Monday, January 10, 2011

Taking a break

I got back from my Christmas visit to the States Friday morning.

First order of business? I took a hot bath. It'd been a long day. Plus I was reading the newest Courtney Summers book, Fall for Anything, and I couldn't bear to stop.

After my bath, unpacking, visiting the grocery store, and a much needed nap, I settled in for the evening with some Christmas chocolate and a new DVD of Project Runway. And I tried to figure out how in the world I was going to get back into writing mode.

Last year I didn't have this problem. Perhaps the holidays were a bit quieter for some reason. Or I was more dedicated. I had the stress of a January deadline for Bath Spa University to worry about. And a sparkly new novel idea. So I wrote every day, even Christmas, for thirty minutes. Most days I worked for an hour.

This year I did some editing work, some work on my query letter, and a half-hearted journal entry about what would happen next in Project Demo. In total, a couple of hours tops. I didn't write anything new, not a single sentence.

I'm okay with that. If I wasn't, I would have pushed myself harder. This year I figured I needed a break (plus I don't get to spend time with my family and American friends very often).

But what now? I'm a little hazy on my characters' names, let alone the plot. And I'm tired just thinking about how much work diving in again will be. This must be why most writers work every day.

Of course, once I force myself to start writing again, it will all come back. I'll begin to care again, I'll begin to remember my story's driving action. I hope.

Did you take a writing holiday this year? How did you get back to work?


  1. Welcome back! I hope you had a great trip.

    I took a break and am also trying to get back in the groove. Today (inspired by debut YA Author Julia Karr) I am trying to motivate myself by crunching the numbers - how many words I can get written this year if I write just 500 words per day.

    But I was up late last night, and I'm soooo tired LOL - this is what happens when it's rainy and I can't walk - I want to nap instead of write!

    Good luck getting back in the groove! I hope the querying process is going well for you.


  2. Thanks, Elisabeth! I DID have a nice trip!

    I've definitely been fighting the call of my bed, too! But great to hear that you have a word count goal for the year! That sounds like such a steady, accountable goal.

  3. I'm still on break, still trying to get over the holidays, although I have managed a few hours here and there. The goal this year is 4 hours a day, and I simply don't see how it's going to happen for another week, at least. Sigh.

    The good news is that it's winter again! The "light dusting, perhaps 1/4 inch accumulation" has turned into 3+ inches of beautiful fluffy lake-effect snow... and it's still coming down. It's so much nicer to look out the window at a white backyard than at a gray and brown tundra (and we have a young adult living at home who can be sent out to do the clearing!)

  4. Welcome back! No, I didn't take a writing break, but my holidays sounds more like your holidays of 2009-2010. Does this mean I'll get to take time off next year (or, well, this year - winter, 2011)? I hope so!

  5. Elisabeth, Anne, Bridgette, it's so nice to hear from you all again! I've missed my blog friends!

    Oh dear, Anne. It's funny, isn't it? As much as I enjoyed the holidays, I was so glad to get back to real life. And 0 to 4 sounds like an especially steep climb! I usually aim for 4 hours, but with jet lag I've been thrilled if I hit 3 lately.

    The fluffy, gently falling snow is the best. It sounds beautiful. Enjoy!

    Bridgette, I hope you can take some time off next Christmas too! Though maybe a break before that would be nice as well? =)


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