Thursday, April 2, 2015

how to stretch those writing muscles

Have you ever had a lot of time away from your writing? Do you have any go-to methods that get you back into the rhythm of weaving words? 

Over the past couple of months, I've been on rotations that entailed thirteen hour days in the hospital. Any free time was used to wedding plan or make some career decisions. (After months of going back and forth, I decided not to pursue my M.P.H. at my dream program and will be doing that after my residency training, which I'll be doing at my favorite program in my favorite city!)

After years of studying, little sleep, and hours in the hospital, I'm thrilled for the months ahead, time with people I love, and space to write and think and create. 

One of my constant hardships, my Achilles heel, is maintaining a creative way of thinking in the midst of exhaustion. Those writing muscles have a way of atrophying after long periods of disuse. I still have a lot to learn and have realized that some things help me ease back into the  right mindset:

1. Connecting with other writers: 
Writers tend to be a supportive bunch and being in touch with them always keeps me motivated and encouraged. I also get a chance to help someone with a query letter or chapter. 

2. Reading poetry:
Poetry defies grammar rules and structures that are normally imposed in other types of writing. It shows me that entire experiences can be captured in a few words.

3. Re-reading old work:
Time is the best way to view a piece of work with fresh perspective. 

4. Studying books:
I'm always amazed by how authors construct characters and worlds that pull readers in. Often, this makes me a passive reader, one who sits back and enjoys the story. I need to go back through books to really study them and pick them apart. 


  1. I was going to say reading poetry and flash fiction! I like writing prompts too. I have several prompts books that I love.

    When is your wedding?! 👰

    1. I love the flash fiction idea! And your blog has such wonderful prompts. The wedding is Memorial Day weekend. :)

  2. Ah, congrats on your wedding - hope the planning goes well! Your life sounds so busy, so kudos for making time to work that writing muscle. I think #1 is the best way to do that. You not only stay connected with the community, but also get help and inspiration for your own work.

    1. Thanks so much, Julie! I hope your writing is going well!