Trying to get back into writing - looking for support, tips, similar experiences, friends?

Some backstory: I’ve been writing creatively since the age of eleven (I’m turning 22 this Friday). For as long as I could remember I’d spend hours every day writing poetry, and cringey vampire romance stories. I even somehow completed the NaNoWriMo 50k challenge in 2021. Started a cringey music blog and entered contests constantly. Then the beginning of 2022 I started my first full time job and fell into depression and a bit of a tinsy tiny identity crisis and gave up all writing and frankly all of my hobbies completely.

Where I am now: I’ve come to the point where I’m getting incredibly fed up living like this. I’ve been trying to get out of two and a half years of bad habits and start creating again. But after so long not doing it I’m kind of struggling. I’ve fallen out of touch with all of my writer friends. Many of the online communities I once was a part of have closed down. I have a lot of ideas, and a lot of ambitions but when I sit down to write them I just can’t. I just can’t get into it, can’t find that excitement the same way i used to. And I don’t know where to start. Especially because when I look back, I’m just not at that skill level anymore. My voice isn’t there. And I’m feelings very frustrated and discouraged. It’s like I’m starting over fresh with all of the expectations of the me who was passionate and practiced.

To get to the point:

  • If you’ve had similar trouble getting back into writing, or anything creative really do you have any tips? Any suggestions? Things that helped you along?

  • What is your trick to get into your writing voice or your characters voice?

  • How do you hype yourself up to write and about your stories when you’re just not feeling it?

  • Lastly, I’m mostly here looking for writing buddies and community. I currently don’t have anyone to really talk about stories and this stuff with. I feel like that’s something I’ve really been missing. It’s hard to get excited about something I can’t share with anyone.

Thank you in advance to anyone who took the time to read this and/or answer. I really appriciate this.

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hi there! I’m Angel, nice to meet you :)) what do you usually write?

I mainly do poetry and novellas. :))

I completely understand this! I quit poetry for two years, and then when I tried to get back into it I was completely dry :sob: now i’m better but i still can’t do the things I was able to do at the time, like write a 400 word poem in one sitting

what helped was letting go of perfectionism and of my former self. and also realizing that that former self had a lot of issues i’m ignoring when I compare myself to them so I really don’t want to be them again because I know better on so many issues that I didn’t have a grasp of back then.

also read in the style you want to write. it’s important af.

and keep going! some day you’re gonna reach a level where you’re happy with your work, you just don’t know when it is! have fin with it!

i have little mini visions of them sitting in my head and then I just pop into their brains and become them, essentally lol.

I either leave it until I feel like it or reread the work and realize why I love it again.

relatable!

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Don’t know if any of these will help you, but they often help me. ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯

• reading books in my favorite genre
• watching writing advice videos on YouTube
• reading advice blogs like Reedsy, Jane Friedman, Writer Unboxed, etc.
• reading literary blogs like LitHub, BookRiot, Electric Lit, etc.
• looking up something interesting on Wikipedia and then falling down a rabbit hole
• revisiting books or movies I’ve loved in the past

Also, inspiration can come from many different places. If you’re not feeling like writing right now, maybe your well is dry at the moment. Play video games instead, or watch tv, etc. Just doing something fun might give you a spark.

If all else fails, maybe these videos can help…?

I so feel this. I’ve never found a writing community where the other writers like the same kind of books I do, but at least we can talk about writing itself here at Wacky, and share tips and tricks, etc. ( ˆ◡ˆ)۶ ٩(˘◡˘ )

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This happened to me with my art, not writing. But still a creative process. I fell away from it for a while and then when I came back to it, it’s like all my skill disappeared. I lost my style. Making art was frustrating, because I wanted to be as good as I used to be.

What actually helped me was when I stopped focusing so much on how good it was and started focusing on just enjoying the creative process. I stopped doing it for other people and what they wanted out of an end result, and started doing it for me and what I needed out of the act of creating.

