This was written last week, just after my vacation in Hawaii. The writing has gotten better since then, FYI. ;)
Time off messes with my writing.
I went on vacation in September for a week–seven days in Hawaii, which was wonderful. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any writing done at all while we were there. Add to that a major audit at work that completely killed my writing time for half the week before we went on vacation and there were two solid weeks of absolutely no writing whatsoever.
It’s really hard for me to get back on track after that long away from the keyboard. I honestly prefer not to skip more than two days. Writing something every day, even if it’s only a few hundred words, works well for me. I prefer to write between 1500 and 3500 words every single day. Sundays remain a huge challenge for me (due to my regular life getting in the way with errands to be done) but I do try to write (or edit something) seven days a week.
After three days away it can be hard to clear the fog of everyday life away enough that I can focus on the stories in my head. Five days and I have a hard time remembering plot points or hearing the characters voices as I write. Two weeks? After two weeks away it feels simultaneously like the words are about to explode out of me and like I’ve never written anything at all in my entire life. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling, to put it mildly.
I tried to make sure that I wouldn’t go the full vacation without writing. There’s a story I’ve been working on that my beta reader had given me wonderful feedback on so I printed that out and brought it along. I set my tablet up so that I could write on that if I wanted to, to the point that I got a keyboard for it to make the typing easier. There were a couple of reference books that I needed for the rewriting so I downloaded them to my Kindle to make sure I had them. And then Hawaii was beautiful and fun and well, no writing happened.
Vacations. What are you going to do?
So now that I’m home again I’m working at getting back into the habit of writing every single day. Working on the story I’d planned to edit hasn’t worked (yet) so I’m doing different things to get myself back to normal. There’s a fanfic story that I’d left unfinished before vacation. It’s being completed. Another original story has turned out to be a big winner in the ‘write something damn it’ project. I wrote over 6000 words in one day once I opened that file. I’m also plotting out my NaNoWriMo project, which will probably be a sequel to the story I sold to FFP. Maybe. We’ll see. It depends on how my writing and editing projects go.
It is helping. I haven’t quite gotten back to what I’d intended to work on but I’m getting closer. The story’s poking me from time to time, reminding me of this plot point or that bit of world building that needs working on. Every bit of writing I do seems to help, including this blog post.
For me, writing is a lot like exercise (only much more enjoyable). The more I do it, the better I get at it and the more I enjoy it. I truly think that if I ever get the chance to quit my day job to write full-time I’ll be utterly content. Writing is hard work and sometimes incredibly frustrating (mostly when my skills fail me) but it’s also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
I suppose that’s why taking time off from writing never goes well for me. Writing isn’t work. It’s pleasure.
So now I’m off to get more writing done–Good luck to everyone on their writing, reading and other projects in life!