Depending on where you live, it might be starting to get cold out there! This guest post from Nikolas Baron from Grammarly has some great tips for getting that pen moving again now that the vacation months are behind us!
While some writers never get time off from the promptings of their ever-present muse, many authors indulge in summer getaways to sunny beaches or brave road trips with their families once a year. After all, life is grist for the writing mill. Meeting new people and seeing new sights always provides fodder for new stories or novels.
However, once you’ve returned from your dream trip to Paris, what’s the best way to settle back into your writing routine? Shifting gears from traveling isn’t easy, and slipping back into your usual groove might not be as effortless as expected. Here are a few ways to make the transition less painful.
Take Copious Notes
Even the most mundane summer trip across flat, endless prairies or deserts can provide a host of sensory pleasures. Take extensive notes about your surroundings, jotting down information about the smells, sights, tastes, and sounds you encounter as you make your way through your home state or across the entire country.
As you make rest stops, hop out of your vehicle and take in the surrounding view. What’s the scenery like? While it may seem like a waste of time, later you may find just the right detail hiding in your notes to breathe life into a new character or setting. In addition, such specific details make your writing much more authentic to readers.
Use Familiar Anchors
In the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, the concept of anchoring involves associating a physical item (or external trigger) with a desired internal response or reaction. If you aren’t able to hit your usual writing stride after returning from vacation, use writing-related anchors as a way to make a smooth transition back to the internal joy of the writing life.
For instance, if you typically drink a specific type of herbal tea while you write (say, hibiscus), begin your day with a freshly brewed cup of hibiscus tea. The smell and taste of your favorite tea, coffee, or other refreshment may kick your creativity into gear. Next thing you know, words will come faster than you imagined!
Make Silly Mistakes!
Yes, you read that right. Begin writing without giving any thought to making mistakes. The key is to find your rhythm again. Get your ideas down on paper, and then tidy up words and sentences later. Writing and editing are two different processes; never do both at the same time.
Once you’ve unleashed your wild musings onto the page, check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style errors. An easy way to accomplish this is by using online grammar checking services. Enter your newly written masterpiece into the checker and you’ll receive immediate suggestions for corrections.
All writers should engage in a well-deserved break on occasion. Doing so can open up a wellspring of fresh ideas itching to flow through your fingers and into your computer. However, should you find yourself nursing a case of post-vacay writer’s block, get your creative stream trickling again by referring to these tips whenever needed.
Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in elementary school, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at Internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.