Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The lost month of December

So other than a flurry of final edits for Crewel and some half-hearted staring at a blank page, December consisted mostly of shopping and wrapping and doing whatever I wanted.  I rewrote about 20k of book 2 and that's about it.

Last December wasn't much different.

Is it strange that after a month of crazed writing in November, which was meant to start a daily habit, that I found myself unable to lift the metaphorical pen?  It all started with a little meltdown after we went to get  the Christmas tree.  There was a lot of crying and whining and second guessing myself.  And bless my husband, who should be given some kind of award, he looked me and said, "You need a vacation.  Normal people at normal jobs schedule vacations."

But I'm not a normal person with a normal job.  My job consists of figuring out the way you show a girl is nervous around a certain boy or what the political structure of hypothetical planet would be like or the right shade of yellow for a description of a bathroom.  Totally not normal.

Husband hit back, referencing how many edits I had done on the book, how hard I had worked on the copyedits despite the flu overtaking our whole house, and the upcoming holidays.  So I relented, because he is usually right.

And he was.

Plot elements and character developments crept into my head throughout the last few weeks, but for the most part I got ready for Christmas, went to six Christmases, and then carted the kids about for a week and a half while they were on break.  And during that time away, during my "vacation," something magical happened.

I missed my characters.

I guess it's like any relationship: absence makes the heart grow fonder.  But as I'd had no break from them in the last year since I started the whole crazy adventure, I didn't know that.  I do now.  Sometimes I hear other writers bemoan their manuscripts or say how much they hate their books.  I was getting there myself.  So if it feels like you can't possibly stand to spend one more second in the same room as your WIP, it might be time to take a break.  Trust my husband.  Even writers can take vacations.


  1. I love reading about your writing experience, you bring a real-ness I haven't seen anywhere in the blogosphere.

    I think you're blessed to have a husband who "gets it". So many of us have special someones who have no idea what it's like to do what we do. There are even a few who look at this job as simply another paycheque for the home.

    Taking a break from your WIP is vital. Why? Because, like relationships, you need that "me time" every now and then to keep things fresh. I was one of those writers who clung to, and thought about, my novel everyday for five years. Luckily, I let go and realized it was time to take a "vacation."

    Happy New Year, Gen! ^_^

  2. “A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” Eugene Ionesco

    Sometimes I call my kids by my characters names! Can you say therapy?

    Happy New Year, Gen!

  3. @Bethany

    Are you serious!? O_O

    *Tyson slowly steps away from the keyboard and takes off at a run to call the nearest Asylum*

  4. @Tyson

    Only when I have to look up from my writing to say, "Hey, stop running with scissors!"

    All the other times, I get their names where are they anyway?

  5. I had to give myself permission not to feel guilty about giving in to holiday activities instead of a daily word count. Once I let go, I had a blast with the holiday. Now I'm refreshed and ready to get back in the writing saddle.

  6. Thanks Tyson!

    And I *did* spend a lot of time thinking about the book during my break.