Saturday, October 16, 2010

Writer, meet saddle. Get back in it.

I've written an embarrassingly small amount of fiction in the past four months. It's the longest drought I've had in three years of constant writing. In May, I finished my first novel, revisions and all, which felt like climbing Everest, and then life got in the way.

I'm an overachiever, and simply put, life doesn't get in my way. In fact, I take pride in the knowledge that I'm so darn stubborn that life often dives out of my way as I barrel forward toward my goals.

But I was in over my head, and it was finally time NOT to make time to write.

I'm not going to give you a laundry list of what took up my time. But I dropped into bed each night, exhausted in every way possible, and slept just a handful of hours before another nonstop day. So I stopped writing. Then September came, and life got even more in the way, and I stopped reading blogs and nearly stopped blogging altogether.

Dark days, I tell you.

Most of the chaos got wrapped up in late September. October finally arrived, shiny with possibilities. For the first week, I relaxed -- though still working 10-hour days. Now I'm getting back in the saddle. First with blog posts, and then with writing novel #2.

I'm not going to lie: It's hard. Especially when there are so many shiny new TV episodes to watch, and dishes and laundry and dust tend to pile up so easily.

It's like part of me forgot how to write, how to come up with post ideas, how to dive inside characters' minds and spin a plot. But the other part of me is itching for the challenge.

So my house might be grimy, and my DVR may fill to capacity, but I'll be writing again.

I wrote this post for the other people in my situation. I'm not alone, I know that. 

And for the months of non-writing, a tiny voice of guilt nagged me, told me that I was a chump, a fraud, and I'd never get published because I dared to step back and acknowledge that forcing myself to write on top of my other obligations would've driven me to a breakdown.

It's time to stop feeling guilty, to start writing again, to prove to myself that I made the right decision, and that I'm coming back with a vengeance.

Anyone coming back with me?


  1. Yes!!! And I'm so excited to see what you write next!

  2. Congrats, Donna!! So glad to hear you're writing again.

    I admit I let life get in the way when I had two young sons to raise, a house to clean, cooking, dishes, laundry, etc. The urge to write always came back strongly, but believe me, a LOT more than 4 months passed. YEARS went by.

    Glad you're not letting life get in the way. But don't feel guilty about it either. You're so far ahead of me. I just finished my first novel in September!

  3. Hey, if you want to gear up and make up time, join in Nanowrimo! Glad you are back in the game, hope to see you write your fingertips off during Nano month :D

  4. Great post. I just finished revisions on my first novel, which comes out next fall, and am in the thick of revising the next one. I'm kind of afraid to stop but it's slow going and I'm wondering if I SHOULD take a break or I'll burn myself out. Maybe the time you took was just what you needed to start fresh on your new book!

  5. Frankie - I knowwwwww! Stories to tell!

    Joanne - Thanks so much. I actually can't imagine writing with kids. I barely have time to write now! And congrats on finishing your novel!!!

    LM - I've been thinking about Nano -- it's not really my pace (I'm more tortoise than hare), but I think I'll do it in spirit -- meaning, bust my butt as much as possible to be eons more productive than I normally would.

    SWK - Yes, it was the right decision for me, and I was lucky enough not to have anyone to answer to but myself (and my FNC ladies!). Just listen to your gut, because taking a small break might make you more productive in the long run than forcing yourself to keep going now!

  6. Glad you're getting back into writing. Life sometimes does get into the way. The important thing is to get back into the writing again.


Thanks so much for reading our blog, and we really appreciate you taking the time to comment! We read every one, and we try to respond to all of them via email/comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...