I’m still not as good as I used to be, but I’ve found a new style that is uniquely mine, and I have slowly been improving with practice. Which feels good, and is great, but isn’t the point. I still get frustrated if I focus too much on where I’m at with my skill. I have to remind myself that I’m not doing it to be good at it. I’m doing it because I enjoy it. That helps immensely, and then being good at it just comes naturally with time and practice, as long as you don’t focus on it and allow yourself to get frustrated because you’re not where you want to be yet. It’s a process, and you have to trust it and be patient and kind with yourself.

I honestly don’t think I’ve developed a unique writing voice yet. I’m not focused on making all my writing sound consistent and have a certain aesthetic or style. I find that it takes away from me giving the characters unique voices when I focus too much on my own voice. It’s not my story. It’s the characters. That may just be me though. Hell, maybe that is my style, who knows?

To write my character’s voices though, I really focus on developing them and getting into their heads. I take a step out of my comfort zone and who I am, and I become someone else. I look at things from as many different perspectives as possible and then decide which one fits the character I am writing for in that moment most. It takes practice, and a lot of just writing scenes out for the character, even if they aren’t really relevant to the story or plot.

That’s what first drafts are for, messing around and figuring things out, especially the characters. You can always cut scenes later in the next drafts, but that doesn’t mean those scenes didn’t play an important part in developing the character. They helped you as a write to figure out who they are and find their voice. And that in invaluable.

So don’t be afraid to play around and explore your characters, even outside of their story or plot. Imagine them in all sorts of different circumstances and write out how they would act in those scenarios. Have fun with it!

There are a few tricks. Making playlists for your story or characters, or making pinterest boards or some other visual aesthetics that relate to your writing, drafting out in depth profiles and biographies for your characters, focusing on world building, etc. But if you want the hard truth, this is it.

Sometimes you have to just write, even if you aren’t feeling it.

Writing isn’t always fun. It’s wonderful when it is, but a lot of it is hard work too. And the hardest work is getting started. Once you get a momentum going though, it becomes more fun.

Now, I’m not saying there won’t be times when you get creative/writer’s block, and just cannot write no matter what you try. Those times are best spent taking a step back from your writing, experiencing life, maybe doing some reading instead, and the most important part, allowing yourself not to feel guilty about not writing. If you train your brain to associate feelings of guilt, or dread, or anything negative, with writing, then you’ll never break out of that writer’s block. Be kind to yourself and train your brain to associate writing with good feelings. Again, enjoying the process rather than the outcome is also important for this.

But, writer’s block aside, sometimes you can write, you just don’t feel like writing. And that’s when you have to just force yourself to do it anyways. Put in the work, and eventually you’ll get that momentum I mentioned before going, and you’ll find that you enjoy it again.

I’ve been looking for that too, and it’s really hard to find. This site is a good starting place though, and I’d be more than happy to be a writting buddy and friend to you. You can always come to me if you want to gush about your stories and ideas, and I will listen and encourage you. I’ve been looking for people that I can do the same with for a long time now, so I know how frustrating it can be when you have all these wonderful story ideas and thoughts and just no outlet to share them. Having a community of friends who are just as excited about your stories as you are can really help. So, if you ever need someone to bounce ideas off of, or just to hype you up, my door is always open to you.

I’m Xelyn, by the way. I don’t believe I’ve seen you around these forums before, so it’s nice to meet you. I hope you find what you’re looking for, and with any luck, I hope you found my advice helpful.

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Hi, I’m Em. I normally work on novel ideas. Right now, I’m trying to change it up a little and am leaning into the romantasy genre. I did a lot of poetry back in middle school and high school, but it wasn’t anything good lol. It was half edgy preteen nonsense, and half emotional venting. That’s super cool though. What type of poetry do you do? And yeah, i definitely have some issues with perfectionism. And i had finally gotten where i wanted to be before I stopped, and it made it so much worse.

I used to do that. Honestly as crazy as it sounds when i was board i’d play out little random conversation between them. There was honestly i point I’d go to bed or sit at workday dreaming story stuff and characters. And I’ve kind of lost that completely and I think that definitely plays into some of my struggles.

Thank you, its nice to meet you too.

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All I can say is that trying a different genre is a good thing to try.

