Thursday, July 5, 2012

Catch Up and Ramp Up Your Writing

A week ago, I returned from my church mission’s trip, which was quite simply a fabulous experience. Getting away from the day-to-day demands, bonding with a talented and diverse team, and having the chance to help our missionaries in their ministry are just a few reasons why I enjoyed so much being a part of this trip.

Not so fun were the flights back home which involved a nearly 12-hour stay in an airport with a mere 6 terminals, getting into our connecting city at 12:30 in the morning, arriving at a hotel at 2:30 in the morning and then finally landing in Tampa during Tropical Storm Debbie.

However, I’m not convinced that traveling challenges are the hardest part about coming home. I think harder still is getting back into a routine – specifically, a writing routine. After a mission trip – or any trip for that matter – what is the best way to “ramp up” and get back to being serious about your writing projects?

Never stop writing in the first place
Whenever I go on trips, I take a journal with me. Of course, journaling doesn’t equal the intensity of book writing projects, but it keeps me channeling ideas onto paper – ideas that may even come in useful for future projects.
Get your distractions out of the way
What do I mean by that? Simply this: Take care of any immediate demands for your attention. For me, that list included unpacking, laundry, emails, phone calls, photo development, etc. In other words, take care of what you need to address, and then your mind will be freer to focus on your writing projects.

Pick up right where you left off
Sounds like common sense? Well, it is (and it’s much easier if you left your writing projects in some form of organization before you left). There’s no use staring at the computer screen wishing you were back wherever you just went. Roll up your sleeves, and start writing.

So what helps you get back into a routine after time away?

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