I totally lost a day. Thought it was Thursday. Good thing somebody reminded me it’s Friday, or I would’ve come to work tomorrow.
Anyhoo, as some of you know, I was on a writing hiatus for a bit. Had a case of burnout. Yes, I’m referring to it in the past tense because I have actually been writing again. I did a story for one of the forthcoming Ylva “Don’t Be Shy” anthologies (I think I’m in the second one). That story was accepted (WOOO!). Then I wrote another story a couple weeks later in a couple of days (that one really wanted to be written, I guess) and after the requisite outside reader went through it, I sent that one off for consideration. It may or may not make the cut, but that’s okay. If not, I’ll have a completed story for something else down the line.
And now I’m trying to come up with ideas for stories for two more Ylva anthologies. It’s difficult, because one’s a Halloween anthology and the other is a holiday (December holidays) anthology. Hard to think of that time of year when it’s barely spring. But here I am, trying to get into the fall groove two seasons early to meet the deadlines for those.
Plus I’m about 2/3 done with the 4th in my Far Seek Chronicles and I’ve got this other romance novel that needs about 3 more chapters to finish that I’ll be getting ready to do stuff with later this year. I’ve got some other stuff going on with another of my series, too, which basically means I AM IN THE WRITING CRAZY RIGHT NOW but the cool thing is,
it feels GOOD.
Three months ago, writing did not feel good. It felt painful and forced and stressful and was causing me angst. That’s part of how I knew I was burned out and needed to stop.
I bring this up, dear readers, because sometimes writers need a break. We totally absolutely completely all the time appreciate all the reading LUUUUUUUUV you give us, but sometimes, we just can’t write for a while. It’s not about writer’s block. It’s about taking some time to regenerate and allow the creative juices to replenish.
There are, of course, writers who stop writing altogether and never do it again. To which I say, good for them. As long as they’re happy with that decision and lead lives that make them feel fulfilled in other ways, then YAY. If writing is not making you happy, stop. Find something that does and keep it real, yo.
And then there are writers like me, who sometimes need a 2-3 month hiatus to recharge and engage in other things that need our attention. The time I don’t spend writing allows me to rest writing muscles, if you will, so that when I’m back in the saddle, I’m ready to go. That’s kind of how it feels at the moment. Back in the saddle, rested and ready to go. I can’t guarantee I’ll complete all the projects I’d like to this year, but I’m working toward balance in them, and doing the things that make me happy.
That, I think, is crucial to a writing life.
It’s something I generally strive toward, and when stuff is outta whack, I have to take measures to address it.
So I did. Part of my hiatus involved getting caught up on some things, reading a lot, watching some new and interesting things on Netflix, doing lots of tai chi, and basically remembering why I write and staying okay with not doing it for a while.
Point being, fellow writers, if you’re not feelin’ it at the moment, it’s okay. Really. Take a break (I offer this 90s dance tune to help you with that). Take a walk. Take a drive. Take a few days and go visit friends and family in another state (or country, if you’re able). Go to a movie. Binge on some Netflix. Hit a museum. Get a potluck together and watch something with friends/family. Go to a restaurant you’ve always wanted to hit. Don’t do anything related to writing for a few days, or longer if you need it. It’s okay. Really. Trust me. It won’t hurt, and you might have fun and suddenly you’ll be hit with some awesome writing idea during your break and you’ll start writing and it’ll feel GOOD, this time.
After all, that’s why we do this. Cuz it makes us feel good.
So writer, HEAL THYSELF! And offer hiatus tips below, if you wanna.