Back In the Saddle Again


5 Things I did to get back to my writing—and one or two you might use, too.


By Lana Wayne Koehler


This has been a strange season of life. First there was COVID, then canceling conferences, then canceling submissions, then canceling publications, now the variant, and on and on, and on. And all the while, we, as writers, struggle to connect with each other and our stories. Do you need encouragement to move on? I know that I did.

 Here are five things that I did to help me get back to my writing:

1.     I started reading again. First, I read for enjoyment—Checking out things like Pinterest and Facebook (don’t judge!). I read some classic children’s books from my home library. Then I found myself checking out some articles and blogs on writing. Before I knew it, I was studying writing again!

2.     The next thing I wrote was something short. I know that as a writer for children’s books that they are naturally short, but this exercise has little to do with that kind of intense writing. Instead, I wrote a congratulatory letter to my granddaughter who managed to finish her degree during Covid. Preparing for and actually writing it started my creative engine going.

 3.     With my engine idling, I went off and proceeded to live my semi-regular life again, without writing anything else. This time I had a level of guilt that I hadn’t experienced in quite a while. After all, don’t we all have some guilt about not writing or not writing enough? I took a deep breath and gave myself some space to linger without writing. It helped me get to # 4.

 4.     I finally opened my computer to write the next best-selling book and found that I had lost the ability to write anything on my computer because I did something dumb when I uploaded a new IOS! (I’m still in denial about what I did and why I did it!). Needless to say, I could only print my manuscripts and read or correct by hand. I was infuriated. After all, I was finally ready to put my thoughts together and the stars aligned against me. Again, I took a deep breath and pushed through. This time with renewed confidence, I finally knelt to the writing gods and bought some new software. Which brings me to #5.

 5.     Somewhere in the dark recesses of my twisted mind a new idea formed. More than one, actually. And they have merit and could possibly be the next best sellers. Or at least something to spend every waking hour thinking about, writing about, and crying about. After all, isn’t that what we writers do?

For one brief moment I thought my writing career was over. Now I can’t wait to get my stories on paper and share them with the world.

 Here’s to all the fabulous stories that you will write because you decided to join me back in the saddle again. And, hey, isn’t the view up here wonderful?