Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Post 500!

“I hate vacations. There's nothing to do.” - David Mamet

I can't believe this is my 500th post... it feels like I've alternatively either just started blogging, or have been blogging my entire life. More the former, really, so I was surprised to see the number of times I've posted. Yay. Now onto more important stuff...

Recently I've read other authors talking about taking time off of writing -- anywhere from a week to a month. They've finished whatever project they're working on and just want a break before they either begin a new project or edit the one they've just finished.

I got to thinking about that and wondered if, since I began writing seriously back in mid-2002, I'd taken any time off on purpose.

I don't think I did.

Here's the problem for me. Writing, much like anything in life, needs to be a habit. If I take time away from it for any length of time, it's no longer a habit and it gets easier to say, "It's been a week, what's one more day?" which of course becomes another day, then another.

There's always something to do to fill the time. I never have enough energy or hours in the day to accomplish all I'd like to every day. So, it's simple enough to find something to replace the writing. And then, when it's time to return from my writing vacation, I have to give up that thing.

What if I don't want to?

If I stop writing, even for short spurts -- a day or a weekend -- I find it very difficult to get my butt back into the seat.

So I don't stop. The last two times we went on a family vacation up to my BIL's lake camp, I brought a bunch of notebooks and some "how-to" books and worked through exercises pertaining to my WIP every morning (because I'm up WAY earlier than everyone else). I did it everyday.

What about you? Can you take time off of writing and still return easily? Can you jump right back in to your regular routine and not feel like it's difficult? Do you even have a regular writing routine? Inquiring minds want to know.


Judy said...

I don't have a regular writing routine and it shows (doesn't it, M?) I'm trying to get one established but it's slow going. I AM writing something everyday... but sometimes it's precious little. I'm like you, though, with anything... the longer I go without doing something the easier it is to continue not doing it.

anno said...

For some reason, routine is hard to maintain around our household. But like you, writing is easier if I do something every day. Same goes for exercise, too.

I wish the inverse applied to salty crunchy munchy things: that the longer I went without, the easier it would get to stop eating them entirely.

500 posts! Congratulations!

Tori Lennox said...

When I take a break, I do have a hard time getting back in the groove.

Toni Lea Andrews said...

My writing "breaks" have unintentional: Health issues, family emergencies, etc. I'm much happier when I am writing and cannot imagine actually planning a break.

Allie Boniface said...

I've taken time off, yes, and it's not really a good thing. It's definitely harder to get back into a regular routine. Plus, I feel like I have to get to know the characters all over again. I much prefer knowing exactly who they are and what they were doing when I left them yesterday.

Marianne Arkins said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one who found it odd that these writers were taking a vacation of sorts!