The Writing Habit
We’re always told to write every single day. I’ve dedicated entire blog posts to how this can best be achieved, even for those who seemingly can’t spare a second. I’ve figured out my own methods, and I’ve been writing daily ever since. Now, I have reached a snag, but not in my daily writing routine. No, no. It’s much worse.
Not only are we told to write every single day, but we are also told to wait and revise with a new set of eyes. Well, on 8/13/2013, I completed my long novella project: An Austrian March. I was immediately filled with excitement and sadness. Writing, to me, is like raising a child, and that day inspired this tumblr post: http://lissywrites.tumblr.com/post/58166724610/being-a-writer-78.
But all of those lovey-dovey sad notions fell to the wayside, and I realized that now that was done, I would have to take a writing break. This seems like a positive thing. Take a break from writing and enjoy the other wonders that life has to offer. Spend some time away from the computer, see friends you’ve been avoiding just to pump out a few extra words everyday, and enjoy the solace of plotless thought.
But it is killing me.
This post probably won’t be up for the next couple weeks, mainly because of what I’m about to tell you, so just for the record, I am writing this on 8/14/13. Think of my blog as a TARDIS, if you must. Now, onward to my list for all of you Time Agents and Time Lords out there.
- On 8/13/13 I finished An Austrian March
- On 8/13/13 I declared a two day break
- On 8/13/13 I wrote and scheduled 11 blog posts
- On 8/13/13 I declared that I would be doing no writing, whatsoever the next day
- On 8/13/13 I wrote a fanfic
- On 8/14/13 I got up and wrote this blog post
- On 8/14/13 I will finish this blog post
- On 8/15/13 I will add to this blog post
- On 8/15/13 I wrote some in Ice Over
- On 8/15/13 I take peaks at An Austrian March
- On 8/15/13 I edit chapter one of An Austrian March
- On 8/15/13 I’ve failed to take a writing break
I had originally ended this post on the 14th. Well, this part has begun again on the 16th, after a few additions in the past couple of days. See why this is a problem? A writing habit is a wonderful thing to have, until you must force yourself to stop just to get some other work in your life done.
Most would say the easiest thing I could do to elieviate all the needs to constantly write is to allow myself to start on other projects, but that’s what made AAM (An Austrian March) so long in the making to begin with. About halfway through AAM, I found myself spinning my wheels trying to pull some plot out. So, I took a break, trying to decide how best to go about outlining it. At that time, I had started my writing habit, but it wasn’t as full-fledged as it is now. I could’ve probably stood a few days away without batting an eye, but I digress.
After the first three days of my break, I had hardly any outlines to show for it, and I was itching to start back, but I knew it would go nowhere. I would end up staring at a blank screen, just as I always was. So, I decided to work on a story I already had outlined and ready to go. Problem was? Once I got started, I couldn’t stop, and that’s how Apocalyptia came to be, and even it went on a year to two year hiatus. AAM has been left in the dust long enough, and I refuse to start another project, just to abandon it again.
So, I’ve failed to take a break, but AAM is going smoothly despite it. The long hiatus actually made for plenty of time to have fresh eyes on the beginning chapters, and that should leave me plenty of time in between to develop fresh eyes for the late chapters. We shall see, but I have no clue what I’ll do later. New stories, new finished first drafts, new breaks, new problems, but all part of the craft, which is writing.
I’m sorry if this sounded more like a rant than anything else. I’m feeling somewhat bitter over my wasted break, but I’m glad to have been productive where writing is concerned. Do you have moments like this? Have you developed a writing habit/addiction? How do you bring yourself to take writing breaks? Let me know, and comment below!
Thanks for reading.
Want to help me out? Check out my Poll page when you get a chance. All of the answers help me out.
That’s a very interesting and ambitious schedule. I think I’ll give it a shot.
Go for it. It becomes habit after awhile. The hardest part is starting it. Let me know how it goes!
I totally understand how you feel…I also feel compelled to keep writing. I blame a couple of writing courses which blithely told me I would develop a ‘writerly habit’. I have definitely done that! But there are times when I think my writing is the only thing which keeps me sane in this chaotic world!
Exactly! I know that exact feeling! When I don’t write, I feel as if something is amiss or that the day is botched somehow, though I might have been completely productive the entire day. Writing does strange things to the psyche.
Awesome! Maybe that’s what I need to do, tell myself that I can’t write. Maybe you’ve hit on the source of productivity.
Maybe so. I haven’t really thought of it, but it could possibly be a form of self reverse psychology. May have to try that out some more and see what happens.