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Old 11-08-2009, 10:41 PM   #1
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Question Getting back to writing ...

I just wondered if anyone has successfully gone back to writing after a long break?

Before I got married and had a family (10 years ago!) I enjoyed writing horror fiction and had several short stories published in the UK small press. So ok only a minor success but one which I was at the time very proud.

I don't think I could go back to writing horror, my stories were gruesome and I just don't have the stomach for it anymore - being a mother has definitely changed me.

I like the idea of writing for older kids - 10 plus I guess. But am I kidding myself that after 10 years I can get back into writing?

Would love to hear from other people who've had a break from writing.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:08 PM   #2
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No Doubts!

Of course!

I used to write constantly, from the time I was maybe nine well into my college years. Then life took over and it wasn't until I was almost forty that I took it up again. Life still gets in the way and that old monster Doubt seems to blot out the sun much too frequently (when I let him), but I have no regrets about reclaiming something I love so much.

I'm not writing the same sort of stuff as I did when I was younger. Heck, what I'm writing now is quite different from my novel Boomerang. And some days all I have a chance to do is make an entry in my journal. But writing is Good, writing is Important, and my feeling is that you shouldn't let time provide you with an excuse. Not time since you last did any writing or time is so hard to come by when life has so many other demands.

Go for it.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:16 PM   #3
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Same here, if you want to do it you just shouldn't let anything stop you.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:35 PM   #4
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Of course you can get back into writing. I wrote fiction close to daily from 1997 to 2003, but then in 2004 started reproducing. I had two kids in two years while still holding down a full time job. Writing was not happening during that time. Then in late 2007, when I was able to quit my job, I got back into writing fiction again. Writing is like a muscle. You get out of shape, but you can always get back into shape. Make time to write and then make sure you do it. You only need an hour a day to do it.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:33 AM   #5
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THANK YOU I so needed to hear that.

Although I'm itching to start writing something again, it's been such a long time that I fear the results will be terrible. It wouldn't be so bad if I could go back to writing what I was previously as that would be like a kind of comfort blanket.

But really what I just need to do is dip my toe in and then take the plunge.

Time shouldn't be an excuse. After years of children waking me in the middle of the night, I now suffer from insomnia and am awake for a couple of hours while I should be asleep. This has proved to be good thinking time so maybe it will also prove to be good writing time - at least at 2 or 3 am I won't be disturbed!!!
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:17 AM   #6
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If you don't already have it, get a copy of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

And read it.

And keep it by you at all times.

And give yourself permission to write s_ _ _ _y first drafts.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:49 AM   #7
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Thanks for the helpful link plumboz

Yes it won't just be bad first drafts but probably second and third and more as well but hopefully I'll learn from all the mistakes!
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poshm View Post
Thanks for the helpful link plumboz

Yes it won't just be bad first drafts but probably second and third and more as well but hopefully I'll learn from all the mistakes!
And as always, write for your own enjoyment, not anyone elses
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:04 AM   #9
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Yup, go for it

I started writing regularly for the first time in at least a decade, a couple of years ago. Wanna know what the catalyst was? Finding out that I had (at the time) major heart problems, and that I'd need open heart surgery in the near future. Crikey, that's a great way to focus yourself on what you REALLY want out of life! Anyhow, I've been publishing as I write the whole time, and it's been great. Sure, some of it sucked, and some of it still does. But I've been surprised to find that the stuff I finished and got polished up somewhat, actually has found quite a few fans over the world. You might be surprised at others' opinions of your work.

And if it helps, I generally manage at least 500 words a week, often written on the train or in other less-than-ideal locations, in between full-time work, parenting a toddler, housework, and dealing with chronic energy-level issues. That's not a brag, I'm just trying to say that it's possible - altho it requires major priority-shuffling at times. Just - work out what's really important to you, and aim for those things

PS. It's late. I'm tired. I MAY be making sense. No promises!
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poshm View Post
I just wondered if anyone has successfully gone back to writing after a long break?

Before I got married and had a family (10 years ago!) I enjoyed writing horror fiction and had several short stories published in the UK small press. So ok only a minor success but one which I was at the time very proud.

I don't think I could go back to writing horror, my stories were gruesome and I just don't have the stomach for it anymore - being a mother has definitely changed me.

I like the idea of writing for older kids - 10 plus I guess. But am I kidding myself that after 10 years I can get back into writing?

Would love to hear from other people who've had a break from writing.
Read this book: Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain

There is absolutely no reason you can't write. Writing is easy, and you can even produce first drafts of very readable material after you digest the Swain book. The craft, the pattern of writing hasn't changed in 100 years, Swain will show you how so you can concentrate on enjoying the writing fully and without fear.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:44 AM   #11
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Great thanks for that book link, Moejoe. Just ordered the Bird by Bird book also. Hopefully it will help.

I've been doing some writing since I started the post but I think my confidence in my abilities has defo gone down some. That will diminish in time and with practice.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:31 PM   #12
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OK, late to the party, and I see you've begun writing anyway, but here's me:

Started writing stories when I was 8 years old, but was discouraged from doing this by my family - 'completely useless' they said. Ack! Gives me the willies to even think about it now.

Wrote a few SF short stories in my 20s, sent them off to mags, got some encouragement but not a lot. A fairly famous SF writer and mag editor wrote me a *scathing* rejection. Pretty much gave up on it.

Two and a half years ago stumbled across a fanfic site for one of my favorite TV shows, got hooked and started just *pouring* stories out. I'm now working on a historical novel that's an outgrowth of that, and I'm 51 now, so if you want to talk about long dry periods, I'm your girl.

If you're meant to write, you'll write eventually, no matter how much you get stomped down. It just has to come out.

Thank God I'm a lot thicker skinned now, and also that I care a lot less what other people think (I don't think those are the same things).

So let's see what happens.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:07 AM   #13
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Hi Kate, really inspiring to read that despite all the set-backs you're doing what you love.

I don't think family are the best judges of writing no matter how well intentioned they are. They either tell you it's all wonderful even when you know it needs some more work or scoff at the very idea of writing.

I too wrote tons as a child but my mum always just said "that's nice dear" and I got told off at school because I was always daydreaming. I still am a daydreamer and that's just who I am.

Just keep going
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomesque View Post
If it helps, I generally manage at least 500 words a week, often written on the train or in other less-than-ideal locations, in between full-time work, parenting a toddler, housework, and dealing with chronic energy-level issues. That's not a brag, I'm just trying to say that it's possible - altho it requires major priority-shuffling at times. Just - work out what's really important to you, and aim for those things!
You were right about that, there's always a way. I found a good little app called WriteRoom for the iPod touch which is very useful for editing / writing on the fly. It synchs your work online (as well as storing on the device) so you can access from anywhere with an Internet connection.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:50 AM   #15
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Very cool, poshm!

Thanks for your post. I have always loved and hated writing -- loved it when it was easy or good, hated when I "had to" do it.

This month I am doing the National Novel Writing Month challenge and writing more, faster, and with more joy than I have in years. If you haven't heard about it here's the link: www.nanowrimo.org.

All the best!
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