How To Get Back Into Writing (Once You’ve Lost Your Groove)

by Guest Blogger | 67 comments

I’m not sure how it happened. I was working away on the first draft of my latest novel… until I wasn’t. I had to fight and claw my way to get my writer’s groove back.

Let me save you the time and trouble. In this post, let's talk about how to get back into writing once you've lost your writing groove.

How To Get Back Into Writing (Once You've Lost Your Groove)

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to My Laptop

Typically, I write my entire first draft without getting feedback, with the “door closed,” as they say, a la Stephen King. However, this time it felt right to take new chapters each week to my critique group as I wrote them. I even made it to page 100 and celebrated that evening with a grande chai latte.

My family went out of town, so I missed that first Wednesday. No problem. The second week, I had several blog posts due, so I only read my nonfiction. Understandable.

The third week, my critique group didn’t meet because several members were out of town.

By the fourth week, fear set in and I felt lost.

Life Happens

I didn’t mean to stop writing. Has that ever happened for you?

Maybe you got sick and it threw off your writing. Maybe someone else got sick and you had to take care of them. Your work responsibilities might’ve overwhelmed you. Tragedy could’ve struck your family—death, divorce, a financial setback. Any of these obstacles can sidetrack your dreams, for weeks, months, or even years.

Let Go of the Guilt

Mentally beating up yourself with the ‘should’ stick doesn’t help the situation. Thoughts like:

  • You should be further along with your story.
  • You shouldn’t have fallen off the writing wagon.
  • You should be more disciplined… less lazy, better organized, etc.

If this you, stop it right now. Quit because guilt is counterproductive to your writing, and to your life. Besides, harassing your muse is another form of procrastination.

How to Get Back Into Writing? Start Writing

It truly is that simple. And, that hard.

Give yourself permission to write the lousiest, crappiest, awful-est prose in the world. Over one weekend, I chained myself to my computer and cranked out 15,000 words. They are rough, ugly, pages that are far from ‘critique-ready’, but I got the bones of my story down. I hit page 212 yesterday.

Keep Going

As I typed, each word clashed against the page. My rhythm felt awkward and clunky, but I kept typing away.

Write nonstop, without criticizing or editing, whichever way best to you:

  • For one full page.
  • For fifteen minutes.
  • For 250 words.
  • For a full scene or chapter.

The trick is keep going no matter what. Forgive yourself, begin again, then keep writing until you get your groove back.

Good luck!

How do you get back into your writing (once you've lost your groove)?  Let me know in the comments section.


Today, tell me a story about a writer who is doing well until he/she hits page 100, then life (not fear) throws him/her out of the writing groove. Does he/she get it back, or not? Please share in the comments, and give feedback to others, too. Thanks.

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  1. Krithika Rangarajan

    “As I typed, each word clashed against the page. My rhythm felt awkward and clunky, but I kept typing away.”

    BRILLIANT imagery. I can ‘hear’ the words crashing against the page – fidgety, frantic, frenzied…Muaah

    Bookmarked this for posterity….I fall off the wagon every day, so your post speaks to me <3

    Thanks, lovely Marcy #HUGS

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Glad you liked the imagery, Kitto. We all fall off the writing wagon. The trick is to KEEP climbing back on and writing more. xoxoxoxo

  2. George McNeese

    I struggled with writing off and on for years. After I got my degree, I researched what I could do with it, which isn’t much. I felt so discouraged. I gave up on writing for a while. I would write in my journal once in a while, but not be consistent.

    I made the decision to take my writing more seriously last year. It’s still hard to not want to throw in the towel because I struggle with drafts and wanting them to be perfect. So I work on it.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Thanks for your honesty, George. I struggle with perfectionism myself, so I GET IT. I love this quote by author Nora Roberts, “You can fix anything, but a blank page.”
      My writing has improved so much since I’ve given myself to write what Anne Lamott calls, “sh*tty first darfts.” They are raw, they ugly, but I at least get SOMETHING onto the page that buildable into something else worthwhile.
      Hope that makes sense. For people like you me, we need to forget the adage, “Practice make perfect” and strive for “practice makes progress” instead.

    • George McNeese

      It makes a lot of sense, Marcy. Getting over perfectionism is the hardest thing for me to do as a writer. But, learning to let go of that way of thinking will be beneficial. At the same time, I struggle with comparing myself to other writers. I think even their drafts would be better than any polished product I put together. So there’s something else I need to rid myself of in my thought process.

