Some writers (like the book-a-month man James Reasoner) can finish a book and, the very next day, start writing another one. I need a week or two to decompress…but I always feel guilty about it. Apparently, I’m not the only one. It seems even first-time novelists are afflicted with this sickness. HelenKay Dimon sold her first novel to Kensington last month and now…
It’s been more than 3 weeks – okay, it’s been 4 weeks…whatever motivation kept me writing almost daily through rejections and
while I learned some sense of craft disappeared in a giant poof of
nothing the first week of May.
So, it’s time to start over. Time for new goals. Time to … concentrate on writing and, you know, all those things
that helped to get me published in the first place. One might call
this the quest to find my lost motivation. I call it what must happen
starting this evening. It’s time. It’s past time. Next project…..
I feel for her, I really do. She’s being so hard on herself…and for what? Taking a short writing vacation.
It’s okay to take a little time off from writing, to bask in the glow of the finished project, to relax and regain your creative strength before embarking on the next book. At least that’s what I always tell myself while, at the same time, feeling like a lazy ass bum for not writing.
3 thoughts on “We Can’t All Be James Reasoner”
I do pretty much what you do only longer–by the time I get to the end of a book I’m pretty much burned out. I need at least a week (or longer) to simply putz around before facing the machine again in any serious way.
Unfortunately my little time off has turned into a 4-week writing vacation. Rest is good but crossing the line into pure sloth is probably bad.
I used to take time off between novels, waiting for the impulse to come back. Now I still do it, praying for the impulse to come back. I’m a fulltime freelancer, so I don’t have the luxury with magazine articles and book reviews, etc., and work one after the other and inbetween and all that other stuff. I recently finished The Serpent’s Kiss, which got picked up in a 2-book deal by Midnight Ink/Llewellyn, and took a couple weeks off to just concentrate on my nonfiction business. Then I jumped into the third Derek Stillwater novel, Angels Falling, but got delayed because of contracts and deadlines for the re-write of The Devil’s Pitchfork. I kept telling myself, I can’t let too much time go by from Angels while I wrap up the re-write for Pitchfork, but in the end I had to set Angels aside. Now I’m back at it, re-writing the first 60 pages to get back in it and because something was bothering me about the structure and I finally figured out what it was. Fixing it and moving on, for now. I think a good break is worthwhile for creative reasons sometimes. Fills up the well, and helps you try to get back to whatever impulse it was that got you going in the first place.