I admit it, I didn't write during the holidays, at least not adding to my word count on Viking Gold. Now, I know some of you will think that's blasphemy...a writer writes, right?
But you know, when I hit the manuscript a few weeks ago, I realized being away from it allowed me work on it with...
- Renewed effort and enjoyment in my craft
- I could see my holes and fill them easier this time, I wasn't scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas
- And I fell in love again with my characters and the plot
But I also realized that...
- I felt at first like I was slogging through mud to get back on track with the story, to write anything that didn't feel like poop
- My writing muscle had atrophied
- Sitting at my desk was uncomfortable, so obviously not only my writing muscle had atrophied.
I wonder now if I can afford to take this break annually, or even a few times a year. The pace for having work out there seems to have picked up, more books are being published, there is more choice than ever for the reader. Can I afford to take time off?
And then I think that maybe the old adage about cream floating to the top is true, even in a saturated market. So if I produce a better product by taking a break, am I doing my career a favor?
And then the horrifying thought came; will readers forget about me if I only produce two books a year instead of three or...gulp...four?
Tell me what you think.
OH...Then, as providence will rule, into my inbox dropped my February Newsletter from Cathy Yardley of Rock Your Writing fame. (Definitely check out her site and sign up for her newsletter!)
Her post seemed to coincide with my musing, so with her permission I'm posting a bit of it.
"Ah, February. The month when the shiny, sexy promise of New Year's resolutions turns into the dreaded "morning after" of everyday life... when the dream meets the routine.
Suddenly, getting up at five a.m. every morning to bang out a few pages isn't as enticing as staying under your warm covers. You'll do the pages at night, you promise yourself, tapping the snooze button.
But you have a hell of a time at the day job, you find out your son's book report is actually due tomorrowand he hasn't started, you're out of dog food, and you've got no idea what you're making for dinner.
By the time everyone who needs to be is fed and in bed, it's nearly eleven, you've got all the energy of a dead car battery and your creativity resembles a fossilized raisin.
Next thing you know, you rationalize: I'll just double the pages I write tomorrow.
After "doubling" to the point where you'd need to write twenty pages in one day to catch up, you find yourself passively or actively avoiding writing altogether.
You've fallen off the writing wagon -- and you're not quite sure how to get back on..."
~Cathy Yardley, Rock Your Writing