New Seasons, Beautiful Moments! Getting Back into a Writing Routine

Well let’s see, my last post here on Sensibility and Sense was July 21, and so much has happened in our lives since then . . .

Barnabas and Gracie!

The first major change was adding a big, black puppy to our family back in August! Barnabas is a bouncing bundle of joy and mischief and has become my new writing partner (currently curled up under my desk). He has destroyed a few phone chargers and some headphones, been a little slow in the potty-training department and succeeded in making our cat his mortal enemy, but other than that, he’s turning out to be a great dog!

Julia ready for college!

About two weeks after Barnabas arrived, our Julia went off to college. We packed up her big old car (named Betty) and headed to Grand Rapids. She had orientation for a few days and officially became a college student on September 8! Julia is studying music education with an emphasis in violin. We’re so proud of her and can’t wait to see where this journey leads.

Olivia, my last chauffeur!

Of course, Julia’s leaving for college meant that our household of five was now a household of three. Our youngest, Olivia, is a high-school junior this year, and she’s learning how to live with all of the attention from her parents squarely on her shoulders! She’s doing a fabulous job adjusting to being the only child at home and is currently my hero;)

And finally, just a little over a month after Julia started college, Wesley, our oldest, got married to his sweetheart Katie! Our family gathered from as far away as Hawaii on a picture-perfect October day to witness their vows to each other and before God and celebrate their amazing love story. It was a happy day full of beautiful moments and special memories, and we are all feeling so blessed. . .

That was a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve settled into a steady fall hum here at the Richards’ house. Now that I’ve kind of recovered from all the activity of the last few months, it’s time to get back to work. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been working all along, but only on weekly deadlines and not other writing projects. And now, when I’m completely caught up on work and have all the time I need to dust off some things that have been waiting, I can’t seem to wrap my brain around getting started.

It’s like when you haven’t exercised in a while, but you can’t find the energy to take that first step. When you’re forced to take a hiatus due to celebrations, life’s changes, illness or other things that demand your time and attention, it can be hard to start putting your thoughts down again on a regular basis.

Wesley and Katie!

But like taking those first steps on that treadmill, getting a few words down at a set time each day will have you up and writing again in no time. At least I’ve found that’s what works for me.

If you’ve been putting off a project that seems to be calling your name, why not join me and get started? There are two writing challenges coming up that can help. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) may be just the thing to get you working again. Each event begins on November 1 and runs throughout the month. Sign ups are happening now!

So what are you waiting for? Kick that muse out of her recliner and get back to work. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did!

Sensibility- Take time to be fully aware when wonderful things are happening. Each savored moment creates a memory that will last a lifetime!

Sense- Pushing too hard after an extended time away from writing can create frustration. Ease back into your writing schedule by setting aside one hour each day to get a few words down.


What do you do to get back into your writing routine after an extended absence?






November Inspiration—NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo

November is a great month for writer inspiration. Both National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) are in full swing!

Image courtesy of Tara Lazar.com

Participating in these two activities is a great way to boost your creativity and help you reach some important writer goals. I’m not officially participating in either activity this year since I’m still putting the finishing touches on my new non-fiction picture book. But I am keeping up with daily PiBoIdMo blogs and cheering on all you November novel writers from the sidelines! I have done both before (although not in the same year) and have been very pleased with the results. NaNoWriMo inspired me to begin work on my second middle grade novel a few years ago. And even though I did not finish it in one month, I was able to get a solid start and complete a rough draft a few months later. My PiBoIdMo list continues to grow, and I’ve written several new picture books in the last year that came directly from the ideas I have listed there.

Image courtesy of NaNoWriMo.org.

So, if you’re in need of some inspiration, it’s not too late to get started.

I encourage you to visit each of these sites to learn more about both activities. Happy November, and as always, Happy Writing!

Sensibility- Writing is a journey, but it has to start somewhere. Set aside time for writing each day to help wake up your muse!

Sense- Use activities like NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo to jump start your creativity and help you set goals.

If you’re participating in these activities, let us know! If you’ve participated before, how have these two things impacted your writing?