Returning to book blogging is hard work! There are so many tiny little tasks that need to be accomplished – updating a neglected Goodreads account, remembering the rhythm of memes, remembering how to even use wordpress, reconnecting with old friends with my tail between my legs, etc. It’s a reminder of how much work I put into my blog to get it rolling, which is humbling. Often I feel that I don’t get much done, but when I look back at the scope of this blog – I guess I’ve done a lot over the last few years!
It sucks to feel like you’re starting from scratch again – just like exercising! But everyday I’m reminded that I’m not. I have some wonderful friends who have stayed connected and understand the ups and downs that we all have.
A bullet journal is saving me right now. Being able to jot down everything that pops into my head is so helpful. I am not a linear thinker and get overwhelmed when there’s so much to do – write it down and then make a plan to get it done.
This layout also lets me track my time writing. Tracking in 15 minute increments illustrates how things can be done piecemeal, even if that’s not ideal. I am using the stopwatch on my phone – you can start/stop as you need to and it keeps a cumulative total of time, which is perfect! Yesterday I spent an hour writing, which felt amazing. Hey, it’s just an hour. But it was an hour of writing when I thought it was impossible to start blogging again.
One of the things I’m struggling with is patience. Reading and writing are easier when those muscles are toned. Right now, I’m reading more slowly and stumbling over words while writing. It’s like playing an instrument – I still love playing my clarinet, but it’s been over fifteen years since I played daily, so my tone is awful, my fingers are clumsy, and my brain doesn’t react as quickly as it once did. That is frustrating and logically, I know those skills will return with practice, but emotionally? I want to fly through Mozart like I once did. And I want to gobble down delicious books and write with abandon again. Patience and practice. Patience and practice. Patience and practice.
But the best advisor on writing will always be Anne Lamott: put your butt in the chair, write awful first drafts, and find joy in the process. Show up, make an effort, and have fun – universal advice for all of life’s challenges. I hope I can teach my children to live their lives that way.
What are your strategies for returning to something after being away for a while? How do you get over that initial hump?