Re-entering Writing on a Friday Night

How do you re-enter your writing? Something so organic, after a pause? This question was posed to me during the Writer’s Retreat at Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking. It was the third time I attended, and the instructor this time was Celia Bland. It was an excellent question for someone who has over the years worked in frenzied fits and starts, only to break off for long stretches and then return, ready, but unsure how to reconnect to the writing again.

The answer it seems, is that it’s much better to never leave off in the first place. I learned that this past year, when I had all the leisure in the world to write non-stop and yet would sometimes find days had gone by where I had planned and written around, but never written into my piece again.

So, if never stopping isn’t an option (though it’s always on my goal list to consider for the future) now that I’m back to working full time, I’m finding it best to slip in sideways, where the work is least expecting me. Sometimes questioning precious parts of it in writing, (we called it text explosion at Bard) and sometimes letting it be and getting on with what comes next. I’m even trying some longhand, just to mix things up. That visceral mind to hand to mechanical pencil to page connection made at Bard is hard to keep up with in real life, but sometimes it’s just the fit.

Tonight, I’m just glad I managed to write 6 pages on a Friday night, when I haven’t written in almost a week, and before that even longer. I’m getting back to me.