Writing Hiatus

Last week, I posted about why I don’t meet deadlines. Specifically for this writing “contest” I entered. (Ironically, I met the goal about a week ahead of time. I felt bad, though, that I couldn’t send a completed story.)

Anyway, after I sent the scene, I decided to take a break from writing. This wasn’t a hare trigger decision. I thought about this a good few days, wrote about it in my journal. Long story short, I wasn’t enjoying the writing process. I wasn’t getting much satisfaction in writing. I felt creatively drained. So, I picked this past week to rest and recharge, to make some decisions about my writing. Here are a few epiphanies I came to while on my “hiatus.”

  1. Not writing is hard. If I was in college and said this, I would be lying. I feel like I can say it now because I am writing more. And because I use writing as a means to vent frustrations about life in general, not writing felt like I was bottling in a lot of emotions, and that’s never a good thing. That alone is one reason why I write.
  2. Even when I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about writing. I don’t think there was a time when I wasn’t thinking about writing, as much as I would try. If I was out running errands or at my jobs, I found myself to be more observant of the world. If I was playing video games, as I watched cutscenes play out, I thought about the storylines, looking for possible plot twists. I imagined myself in the shoes of a character or having an original role in the story. I formulated ideas for new stories. Granted, some may not get past the brainstorming stage, but it’s there. No matter what I was doing in the real world, the writing part of my brain was still active.
  3. Time away from writing refueled my passion. With jobs and family demanding the majority of my time, I had to utilize the pockets of time that were available. In doing so, I felt like writing was more of something I had to do, not something I wanted to do. Taking this time off gave me an opportunity to recharge and remember why I got into this business: because I have a need to create.
  4. Time away from writing gave me opportunity to create a schedule. Since I took a break from writing, I had more time for me. At the same time, it got me thinking about how serious I wanted to make writing a “habit.” Sure, I wasted some of free time on social media. But some of it was productive, getting in some exercise while on my lunch breaks. In doing so, I thought about how I was going to make writing a priority without it feeling like a chore. I’m working out more of a set schedule to write for a certain amount of time, taking a day or two off to recharge. I’m still working
  5. Time away from writing gave me opportunity to think about my stories. One of my goals in writing is to show off my work. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog. But because I wasn’t getting a lot of traffic when I posted earlier works, I started to think my blog wasn’t the right platform. (Apparently, this is a common thing with writing blogs.) Lately, I’ve thought about posting work on other forums. But I had to ask some tough questions. Did I want an audience? Did I want my work critiqued? Could I meet the demands of those who read my stories? Would one story be a stepping stone to a series? I’m doing research on other forums, weighing the pros and cons of each. We’ll see what comes of them.

In this self-imposed “hiatus,” I thought a lot about where I want my writing to go. I want to move to the next level. It takes commitment and discipline. But I want it to be fun. Like everything else, there’s a balance. I have yet to discover that balance. Like all I mentioned above, it’s a work in progress. But in the meantime, it feels good to be back.

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Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

4 thoughts on “Writing Hiatus”

  1. So glad to see you back in the writing saddle, George! And I know what you mean about how even though you weren’t writing, you were thinking about writing. Also, like you, I find journal writing really helpful for processing emotions.

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  2. Maybe I need a hiatus from writing. My mind is fixated on one story and I’m determined to make it end a certain way. Am I missing opportunities to enrich my story because I won’t be flexible?

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    1. One thing I’ve learned from writing is the willingness to be flexible. Stories have a life of their own. I think when we try to force an ending we think will satisfy us, then creativity gets stifled. I think taking a break presents opportunity to explore the whole story. It may not go exactly how we envisioned, and that’s okay. It may present a direction we hadn’t thought of before.

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