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All good advice, thank you. I think I’ve seen two or three of those vids. I got really big into Abby for a while. Her character building and plot building videos are sooooo good. Honestly, after some of her stuff I’ve started picking apart books and movies. Which, is great for me, really annoying to everyone else lol. That’s normally what gets me inspired with ideas. Right now its just hard to sit down and actually get them on paper. Like i can write whole stories in my head but never get them down anywhere. And later absolutely forget about them.

I’ve only been on here for about a day but so far its been great. I got really into the Wattpad forum right before they took it down unfortunately. And I’ve tried my best with NaNoWriMo but it seems to die off right after the months over and its hard to keep in touch. But I’m pretty greatful fo having found this.

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Yes, very true. I’m glad things turned out well for you with art. Art is another hobby I’m trying to get back into more. I’ve worked on it on and off casually for a while now. But really had to take a break because what I was doing just wasn’t working for me. And I guess I’ve realized I don’t have the time to really set down and learn all of the things I should know to do some of the things I want to, if that makes sense. But I don’t know, writing has always been my hobby I go back to and I guess I’ve never let myself get this rusty.

Those are all great ideas, thank you.

I might have to try this. That sounds like a great idea.

That’s mainly what I’ve been trying. It’s just been discouraging to set for a while putting words down to later decide to get rid of all of it.

That would be great!

I’m Em, its nice to meet you. I just joined here yesterday. It was all great advice thank you very much.

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Yes, so far that has helped a little. Though…I guess I’m only really shifting subgenres. Thank you.

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It happens, and it sucks, but the only way to shake that rust off is to practice and keep doing it. Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Time definitely makes it harder, and being an adult means not having much free time, unfortunately. But that’s why you have to make time for it. Even if it’s just half an hour a day.

Don’t get rid of it. Even if you don’t like it, just keep writing and don’t look back at what you’ve already written. Get a momentum going, finish a project, then you can go back and edit later when it’s all done. The first draft is always the worst draft, but it doesn’t have to be good. It just has to get the idea formulated and tangible so you can improve it from there. You can’t improve what isn’t there though.

Ah, so you are very new. Hopefully you find lots of friends and a community here then. I know that will help. Having a support system always helps. I’m glad you found my advice useful, and hopefully you’ll be enjoying writing again in no time.

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lol same

free verse mostly, with some rhymes. I do very modern work.

who’s yur favourite poem? mine are Anne Sexton and Robert Frost.

that’s actually very understandable.

same! now I have to do it physically now lol

I haven’t read a ton. But I got pretty into T.S. Eliot for a while and actually preformed some of his stuff for a public speaking class. I got into some Pablo Neruda for a while. I’m not super familiar with Anne but i’ve read some Robert Frost stuff that i’ve liked.

Thats definitely the harder part lol

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Just pick a simple concept, open up a word document and expand it. Give yourself a deadline (ie. NaNoWrimo) and just write 50k in 30 days. I’m doing Camp NaNo right now and I am 3k ahead of schedule. Just pants it. Don’t worry about awful it is. Just do it to get back into things. Helps me at times.

  • What is your trick to get into your writing voice or your characters voice?

Either roleplay with them, or ask them things. Create memories as them, and let them make playlists. Interviews help a lot (or writing in third person). Third person means you don’t need a character voice in the same sense as first person. But make sure they have a personality unique to themselves.

  • How do you hype yourself up to write and about your stories when you’re just not feeling it?

Listen to playlists. Coke (the drink) or coffee. Brainstorm. Think about your story. Just write something down and edit it later. Think about how much jo your characters bring you.

  • Lastly, I’m mostly here looking for writing buddies and community. I currently don’t have anyone to really talk about stories and this stuff with. I feel like that’s something I’ve really been missing. It’s hard to get excited about something I can’t share with anyone.

Hi, wanna be buddies? I’m Churro. I’m the resident pastry millenial boomer :smiley: Nice to meet you, Emilia. We can share projects and stuff if you want. This is what I am working on at the moment:

https://forum.wackywriters.com/t/churros-accountability-thread/14648/13?u=churro

I linked it directly to the post on my Accountability Thread that explains it in more detail and yes, I am almst 18k into it after 10 days :open_mouth: Record for me!

Ooooh nice!

yeah lol