      In the grand scheme of things, it’s all about writing the best thing possible, even if it takes a few lousy drafts.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      We sound a lot alike, George. I’m trying to relax more, enjoy myself more and letting myself write a lot more crap. Oddly, my writing seems to be improving (my writing group tells me because I’m not sure I could trust my own judgment on the matter).

  3. patriciawarren

    This post is perfect. Just last week I told a friend that I’d lost my muse. My husband and I have spent the past 16 months building a cabin with only our own four hands. We moved out of our camper last October into the (still) unfinished cabin. I haven’t had a private writing space for over two years. I needed to read your words today. Thank you!

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      WOW, Patricia. You’ve had a LOT going on in your life. Congrats on building your cabin. That’s impressive. Just be patient. You’ll know when you’re ready to write again. It may be an imperfect space (like climbing back into your camper, or even sitting in your car)…don’t wait for a perfect space. Wait for when you’re READY, then just DO IT!

  4. Claudia

    Thank you for this post, Marcy. I am a retired journalist, mother of two, grandmother of three, bereaved parent, and senior citizen. I am a writer who doesn’t write anymore. Not sure why. Good suggestions in your post Marcy. Thanks.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      You’re wearing many important hats, Claudia. It made my heart hurt to read, “I am writer who doesn’t write anymore.” Especially since it used to be your paid profession.

      This clearly pains you and I would suggest you spend some time journaling everyday to explore this further. Don’t force it, just as much or as little, but keeping asking yourself…WHY DID I STOP WRITING.

      More than likely, it won’t be one big answer, but little heartbreaks along the way. I think your subconscious mind want to solve this mystery. Best of luck to you.

    • Claudia Peel

      Thank you, Marcy. I do journaling on a regular basis, mostly to keep things real. My journal entries are mostly about feelings and learning to let go. It’s a process, not an event. I don’t know why I stopped writing. Maybe it just didn’t seem important at some period in time and, you know, priorities change. Life changes. I’ll do some exploring, Marcy. Thank you for your
      suggestions. Much appreciated.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Yes, keep exploring to me because this is profound: I am a writer who doesn’t write anymore. That deserves an answer. Keep journaling!

    • Claudia Peel

      I will keep exploring, Marcy, and thank you for your interest and input. I started another journal this evening, one that is focused on my life as a writer and why I stopped writing. I’ll keep working at that. Thank you again for your comments.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Outstanding, Claudia. Even though you’ve been journaling all along, profound insights are headed your way since you’re about to focus on your writing and why you stopped. Good luck.

  5. Morgan

    I don’t know what’s up with me. I used to write ALL THE TIME, but now I’m glad if I even get half of an idea through my head. I force myself to sit and stare at a piece of paper, and it’s heartbreaking when nothing will want to come out. :/ help

    • Carrie Lynn Lewis


      I spent most of last year doing what you described. It. Was. Painful.

      And it turned out to be counterproductive. None of the first drafts I worked on were finished and those that were went no further.

      So I finally declared a sabbatical and have been doing other things ever since. Reading. Working on non-fiction projects. Teaching online art courses. Tending orphan kittens. You name it.

      Two thing have happened because of this.

      1: I’m not wrestling with recalcitrant ideas or manuscripts anymore.

      2: I have no guilt over that fact.

      I’ve been reading more–novels and craft books and blogs–and have been keeping busy.

      The sabbatical officially began January 10, 2015. It’s still in progress. For the first few months, there was no mental activity in writing. It was as if that door had closed.

      But in the past several weeks, ideas have begun rising to the surface like fish in a pond. I’ve jotted them down, written a stray scene or two, and otherwise let the ideas come.

      No, I haven’t started writing fiction again, but that’s okay. I’m at peace with the situation. I will start writing again. When the time is right.

      Besides, those orphan kittens still take a lot of time, even though they are no longer being bottle fed!

      My advice to you? Take time to recharge your creative battery.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Thank you, Carrie Lynn for sharing so much of your story with Morgan and the rest of us. Glad to hear that this sabbatical is doing your heart good. It’s amazing what happens when we give ourselves the time and space to recover (and BRAVO on not beating yourself up over guilt).

    • Carrie Lynn Lewis


      It’s been a learning experience. I’m one of those writers who believes that I need to write. Every day. No matter what.

      So it required permission on a divine level to make me let go of that.

      The thing is that I’m still writing. Just different things. Journals. Freelance articles. Blog posts. You name it.

