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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.