Originally, this was going to be about how I always hit a point in my writing where I want to delete my book. Turns out, it was just a symptom of burning out. So, I’m talking about the necessity to take a break sometimes and common thought processes that can interrupt it.
(Photo by Ilham Rahmansyah on Unsplash)
The Writing Stage
First off, hands off the keyboard. Close any Word doc that has “MS” in it, or “query,” or “synopsis” if it’s your own. Friends’ work is allowed.
I hit the point this week of writing where I read over words I had written and tears seared my eyes and my sinuses felt heavy. I couldn’t do it. I felt such…disdain for the work I had put into my own craft. The words, “It’s terrible, it’s terrible,” ran on repeat. It’s in the hands of Elliott (whom I trust greatly) and I battled the urge to message him and berate him into agreeing with me. Just so that I could put it down and away.
Just so that I can move onto the next worst thing.
No one should hate their writing this much. I realized it’d been four years since I took any time from writing. Go on vacation? Have a print of the manuscript to work on it. Boyfriend visiting? Hope he sleeps in to get writing in. Get really nervous if you don’t.
I have a lot of healing to do from really crappy attitudes about productivity and work flow. They include:
- Don’t rest until it’s done (It’s writing, it’s never done until it’s published and even then, it’s a hard maybe)
- If no one else sees merit in your work, there probably isn’t any
- If it isn’t perfect or the best, it probably isn’t worth sharing
- If you don’t get it done by [insert age], it’s never going to happen
- Side note: My parents believe that nothing aside from child-rearing happens after you’ve had a child, which explains a lot about them, but that’s not what this post is about
The Reading Stage
I’m going to get so much reading done. What else is there to do with all the newfound free time? But, more importantly, I’m not going to be reading any craft books. I see tweets going around about process and writing tips and it makes me feel extra guilty about going a break.
Who am I to deserve a break if I’m not good enough yet?
So I’m sticking to books I’ve been meaning to read for fun. And also staying away from comp titles.
I’m hoping this writing break will be a hard reset on my mind so that I can bounce back and finally finish the resolutions I set out for myself in January.
Until next time,
This sounds like an excellent idea. Sometimes you just need that hard break and it can be the best thing you can do for yourself. Take care of yourself first and foremost, and I hope you have a lovely week ❤
Thanks so much for the support! I had two of my closest friends force me into it, so it’s hard, but much easier than pain-writing ❤
Jo, I totally understand where you’re coming from, but I also hate that you’re going through it. Just reading your blogs, I know you have strength as a writer, so kick that self-doubt in the throat until it can’t whisper (or sometimes scream) lies at you anymore. But also, you’re doing great by taking a break and allowing that creativity to rest and to breathe, and focus on some other aspects for a change. That’s inspiring and I’m proud of you for doing that. Also, because I’m sure your To-Read list isn’t full enough (ha, ha), you should totally read Duskfall by Christopher Husberg.
Hope you have an awesome week and know I’m always here if you need anything. 🙂
Thanks so much, Nicole! Yeah, it’s been a hard weekend, but hopefully it pays off. Been kind of swimming in ideas for a bit now and it’s amazing what happens with improved mental broadband.
Right now, I’m on a reading adventure with Elliott where we only read queer books xD. I’ll add Duskfall for a fall/winter TBR. August, I’m going to clean up my currently reading list because it’s absurd x.x
Again, thanks for the kind words ❤
I bet it will pay off. And it wouldn’t hurt to write those ideas down and then pursue them later. But I bet your mind will thank you for the break.
Oh solid! Let me know of any favorites you come across. I certainly should read more queer books. 😀 And if you get to read Duskfall, I hope to hear what you think of it (I’m sort of obsessed with that series).
27 Hours made me question my ability to create. It is such a wonderful sci-fi with the most diverse cast of characters I’d seen in forever. Super compelling. It’s not out until October.
But what IS out is If I was Your Girl. Had me curled up into a ball of tears. The Love Interest is a love triangle subversion sci-fi spy YA that was delightful from cover to cover.
27 Hours sounds amazing. I’m going to have to be in the lookout come October. If I was Your Girl also sounds pretty rad. Thank you for the suggestions!
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