set Up A Schedule

Some days the only reason I get anything written is because I’m up with the #6amAusWriters on Twitter. That’s now part of my schedule, and the first thing I started doing again when I came back from my break (and is the reason this blog post exists). Schedule your writing session into your day and start showing up for it.

Study Your Handover Notes

If you didn’t leave yourself handover notes, create them now. If you did, get perusing. They are your road map to what you were doing before you took your break, and what you need to do now that you’re back.

Forgive Yourself

Sometimes we can feel bad about taking time off from writing or get anxious at the thought we’ve wasted opportunities doing other things, but it’s time to stop doing that. Forgive yourself for not spending every second at your keyboard. A good writer is a rested writer. You and your words will be better for any type of break.

Set New Deadlines

The final tip for getting back on track is to set some deadlines. If you’ve been following the other tips and easing back into everything, your first deadline should be for a date when you’re committed to writing at your usual speed. It might be three days from now, a week, or from next month onward. Set the deadline and commit to it.

The next deadline depends on what you’re working on. If you’re writing, pick a date to have your draft finished. Editing? Same deal. If you’re working toward a launch of your book, author website, newsletter, or finally starting up your writer-brand social media accounts, mark deadlines for those on your calendar too, and begin your work toward them. Good luck!

What are your tips for getting back into writing again after a break? Share them in the comments!

— K.M. Allan

Find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

45 thoughts on “Getting Back On The Writing Track After The Holidays

  1. dharkanein

    😂😂😂loved your opening lines in bold. As if u said all this for me…though I took a very long holiday but now I am.back and to my own surprise editing the first draft of my new love story.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. dharkanein

        😁same feeling. Yes I need that blessing. It took almost 7 months to sit for editing part… though it’s only first edit…n now I can make out how much improvement my main lead requires. So making mind notes for that too. Plz bless me to stay on track for as long as it needs for coming out with a beautiful love story which appeals to everybody.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruth Miranda

    I took a break before Christmas even started, but I managed to get my wip finished by the date I needed to take that break. Still, I had an editing and a translation project I needed to do and those kept me kind of on my toes on the build up to the Holidays. Actually, come to think of it, I didn’t really take a break, did I? Still put in a little work between Christmas and New Year, but it was just a re-read of my wip, adding a couple of scenes that were missing and changing others that had to be improved before I laid it aside to proof. But compared with my usual work rhythm, it felt like I was on a real vacation, and boy, did I need that. Now I’m easing slowly back into work, having started research for my next wip and settling down with my translation projects. But I’m taking it slow before next week, when the school break is over and I’m back on a forced shedule eheh

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  3. I’ve been in a bad mood these past couple of days. This morning I finally figured it out: My writing routine for the past three weeks has been pretty much non-existent. This happens every year. You would think I’d figure it out by now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As always, a great post. I’m experience the same thing. I am still on my story beats for my fiction book, but should have it completed by the end of January. I’m on Chapter 29 (of 50). Happy New Year!! (Kate is your first name right?, I didn’t want to guess).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😊 it’s a group of us who get up and write at 6am in the morning. We check in on Twitter to encourage each other and talk about what we’re writing. I resisted Twitter for a while too, but the writing community there is so great.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great suggestions. I am doing something new this year and I’m finding it tough stopping myself falling back into old habits. I am keeping my goals clear, creating deadlines and definitely working to a tight schedule

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  6. I found the new year has got me more motivated to start writing than before. I’d written 5 blog posts between November and the new year, now I’ve written 4 new ones. Not that much to celebrate but it’s a start 🙂 wrote one a day in the last 3 days.

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