Getting back into writing

5 steps to getting back into writing after a long hiatus

Have you ever been to the gym after a long, lazy Christmas? Remember that feeling of stepping through the doors and looking around at the other gym-goers sprinting on the treadmill and lifting weights three times as big as their heads and thinking “I will never be able to catch up with that”?  


That’s how I feel when I look at my bookshelf.  


Whether it’s been a week, a month, or a year since you last picked up a pen, getting back into writing after a long hiatus can feel like a daunting task. How do you get those creative juices flowing again? How do you fit it into your daily grind? Will whatever I produce be half as good as what I used to write? These doubts can be enough to make you put it off for another day… a day that never seems to come. 


But writing is a form of exercise. You need to do it regularly to get better and you need to start today. What I’m going to share with you are five easy tips that have worked for me to help get back into a solid writing routine. Try them out and you be back in a regular writing schedule within a month!


Write in a journal

Journals are brilliant. They are the ultimate low-stakes creative outlet – you can write about anything you want without the fear of criticism from anyone reading it. Write about what you had for breakfast, a cute dog you saw, a coworker with an annoying laugh. Or don’t think about what you’re writing at all! Just make your pen move across the paper with the first words that pop into your head.



Read some of your old work

Reading your old work can really help to inspire you. Sometimes it will make you cringe (especially if you used to write a lot of purple prose, like me) but more often it will make you feel amazed at how good your writing is. It can feel like reading a favourite author you haven’t looked at in a while and you’ll find yourself asking “did I really write that?” Yes you did! And you can write like that again and keep getting better and better!


Read a short story

Yes, I’m sure you have a bookshelf full of novels that you haven’t read yet. But sometimes you just don’t have the time in your hectic everyday life. There are so many benefits to reading – building vocabulary, exposure to different genres, expanding worldview – and for writers it is even more important. So rather than set yourself the daunting promise that you will DEFINITELY read that book you bought in Waterstones last month, start with an easily digestible short story. There are a lot of collections you can browse online. I recommend Reedsy’s short story catalogue to get you started.

Rewrite your favourite movie scene

Have you ever watched the wet shirt moment in Pride and Prejudice and wondered “I wonder what was going through Darcy’s head in that moment?” No? Just me? Try writing a monologue from a specific character in your favourite movie. Not only will it help you flex your writing muscles, but it gives you an excuse to re-watch your favourite flick.



Try a daily writing prompt

As I said at the start, try to write a little bit everyday about anything and everything. Check instagram on any given day and you will find lots of ideas for writing prompts and sentence starters. And for the month of June, I am also offering a calendar of daily writing prompts! Here’s the first week to get you started: 

If you would like the full 30-day calendar, just enter your email below to get it express-delivered to your inbox! You can set it as your desktop background, or you can go really nuts and print it out to hang on the kitchen wall. What’s more, by signing up you’ll get a full calendar of writing prompts just like this one delivered to you every month.


And remember – every award-winning writer had to overcome the hurdles of creating a writing routine. You’ll get there too!


Happy Writing!