      But the difference in focus has been beneficial. That’s why I thought it important to share this story. We get so caught up in production that we lose sight of recharging.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      That’s so awesome and so true, Carrie Lynn. Changing our focus changes everything. Good for you and keep up the good work.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      I know how painful that must be for you, Morgan. Sorry to hear this — especially since you KNOW you can write. Can you tell me more about your situation, so we can find the root cause?

      Did someone criticize your writing, so now you’re afraid to even put pen to paper?
      Are you you’re own worst critic, and perfectionism is stopping you?
      Are you burned out, and needing to rejuvenate yourself creatively?

      If you’d rather talk to me privately, you’re welcome to email me @

  6. Andrea Huelsenbeck

    The thing that got me going after several years of not writing was Jeff Goins’ 500 word challenge ( It helped me develop a daily writing habit.

    • Andrea Huelsenbeck

      It got cut off again. Google “500 Word Challenge.” Maybe this website has a no-links-in-comments policy.

    • Joe Bunting

      The link works. It’s just abbreviated. Thank you for sharing this. Jeff’s 500 words program is awesome.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      That’s terrific to hear, Andrea. Jeff is a great guy (and a good friend of our own Joe Bunting of The Write Practice). Interesting how birds of a feather flock together. They’re both committed to helping other writers improve our craft. Thanks for sharing the link!

    • Nura elsheikh

      I have lost a my brother , 2 years ago .. by then he was sick for 3 years .. yet i was still writing even slowly .. I finished 2 scripts .. since then I feel that my mind is blocked .. not really blocked , i got ideas even full stories in my mind but as soon as i open my notebook i feel really helpless .. staring for nothing as if my mind is not working anymore .. any help you can suggest ?
      Please email me :

  7. Guessella Daniels

    I am forcing myself to write more because practice writing makes one better.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      I cannot say it any better than you. Thanks!

    • Guessella Daniels

      Thank you because practice makes perfect.

  8. Christine

    I’m a bad one for getting stalled out. I made the mistake recently of posting a story on my blog (the idea was to do it in installments) that I hadn’t FIRST finished. NEVER. Do. That. Now my whole blog is frozen right there.

    You would think the pressure would inspire me to finish the story. Rather, I freeze. Thus I’m stuck part way and then have the double guilt of knowing my readers are waiting and I absolutely MUST finish that story and I can’t post anything else on my blog until I do, added to the initial guilt of “lost my train of thought” and not finishing something. The Dynamic DUO: Pressure plus guilt = Freeze

    However, I’ve learned to live the saying, “Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” (BEWARE: Confession zone ahead.) I don’t have a dishwasher and there are rush-rush days when I cook a lot and just pile my dishes beside the sink for “later.” (I just know none of you others do this, so think what you will of me.)

    Later becomes all day and sometimes spills over to the next morning. And I think, “MO-O-O-AN!” Then I tell myself, “Just wash the glasses (or the plates —whatever.) Do ONE batch. And once I get started, the rest almost always gets washed. If it doesn’t, I come back later and do more.

    Now, I need to leave off this ramble and go write just ONE paragraph of that story I want to finish. Just ONE paragraph. Can that be so hard? And come back in an hour and do another. “Little and often makes a heap in time” is another of my favorite sayings.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Precious Christine,

      What a brave soul you are to make your confession here. Part of my problems was, and maybe you’re doing this, too…I was thinking TOO BIG. I’d managed 100 pages okay, then I FREAKED wondering how I would manage the other 200 – 250 pages. Sure, life got in the way, the FEAR shut me down.

      You know the answer for your blog….STOP think about finishing your whole book for your blog…just finish one paragraph, then another. Pretty soon, you’ll have an entire chapter, then another, then another.

      Stop thinking BIG. The key for you (and us all) is small steps.

    • Christine

      I did it! I forced myself to sit down and start that one paragraph. And by now I’ve completed two pages. I guess a small cork can plug a big bottle. Pull that out and she flows again. 🙂

      And you’re right. I’ve always thought TOO BIG. I.e., big chunks of time needed. Days & weeks.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Congratulations, Christine. You just needed a little nudge. Keep focusing on SMALL STEPS and it’ll take you just where you want to be…typing THE END for your story.

  9. Kelly Blackwell

    Thanks Marcy! I needed this encouragment. Life happened and you know, it just keeps happening. I am off to write. You made my day!

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Yea, Kelly. I’m so glad my post encouraged you! Life does happening, so just keep doing the best you can with it’s one paragraph, or 20K words!

