How do you return to your writing after time away?

Here I am with my siblings and parents. We are standing youngest to oldest from the bottom steps going up. That’s me in the middle—fourth from top and from bottom!

Hello writing sisters,

It’s been a while since I touched base with you! First, I was busy devoting extra writing time to my submission for the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where I’ll be attending the post-graduate writing conference in August. I’ve heard so many good things from a number of writing friends about this conference–it’s been on my “wish” list for years! And to make it even sweeter, I’ll be in Sue William Silverman’s workshop–another longtime “wish” on my writing wishlist! (By the way, if you havent yet seen it, be sure to check out Sue’s Vermont College of Fine Arts Lecture “#MeToo: Intimate Politics and Confessional Writing as Resistance.”) After I submitted my packet of writing, I traveled to spend time with my four siblings, my parents, and our families–save for one nephew, we were all together in the same place for the first time in a long time.

 
I did not take my laptop with me–I wanted to use the time I had with my family to reconnect and hang out. So I intentionally gave myself “time off” from my writing. My brother is also a writer, and he did not take time off from his writing. He brought his laptop and wrote every morning. When I first saw that he was writing my inner critic went a bit wild. But I called on my writing intention and my writing truth, and this helped me to remember who I am as a writer and that I have my own beautiful and, yes, conscious writing practice. This reminded me that my intention to take time off was aligned with my relationship to my writing and was in no way a statement about my worth–or lack of worth–as a writer. It was a hearty lesson in realizing that I can continue to grow as a writer and remain true to my writing even when I am away from my writing!
 
After time away from my writing, I find that it takes me more time to pick up where I left off, and so these past few days back at my desk I have been giving myself space to ease back into my writing. Over the years I’ve come to think of this “easing back in time” as part of my writing process. Whereas I used to set goals for my first day back at my desk, I’ve found that giving myself time to simply get reacquainted with my work works best for me. In the past, before I incorporated this “ease back in time” into my process, I would get all jammed up with discouragement –and oh how my inner critic would jump on that band wagon! Now I enjoy this “reacquaintance time” much the way I enjoy reconnecting with an old friend.

 

How about you? How do you return to your writing after time away? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? Let us know in the comments if you like, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

 
Much writing love, M

P.S. Want to hang out with a warm and supportive group of writing sisters? Writing Women’s Lives Academy hosts a free private Facebook Group called the Writing Out Loud Sisterhood. Come join us here!

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