I have 2 more days until I can “unleash the kraken” and go writing crazy again. No I haven’t become the captain of a pirate ship (I wish)! My writing hiatus is coming to an end.
These month-long-periods I take twice a year to recharge my creative batteries have become a necessity to retain my sanity and my sense of self while struggling through the world of publishing. All authors get worn down and stumble at times. I have no interest in burning out OR fading away, so I have to do what I can to keep going and never quit.
The best method is taking off June and December – my busiest months of the year. I used to only take a break from writing new material, but this time I decided to keep away from editing too. As always I had a relapse and spent an afternoon writing up a non-fiction piece for a publication that was suggested to me and about to close, which is why my month long hiatus is going through July 2nd instead of the 1st. haha
A friend of mine warned me in high school: Never do what you love for a living or you’ll grow to hate it. I find that my relationship with writing is consistently inconsistent and filled with all the love/hate drama you’d expect in a Harlequin novel, only way more one-sided. I always say, what’s love without a little bit of hate?
These self-imposed hiatuses are torturous, but helpful. Usually right before I am so fed up with all things writing and publishing that I am ready to be done. One week into a month off and I’m ready to cry over missing my notebooks and all the pens that have lost their caps. (Blogging of course doesn’t count in all things Me-hiatus)
The last week is usually a slow dredge of “why can’t I just write…now!”
I could give in and start up now. But the rules and boundaries I create for myself are more important to me than any law on the books. There is something about self-control and knowing how to nurture your own process that allows an author to love what they do (even when they hate it).
Stepping away makes me miss my craft. It gives me time to work on other artistic ventures and focus on reading other people’s work. There are a couple of binge watching nights involved as well where I can actually join the rest of society and subscribe to staring at the boob tube and forgetting myself for a few hours.
Now that I’ve gotten to enjoy sitting back and watching good reviews pour in for my recently released children’s book, go camping, hiking, swimming, and run around catching lightening bugs, the ideas are ready to ooze out of me.
Writer’s block has never been an issue for me. I don’t know if it’s because it doesn’t exist (a theory I’m not for or against), or because I’m always looking for new adventures that help spark a flood of ideas. Whatever it is, I have projects to finish, stories that are ready to edit, and giant tales ready to roll out of my head.
Whatever the process, loving what I do is most important. I’ll hate it at times, but I always love it. Being a writer isn’t about always writing, it’s about capturing the stories that matter.