  10. Lady Tam Li Hua

    I’m terrible with any kind of daily habit that isn’t necessary for my basic survival, even if it’s something I enjoy. I have a NaNo novel that’s roughly 5 years old that has me *petrified* It needs editing and rewriting so badly, but I HATE wasting time, and fear that any rewrite or editing just won’t be worth it in the end. :/ Seriously struggling to look in the eye and say, “Hey you! We’re doing this!” What if no one wants to read it? What if EVERYONE wants to read it?? What if people start stalking me and dressing up as my characters at Comic-Con?! I don’t think I could handle my imagination made into stark reality. x_x;;;;

    Augh…the dreadful fears of a fiction writer…

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Thanks for your honesty. I would respectfully suggest to you there is NO wasted time with writing. Each time you practice, whether the words are golden or not, you ARE strengthening your craft. Perfectionism can be a dangerous trap. Try setting aside all our WHAT IFS and be a kid again. Write for the joy of it. Good luck.

  11. Reagan Colbert

    This could not have come at a better time. A thousand thanks, Marcy! I’ve given myself a deadline (plus I’m working with a publisher) to finally finish my novel in 6 weeks. A week ago I was writing like I never have before, then it just stopped. Today was the first time I’ve actually gotten back to my laptop, and it’s been a rough start, and you showed me exactly why. I need to let go of the guilt and the self-editor. I just need to start writing.
    Brilliant article!
    “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Congrats on publishing your book, Reagan. Let go of the guilt, just focus on one scene at a time without criticism and you should be fine. Good luck!

  12. Pamela

    Every morning I read the little notecard taped on my computer: “Little and Often Make Much.” Then I make myself just write on my book for 10 minutes. Often, that leads to 2 hours. But if it stops at 10 minutes, I’m still happy. I wrote.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      That’s wonderful, Pamela. I may tape that notecard onto my computer, too. Thanks!

  13. Veronica Gilkes

    I have not been writing for a few weeks now, I lost a dear aunt of mine about a month ago now and have not been able to get back in the groove, I am just feeling very depressed at the moment. I just feel I am not ready to start writing again yet. Hopefully I will get my groove back soon before this lasts for years.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Hi Veronica,
      I’m sorry to hear about your aunt. You’re wise to let your heart grieve during this important time. I have a feeling it won’t take you years to get back to writing, but there’s a season for everything. Right now, you need to let yourself mourn.

  14. Valerie

    I’ve had a crazy-busy month–12 days away followed by three weeks of houseguests. The guests leave tonight, after one more family party, and then I’m going to buckle back down. I’ll have to read from the beginning of the manuscript to get myself back into it, but then–go!

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      ou HAVE been busy, Valerie, but the great thing with writing is that this interim has NOT been wasted time. You’re going to reread your story with such FRESH eyes. You’re going to be better off than if you hadn’t taken the month off.

      Good luck and get to it!

  15. Candace Mason Dwyer

    I was going to start writing again when I cleaned off my office table. It is still piled high, but read Joe’s blog and started writing again. The layoff time was somewhere around 20+ years. Now, I have 3 chapters written of 3 different stories. All stop where the research is going to be required. Since we farm, a lot, research must wait til October/Nov. This is slow down time.
    We have 5 farms in 3 counties and rental properties. So I just have to sit down and write with out a set time. In between business requirements…if I take care of farmer’s request before 9 am, I can write for two hours before noon and one hour after.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Hi Candace,

      Farming must come first. That’s terrific how much you’ve accomplished on your three stories. Just keep at it. If you get stuck with one story, then focus on another. You can do this…we all write our stories the same way: one word at a time.

  16. Veronica Gilkes

    Thanks very much for your kind words Marcy.

  17. Debra johnson

    Thank you Marcy for this post, it was just what I needed to hear. There are so many here I can relate to. Starting in Dec of 2014 I had made the decision to finish a few of my babies and get them out for others to enjoy. So one day I spent the day looking over all my babies both those I had written long hand and those I had in my laptop locked away just waiting to be recognized again. I printed everything out and placed them on my bed- my extended desk ( come on please tell me I’m not the only one who does this).

    Any way the total came to 33 stories. Some were complete first drafts, some were almost but not quite done, some were fiction some nonfiction,some I had just started and some I had written just out of school. Shoot there were even some with outlines, character descriptions, some dialogues that would be perfect in a story. Even parts that I had edited out were saved to be used else where. So now that I could physically see what I had, I had to seriously look at them to see which story and which characters I wanted to spend time with. After figuring out which ones I wanted to spend my year finishing and getting into the hands of a publisher and readers life happened.

