While all my writer friends are hunched over notebooks and computers, bustling and toiling, penning lines and crumpling them up, or even just jotting down ideas, I’ve been over here… not… doing that.
Since finishing my novel in December, the last creative writing I did (excluding blog posts, which are more article-y or journal-y than creative, um, -y) was a 1000-word fiction in March, that I didn’t post because I’m submitting for publication. Oh, and those one-line stories I did in April, if those count. Otherwise… *crickets*
The reason is simple. A year ago (to the DAY! June 6th!), I wrote “The End” on my novel, and from then until the very last whiff of 2016, I was editing that sucker. The whole process – from opening up a blank document, all the way to the final polish – took a LOT out of me and a LOT of time. I needed a break.
So I’ve been breaking. And in the meantime I’ve been consumed in other activities. Querying agents, of course. Sign language lessons. Hiking. A road trip. Reading up a storm. And the big one, where all my creative energy has been redirected to: visual art.
It’s been great, but it’s also been strange to see all my fiction-inclined friends tweeting their word counts or blogging about what latest issue they’ve stumbled upon in their book, while I’m over here being the not-writing writer. I still feel part of that world, while simultaneously apart from it. I am both relieved to have this break, while nervous about how comfortable I am in it.
I didn’t set a time limit. I was doing the hyper-disciplined thing before, but now I wanted to see what would happen if I just went with the flow and didn’t worry about it. Plus I’m excited about my rediscovery of art. Art was something I always loved until I hit a paralyzing “artist’s block” in 2015. I’m thrilled to see the barriers finally crumbling down. It’s like my artist side can breathe again.
Tell me, what’s the longest writing break you’ve ever taken? What caused it and how did you feel about it? Was there something else you pursued instead?