Do You Need to Take a Break From Writing?
I’ve talked about revisions before on the podcast and in another blog post.
But I recently went through a pretty big revision for my work-in-progress, WHEN JAYBIRD WENT MISSING. If you read my last blog post about point-of-views, you’d know that I switched from 1st person to 3rd person.
So, I went through and changed all 300 pages. It was awesome. I think it was the right call to make for the story. My plan was to then go through and do some line editing, make sure I caught everything and I started to do that. BUT… then I got tired. Tired? Isn’t everyone tired? I know, I know.
But I wasn’t as excited as I should have been, as I have been when editing my books in the past. The loss of that feeling that is kind of necessary to push you through the revisions process caught me off guard. It make me realize that maybe I just needed a break.
A break from my misty little beach town with dead girls.
It’s a story that I love dearly but we need some time apart. So, I tucked the binder away with the cleanly printed pages and am giving myself the chance to go back at some point with fresh eyes.
For a long time I’ve operated with the idea of, “I need to write as much as possible, as fast as possible and edit quickly so I can get an agent. Then my book with be sold and published, like poof. Then the movie will come and I’ll have finally made it.” I’m sure my fellow writers can relate to that dream, that wish that is always longing in the back of our heads.
But it’s healthy to take breaks – even from something that I love. It brings me joy, its therapeutic to write but at times, it causes me great anxiety. So now, I’m focusing on collecting ideas for new stories. I’m working on the beginning of a slasher novel that I would want to read as a lover of horror. I’m back to the fun part of writing, which is getting all these ideas out of my head and onto paper.
It’s a hard balance between keeping writing something that I love and something that I want to do full time. I want it to still feel the same when it becomes my full time gig someday and I think part of that starts now with changing my mindset. I don’t need to be rush-rush-rush right now. Someday, when I’m on deadline I can be that way.
But for now, I’m going to take a break from my beach town filled with murder and enjoy writing something else.
Moral of the story, my friends? Taking a break is okay. It is helpful and healthy. We all can get too focused on something, our blinders keeping everything else out when what we really need to do is drink a Diet Coke and relax for a few weeks.