Not writing for a few weeks was a big problem for me, since so much of what I do depends on my ability to write consistently.
For three consecutive weeks, including this week, I wrote my "Sunday Morning Marketing Dispatch" on the day of its release, literally moments before shipping it, and with no editing.
That's fine, but the weeks before that I wrote the issues in the middle of the week. My normal state is constantly creative. I forget more ideas than I remember, and usually still have more than I know how to keep track of, much less execute. This is why I'm a good consultant, I can pass on a lot of ideas I can't personally execute.
Anyway, I wrote the issue for this week... and it took me a good while, because starting out, I had no idea what to write about.
It's now three or four hours later. And I just got the idea for what to write about next week!
From not knowing at all what to write about all week, I came up with the idea for next week three hours after I shipped this week's issue.
So, back to normal.
How'd I do it?
I just started creating again. For me, that means writing. For you, might be something else.
See, I'm writing this now and, it's fun. I'm enjoying this moment right now. Hasn't been like that with the things I have written in the past few weeks. I don't know, can you tell?
There's something real special about being in the moment, creating. Like jazz improv. Ask any musician, they know the magic I'm talking about.
When I started writing again, it was crap for the first couple of days. Had to work through a pain period. Suddenly, something clicks in your brain and you get your mojo back.
Like riding a bike. They say you never forget. I guess that's true, but have you ever gotten back on a bicycle after not riding for several years? You're a little wobbly, aren't you? At least uncomfortable. You gotta stay on there for a few minutes or hours before you "become one" with the bike again.
Being in this flow versus being out of it, it really makes all the difference. Writing this, compared to stuff I've written as recently as two days ago, it's not even the same. Writing isn't always the same. This post probably doesn't need editing. It rarely does when you write from the flow. When you grind through the writing process, you usually have to rewrite the whole piece like six times.
One thing that might help you get back in the swing of things is a new formula. I typically don't have a defined way or formula for writing things -- I just write until the words stop coming -- but to ship this week's SMMD out, I tried a new method:
You pick a target word count (for SMMD it's 1200 words) then divide it by two (600) then you divide that number by three (200), then that number by four (50), then that number by five (10), then that number by six (2). You keep dividing until you hit a number less than one. Then you write your piece from the smallest number - two in this case - to the biggest number. In other words, if you had to say what you wanted to say in two words, what would you say?
You write your two-word version, then your ten-word version, then your fifty-word version, etc., until you hit your 1200 word count. I cheated, though. I started with the fifty-word version, and then in my 1200-word version I only hit 900 words. Bah. But hey, I went from not having a clue what to write about to two-thirds finished. Success! (you can read this week's issue here)
A side effect is that your final draft will be much cleaner and tighter than if you were to write 1200 (or whatever your target is) in one go. The whole process took me longer than if I had written it all at once, but if you include the editing time it would have taken me to get it that smooth, it was way faster.
This post is now up to 700 words (ish) and it was completely effortless for me to write, just because I sort of tapped into my writing brain again. It was clogged up from a few weeks of not using it. But now it's humming along again.