    Starting in January there was an illness divorce and surgery (mine) that would put my off my feet and away from my computer at least 2 weeks. Suddenly nothing about writing was on the front burner and have stayed dormant for almost 8 months. My goals fell thru and nothing was accomplished.

    A friend suggested I do something else creative, like paint or color or something else. Give my brain time to rejuvenate and replenish what it had been thru. I have been writing a journal about recovering from surgery and how I am doing, it is keeping my writing going and will be the notes / outline for a nonfiction story soon.

    All this to say I have been there am there and will most likely be there again, the deal is to not give up and do something to stay fresh and continue going. So I am continuing to take one step in front of the other (it was foot surgery) as well as one pen stroke at a time and continue to do the best I can to do what I love.

    Sorry this is so long,

    • Candace Mason Dwyer

      Thank you for sharing. I was beginning to think I was procrastinating again with breaking off and starting other stories when they pop up. It helps to get over the block on one story to start another. So glad to hear this happens with others!

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Definitely, Candace. Whatever works…do it!

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Life has definitely throw you more than one curveball, Debra. I’m glad your friend suggested you do other things creatively. It also shocks me how much that helps me to heal when I feel broken over my writing.
      Keep doing what you’re doing: letting your mind and body recharge. You’ll come back to the page. I can feel it. Best of luck to you on your journey.

    • Debra johnson

      Thanks Marcy, I will. All I can do is take it one day at a time, and not rush it or beat myself up,

  18. Carrie Lynn Lewis


    You’re welcome. Enjoy your break. Try not to think about writing at all (that’s part of what makes a sabbatical work so well but it’s oh-h-h so-o-o-o-o hard to do!)

    Freelancing and blogging are going great, thank you. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of fiction.

  19. Nicola Layouni

    Great post. It helps to know I’m not alone.

    My dad died in March and ever since then I’ve been… floundering. Mired down in a mass of grief, family discord, and all the paperwork that accompanies a death.

    Back when life was dandy I’d (foolishly!) promised my readers I’d have another two books out this year, so I tried to keep going, to keep on writing, flogging myself with guilt to write a page or two a day of my second draft. But everything I wrote came out bleak and hollow. (I suppose it doesn’t help that the subject matter of my third book deals with some dark subject matter. Not the right time to write that, I guess.)

    But it didn’t end there. Ever since I learned that joined up letters formed words, writing has been my escape, my safe place. Suddenly, there I was, locked out of my sanctuary at the time I most needed it. Even writing Facebook comment became a Herculean effort – and it still is. I can’t seem to string two sentences together without huge effort, and a shedload of editing!

    Q: Has grief short-circuited me, or have I simply lost the precious ‘gift’ I’ve always taken for granted? Answers on a post-it please. 🙂

    Know what I did? I gave myself permission to take the rest of the summer off. To be with my kids, watch old movies, to re-read all my favorite keeper-shelf books (because reading new stuff can be difficult now. Don’t know why.) In short, to ‘find my happy’ again.

    Has it helped? Who knows? It’s too soon to say. Ask me again in November.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Hi Nicola,

      I’m so sorry for your loss. My dad died over 28 years ago, so I understand how much a girl can miss her daddy.

      My answer is: grief has 100% short-circuited you. You haven’t lost your precious gift. Grief is EXHAUSTING!

      That’s wonderful you’ve given yourself the summer off because you saw how flogging yourself didn’t help you write. You need the grace and space to heal. By chance, have you told your readers what’s happened? If not, they’d understand why you aren’t going to get those promised books out this year.

      Stay on your current course: grieve your dad, enjoy your family and let your heart heal. I promise you the page will be ready for you when you’re ready for it.

    • Nicola Layouni

      Yes, I told my readers what happened and they’ve all been lovely. I was touched to receive many messages of understanding and support from people I’ll probably never meet. I know we all say this, but I have the best readers ever!

      Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot. Have a great week.

  20. Lujain Alkhateeb

    I loved this! Thank you

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Glad you enjoyed it, Lujain. Thanks for stopping by.

  21. Bob Gardner

    Enjoyed your post, Marcy. I try to avoid the ‘Misery loves company’ lane but it does help to know that others get stuck in the same traffic jam of the Muse. I also like your ‘should stick’ image. In some college class I took the teacher, a prim, blue-haired lady woke us all up by telling us not to ‘should on ourselves’. Your post helps remind me that ‘all first drafts are crap’ (Hemingway?) What works for me is the physical act of sharpening a ‘lead’ pencil with a hand sharpener. Once I have done that I write on a yellow legal pad until the point is a nub.

