Sunday, January 11, 2015


I didn't tell anyone this, but I took a bit of a break from writing. I'd been working pretty hard, and it was the holidays, so I decided to take a small vacation from writing, something I only do when I get sick or suffer from organ failure. I'd just finished a bunch of short stories and the final draft of a new novel, and I wanted to regroup before tackling a book that would take a great deal of thought before beginning. Plus, I figured that if I took a week off, I would be chomping at the bit to get back to work and therefore produce a lot more than I usually would.

I wound up taking a week and a half off instead. I got lazy, and the more I thought about the new book, the more I felt like it couldn't be done. It was a lie, of course, because my brain was trying to convince itself that maybe I should take on a less ambitious project instead. I have a Western novel I was considering self-publishing, because no one wants non-series Westerns these days, unless said Western comes from someone with a name like Larry McMurtry. My brain tried to tell me to format that for Createspace and Kindle instead.

I am going to do that someday, but I can't do that now. To do so would be lazy, and it would take me away from the act of creation, which is very important to a writer's day-to-day living.

So I came back from my time off, and I spent a few days focusing on world-building. I have to think about a lot of theoretical science issues before I even begin to write this thing, because there are no human characters in the book, but it takes place on earth in the future. No carbon dioxide-emitting beings exist, and I have to think about what kind of effect that has for the environment. This is just a taste of the things I have to consider. It took a while, but I finally reached the point where I felt safe to start writing.

And when I did . . . I found it very difficult to get into it. It went super slow. I barely met half of my daily requirements (2,000 words) each session. Had my time off really fucked me up? Or was the material too hard to deal with?

The last two sessions went a lot better. I met my 2,000 words each time (and a little bit more). Things are going a lot smoother. I think it might have been because of the break I'd taken. It made me rusty. Maybe I shouldn't do that ever again, considering how much time I lost. Life is, as they say, pretty short (unless you're one of the characters in my new book, that is). Wasting time I could have spent on projects like this? It might be the worst thing a writer can do.

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