Monday, April 5, 2010

On break--now what?

I've spent a lot of time the past few days wondering what writers do when they're not writing their novels.

I've come up with some answers. They work on non-fiction pieces. They work on short stories. They start a new novel. They read a lot. They clean their houses. They get out and enjoy the world.

The problem? I miss working on my novel. I don't miss the novel itself so much, I just miss the daily habit of getting up and always knowing exactly what I have to do and what world I'm going to inhabit. I've gotten into a rhythm and it's been disorienting not having it.

What I should be working on is an essay for my publishing class. I'm writing on cover art. But after spending months in a fictional story, with my heroine and baddies and danger, my essay seems really boring.

I think the solution to the problem would be to immerse myself in another story, to start my next novel, revive an old one, or to play with a short story. But it all sounds like so much work. And worse, I don't have a good track record with multi-tasking. What if I get too distracted? After all, I'm supposed to go back to my novel on Friday.

So for now? I'll just whine.

What about you? How do you take a break from work?


  1. I hate the in-between-projects-purgatory. :-( I can't multi-task either, but I always try whenever I'm between things... I have this novel rewrite that I've been working on for the past four years or so, and I generally will dabble with that a little bit before I get frustrated and start something new. I'll also read a ton, and get addicted to British TV shows. :-)

    Good luck!! Friday isn't so VERY far away!

  2. Purgatory is a great word for it! Glad to know I'm not alone! I thought about dabbling a bit with my old novel, but couldn't even stand the thought. =)

  3. When I'm not doing anything at all, I catch up on reading. But I'm usually writing on my down time since I have a full-time job.

  4. Medeia: Ah yes, a full time job... I am such a lucky student at the moment. A good reminder.

    Nora: Thanks for stopping by! That's what I keep telling myself other writers do: clean house! But... *shudder* Somehow I still can't get up the motivation.

  5. Your answers pretty much sum up what most writers do. What I do.

    I like having more than one project to work on. That way when I set one aside, I can work on another one. It IS hard to jump from one story to another, and re-enter the lives of other characters, but I figure it is a good skill to gain.

  6. I tried to take a break between my latest projects, but a plot idea popped into my head and I had to write it down. I try to take it slowly when I start something new, for fear of burning out, but I think by the time I've finished a book I've built up such a daily writing routine that my brain doesn't know how to stop it.

    It does get frustrating, though, especially when I want to take a break!

  7. You're right, Sarah. If I'm ever lucky and talented enough to be published, I will have to jump from project to project, so it probably is good practice.

    That's exactly it, Helen, I just am so much in the habit of my writing routine that I really don't know how to change things up. How funny that you tried to take a break and your book wouldn't let you--maybe it was all for the best!


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