I’ve slowly been trying to get things updated around this site and prepare myself for writing again. Still working on completing my creative writing course, which cuts into my writing time so I’ve just been taking that entire break. Felt that I needed a time off and sometimes we have to listen to those instincts. Some writers believe that when someone takes a break from the writing, it’s a negative thing, but it’s important to listen to that deeper self. The idea being that it’s nearly impossible to get back into the groove.
I do agree that taking time off can be dangerous. If we do, it’s that much harder to restart because the brain becomes lazy. And like any muscle, you’re going to have to retrain it back into shape. Take when I’m writing a book. If I take more than a few days off, it’s difficult to get my brain back into the story world I’m working on. But if you know yourself and know you’re going to get back into the work, then sometimes life causes us to need that time off. My brain has been switched upside down, things have happened in my personal life that made it hard to concentrate, and I’d completed the Dark Moon Dynasty Universe world last year; so I figured, after a good few years of solid work, work, work, I deserved a vacation.
In my case, the vacation was only meant to be a few months, but the exhaustion took it’s toll. On weekends when my body knows it can take a break? I basically shut down. The body goes into laze mode and that happened for my brain and everything else.
I don’t just write every day. I take care of a pack of animals, a brother with a heart condition, and a mother who just turned 78. The house needs to be cleaned, things need to be done, and then I sit down every day to build my career, while trying to also work out daily (which also went by the wayside), so the only way to gain a reset was to eliminate some things I did, until I got back into it.
And that is a good piece of advice for anyone struggling too. Instead of forcing a ton of things at once, go little-by-little. Baby step by baby step. In this case the main drive is always a steady sleep schedule. If things go off track, much of it is caused by a sleep schedule that is off kilter. For me it is. My body has needed rest. So I’ve been sleeping in (not that I’ve tried – I sleep through my alarm) and unable to get the body to wake in the morning.
First things first. I began creeping back into bed a few minutes earlier, sometimes 15-30 minutes. That seems so little, but again a huge change and your body will be all, nope. So a few minutes step back makes a huge difference. I still sometimes lay there for a bit but it’s training like anything else. I have a steady routine I do before bed. That tells my brain that it’s time for bed. Same with writing. A ritual programs my mind and my body into this is what’s next. And I’ve learned, as well as heard, that a steady schedule can make us more productive. As a person who can finish writing a book every 3 months on my normal schedule, I can safely state it’s the truth.
People believe that steady schedules are boring, or that it’s not going to allow for creative things. Many excuses. I have learned that it frees up our mind to do as it pleases. We know what’s coming, the brain already know what’s going to happen so we don’t have to decide anything. We’re free to play . . . er . . . our brains are. I do switch things up at times, but otherwise I do the same and I find it makes me a far happier person than I’d ever been in the past. Not to mention I get more done. I am freer because I am not always running to catch up, and I have more time for people. Right now it’s a struggle to even chat with my editor. Her own life has gone the way mine has, and many of ours in 2018 so she too, is doing what I am. Slowly trying to get back into things.
And if you were one of the individuals who feel that in 2018, your life was thrown up in the air, be kind to yourself. Slowly things will get back into line and it will all work out. The amount of people who lost someone last year has got to be a record. I’ve never heard of five people dying in our neighborhood at once, but it happened. FIVE people. All in one year. That’s not counting pets and people outside of my neighborhood. It was kinda nuts. And for many, it seemed to be the mom. I was surprised. Right and left I was hearing about this mom getting sick, or that mom, and I honestly had to take notice at that point.
So now that 2019 has arrived, there is a lot of picking up, figuring things out, and slowly getting things back on track. Forgive yourself if you didn’t accomplish much last year. I don’t know many people who did. Even in my newsletters I am subscribed to, and receiving right now, I am seeing multiple people who I am not connected to outside of those newsletters, being open about how 2018 was a very unproductive year for them. Pat yourself on the back if you were one who 2018 was the best year yet, lol.
Since I have the creative writing course to finish, I determined what could take a cut in my schedule for now was my writing. I have plenty of story outlines I’ve been working on, you may have seen me share the image on Facebook, or Instagram if you follow me there. So it’s given me time to work on those too. They aren’t really outlines as much as ideas jumbled about. Most I won’t even use.
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Ya know how I mentioned having a couple ideas I was working on for books to write in the coming years? Erm … I may have been off. I finally decided to make a notebook so I could stop crawling all over the floor and opening drawers to find notes I write on this story, that story, this character name, that one. Homemade dividers too. Just used paperclips to hold the makeshift names so I could move them about a lot. Otherwise I would've wrote the names down, or glued them. 🖇️ A few dragon stories, fantasies, a sci-fi is in there. Even a suspense/thriller ALL human type – surprisingly. But yes, it's a twist kinda one. 📚 This is a middle ground between outlining and pantsing (not THAT kinda pantsing 🙄😂). I write down names, ideas, scene ideas (usually only a few here and there), a sentence a character says in my head, interview the characters to really know them, just random stuff about things in my head. Not a full story, but things that when I write them down, really bursts the creative bubble and explodes into MORE thoughts. I can't call it an outline cause there's no rhyme or reason to it, and most isn't used. 🐨🦉🐘 #writerslife #noidontneedideas #storyplanning #tornjeans #animalemojisjustbecauseilovethem #writing #author
So when I finish my creative writing course in the next few months, I know that the writing won’t just start, but go back to full speed ahead. Like a wee little freight train, lol. A few years worth of books to go. Single novels. I’ve done a lot of series as of late, but this round I have a few more singles.
Once every five or ten years I think we all deserve a nice long break from a lot of things. My social engines are slowly ramping back up, that too was something I cut out. But I have a few new things I’ve been working on to share daily. If you aren’t following me on those platforms, I encourage you to do so.
On this site, I’ve updated the Books page. With the new Gutenberg editor WordPress has, my old books page formatted oddly so I just remade the whole thing since I was going to have to update it anyway. I’ve also updated the home page. Not much noticeable difference, but I did make a new one.
In my life I’ve been junking a lot of old papers and odds and ends that I no longer needed. Just a cleaning and purging. Really felt I needed it and I like simple stuff. I’m not a clutter person. I live with two individuals who have clutter all over and I work overtime every day to keep it somewhat under control so around me and my immediate zone? I prefer clean and orderly. I hate losing things. This way I only have what I need and everything has its place.
Hopefully I will also be able to get these blogs stirred up again. Often when I try, I literally sit here and stare at the computer. Do it with texting too, but thankfully my editor has learned not to take my silence personally. Sometimes even opening my mouth is a lot of work. Been spending lots of time alone just for the quiet as of late. My brain needed it.
Back to work on Don’t Go Far quick re-edit.
If you have had a tough 2018, tell me below. Let others know it wasn’t any easier for you, as for them.
P.S. Love lighthouses so that’s why I chose that featured image. The symbolism too. A light to guide people home and out of the storms.