All this week, I’m writing about ways to get out of a writing rut and recapture the spark from when you first started writing.
Yesterday, I wrote about visiting old friends and how that can help.
Today, I’m writing about rereading.
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I recently sat down on a rainy day with my favorite novel, A Trail of Heart’s Blood Wherever We Go: A Novel
(Affiliate Link). I stumbled upon the novel in the early 90s while knocking around a bookstore with a friend. I picked up the paperback (this version). The cover grabbed me, and the story within clicked with me like nothing else I’ve ever read.
I deliberately didn’t read many books when I first started writing seriously, but I still read more than most people.
When I reread a book I discovered when I started writing, I remember the weather, what I was doing, and what I was writing at the time. I can see my old room and become surrounded with that same feeling that the writing world was mine for the taking.
I can’t pick up certain books without my head filling with memories of those early days of writing, when every time I sat down to write, the air around me seemed to crackle with energy.
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If you’re in a writing rut and finding it hard to get out, think back to the days you first really took writing seriously.
Think of the books you were reading at the time. If you still have them, pull them off the shelf and reread one or two. If you don’t have the books anymore, go to a bookstore, buy them, and pick up something totally new to you while you’re at it.
As your head fills with memories from the time, I’m betting it’s only a matter of time before you set the book down and remember what it felt like to write with reckless passion.
The best thing about that feeling now that years have passed? Now when you sit down to write, you have enough control as a writer to turn that spark into a raging fire.