Lost the Ability to Write? How Writers Find Their Grooves

If you’re sick of being a “wannabee” writer and tired of wondering where your writing ability went, check out these tips for getting your groove back.

They’re inspired by a reader who is both sick and tired…

“I have wanted to write ever since I can remember, and I used to write an awful lot as a teenager,” says Danielle on I Want to Be a Writer! Where Do I Start My Writing Career? “But as I got older and had my children, I never got round to doing it. Now I feel as though I’m stuck, almost as if I don’t have the ability to write any more. Any help or tips you have would be greatly appreciated!”

I wrote 73 Ways to Fire Up (or Just Fire!) the Muse: How to Write When You Don’t Wanna, or Think You Can’t! just for people like you! It contains the best tips on being productive and getting published, from a couple dozen freelance writers, novelists, journalism professors, and bloggers.

And here are a few tips for writers whose choo-choos have jumped the track…

Lost the Ability to Write? How Writers Get Their Grooves

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” ~ Jack London.

Need I say more?


Figure out why you’ve lost your groove

The first step to getting your writing groove back is to isolate the reason you aren’t writing – because you can’t solve a problem unless you know what the problem is. What – specifically – is holding you back from writing? Your first step is to figure that out.

For instance, have you lost the ability to spell words correctly (it happens to the best of us) and write grammatically correct sentences? Read How to Find the Right Words and Improve Your English Skills.

Or is it strictly a time thing – do you lack time to write? Read Not Writing Enough? 5 Tips for Disorganized, Distracted Writers.

Or perhaps it’s a confidence or self-esteem issue; maybe you don’t think you have anything worth writing. Read How to Increase Writing Confidence – Grow the Skin of a Rhino.

See how every problem has a solution?

Start writing Morning Pages every day

Have you read the The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, or heard of her Morning Pages? You write (longhand on actual paper with an actual pen) three pages first thing in the morning, every day. I’ve been doing my Morning Pages for almost two months now, and feel more centered, balanced, happy, and confident. Both as a woman and as a writer.

It’s amazing how writing the “dreck” (stream of consciousness, whatever comes into your head) can clear the decks for the good stuff. It’s like it fills your well so you have more to give. You can see clearly, and you’re more grounded.

If you’ve lost the ability to write – for whatever reason – you simply need to start writing.

Find – or start – aCreative Circle

I wouldn’t have read The Artist’s Way if it wasn’t for a group of women who want to be more creative, grounded, and fulfilled. We’re reading this book together, meeting weekly to discuss our “artists’ dates” and figure out what “fills our wells.”

How has it changed my life and work? I’m more emotionally balanced, because I’ve figured out a few personal things in my Morning Pages. I’m more professionally balanced, because I’ve found ways to incorporate creativity, fun, and authenticity into my writing and the layout of my blogs. I’m more socially balanced, because I’m interacting with women who are smart, creative, motivated, and eager to take risks and move out of their comfort zones!

The more balanced you are as a person, the easier it’ll be to tap into your writers’ abilities and talents.

The beauty of a group who reads the Artist’s Way together is that you don’t need a “leader”, and you certainly don’t need to pay money! It’s simply a gathering of people who want to be more creative and fulfilled. Nobody else in our group is a writer, and it doesn’t even matter.

But if a writing group is more your style, read 7 Tips for Starting a Writers’ Group – Writing Alone, Writing Together.

Accept that writers must make sacrifices to write…and few writers find it easy

Here’s another reader’s dilemma:

“I’m having serious issues with writing my book,” says Kyla on Lost Interest in Writing Your Novel? How to Love Your Characters. “Not because I can’t do it (it’s actually really easy if I force myself to sit down and do nothing else), but because I have distraction issues and health problems. I either have to let the rest of my life fall by the wayside, and write. Or have my writing fall by the wayside, and live. How do people balance both sides of their life? Do they, too, have issues with only being able to focus on one or the other? Or is this something that I, personally, have wrong with me? Do I just really suck at keeping my life in order?”

No, this writer doesn’t suck at balancing her life! I don’t think. The reality is that writing takes time, energy, and commitment. The reason so many people want to write and far fewer are published (or even write regularly) is because life gets in the way. Health problems, insecurities, kids, jobs, and even our own self-sabotaging habits that steal our time, energy, and motivation.

What sacrifices do you have to make to be a writer? What is the price you have to pay?

Writing isn’t free, my friends. It’ll cost ya.

What do you think – how do writers find their lost ability to write and get their grooves back?

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7 thoughts on “Lost the Ability to Write? How Writers Find Their Grooves”

  1. Well, I saw this post was written with me in mind (I even got quoted!), so I had to check it out.

    I completely agree that writing takes a lot of sacrifice. Thanks so much for this article. I’ve actually been writing much more lately, and have made a deal where I can’t get on the internet for most of the day, to prevent distractions. I think it’s no coincidence that I was able to keep work on the book going for 8 months straight when I had no internet, but couldn’t keep it up once I got internet access again.

    It also doesn’t hurt that my personal life took a dive into obscurity again.

    Thanks again for the great article, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments…I hope you find your lost ability to write, and get back in the groove! 🙂

    I was in a writing funk, too, until I started the Morning Pages.

  3. Laurie,

    This post could be titled, “George? Helloooo. I’m talking to you!”

    Been in a writing funk for about six months or so. Whereas I used to look forward to writing, I almost view it as a chore these days. Pretty disappointing. I’ve tried to examine why this is and I’ve yet to come up with an answer.

    Still hoping it is just a phase that will pass.


  4. Laurie tell me about it! I am absorbing this post because I have been living in an uninspired environment for nearly a month because my server and work computer was hacked. After a couple of complete re-installs and a developer later, I am still in a rut. Now, I am mostly torn between what to post, where to post to, and when. Not a great place to be in. I think it is a matter of just getting that beginning post completed and published.

    At least I hope it works out that way. Timely post–most certainly inspired. Thank you.

  5. Good tips! I have been figuring out the same things myself lately, why did I lose my groove and how do I get it back?

    Thank you for this!

  6. Hi Laurie,

    Great post! More so because I can so well relate to it, being a full time freelance writer. We sure have several excuses and reasons for not writing, and for me it is my kids and home that take most of my time. But, writing doesn’t come easy, nor is it a piece of cake, if you want something, you ought to work for it.

    If we have to achieve something, then we ourselves have to go and get it, it will not happen on it’s own. And that is exactly what I keep in mind and proceed ahead. Need to organize and discipline your time and work, and get going.

    Thanks for sharing!