    • Marcy Mason McKay

      Outstanding thoughts, Bob. Thanks for sharing. I hope you continue to “start with a sharp pencil, then write until it’s a nub!”

  22. Carrie Lynn Lewis

    I’m only a week late, but I was looking for a writing exercise to do today and found this one. I remembered reading and liking the post the first time I read it, so decided to write about my own writing derailment.

    It started simply enough. One feral cat on the back porch in the middle of winter. Crouched at the bottom of the porch steps, tail curled around its feet, gazing up at the back door and watching the neighborhood wanderer eating her food. I stood at the back door and looked out. A running dialogue playing in my head.

    We don’t need to feed another cat.

    You can’t ignore it.

    You wanna bet?

    But it’s so cold.

    If I feed it, it’ll come back.

    If you don’t feed it, it might starve.

    When the neighborhood cat was finished, I left the bowl outside and walked away instead of bringing the bowl in. A short time later, both the leftover cat food and the stray cat was gone.

    We saw that black-and-white spotted cat periodically over the course of the next several weeks. Usually at a distance because it was very wary of human activity. It stayed around the porch when we put out food, but hissed or growled at any attempt to approach. A tomcat stacking out new territory, we thought.

    We were wrong.

    That spring, the black-and-white cat–now called Patches–had four kittens. The next year, she had four more.

    Patches and most of those kittens no longer live with us or in the neighborhood, but there are still ancestors feeding at our back porch.

    There are also four grand-kittens or great-grand-kittens (it’s difficult to keep these things straight!) in the back room. They’re barely eleven weeks old and have already had a rough life.

    They were born at the base of a towering elm tree in the back yard, up against a wood fence in a place that’s well protected from almost everything. There’s only two ways into that area and both are narrow enough that a malevolent tomcat would have difficulty getting at the kittens. Cozy, easily defended, and close to the back porch, where the mother cat–still a kitten herself–could get food and water.

    The night they were seven days old, I awakened to a house-shaking thunderstorm. Lightning struck so close, thunder cracked almost instantaneously. Rained pelted windows and the wind howled. I love weather so I got up. I wasn’t sleeping particularly well, either, so I decided to make tea and read.

    As I stood in the back door watching the storm, I heard cat cries. Baby cat cries. The moment I stepped out onto the back porch, I knew those week-old-kittens were in trouble. Two of them were out of the nest, but lying in water. One clung to the base of the tree in a position I shall never forget, head down.

    I threw on a coat and rushed to their aid, gathering up the first two and putting them into a box under the back porch, where they were sheltered and the momma cat could get to them. The third one was about halfway out of the nest and about half buried in water. I put it into the box, too, then fetched a flashlight and looked around for the two remaining kittens. On hands and knees, rain pouring down on me, I saw a dark shape nearly submerged far back in the nest. I reached in and found a kitten. Still alive, but not very lively.

    There was no sign of the fifth kitten or the momma cat and I spent ten or fifteen minutes in the storm looking. I ended up taking box and kittens inside and nesting them in a thick towel with hot water bottles for the night.

    The momma cat showed up the next day and so did the missing kitten.

    But she disappeared the following week, leaving me with five babies needing regular feedings and care. Three-hour feeding cycles are one thing for one orphan. I’d done that the previous year. It’s quite a different story with five orphans.

    I’m pleased to say that four of them are still alive.

    I don’t have to say that this writer temporarily set all writing aside to make kitten care top priority.

    Will I get back to writing? I expect I will. These writing exercises are the first step in that direction.

    • Debra johnson

      For a morning read this was heart breaking and warming at the same time…So glad there are cat lovers like you. I am also a cat lover as well as a puppy lover. Did they all find good homes or are they adopted members of yours?

    • Carrie Lynn Lewis


      The kittens are still kittens. They won’t be ready for homes until a visit to the vet for the usual kitten shots and whatever else may be necessary. Hopefully sometime early this summer.

      Thank you for your comments. Taking care of orphans is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. They don’t all survive.

  23. Debra johnson

    I am so late in writing this but it touched me as I am in this stage of my writing life and normal life. I’m going to set my timer and write about this writer person who was doing so well before she hit a speed bump. Then I’ll post it here..

  24. Lady Tam Li Hua

    I needed this. Even if it was posted years ago, I needed this exactly!



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