Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In Between

I have something of a season when I write.  I set a schedule and try to stick to it when I'm working on a book.  However, assuming I finish up on time, there's usually some time in between.  That's not always the case, as demonstrated between Canidae and Schism, but even then I had a few weeks.  So, what do I do when I'm not working on a new book?

There are several things.  First, it's not like I abandon writing completely.  I work on short stories and enter contests.  I do this to both stay sharp on writing and to help keep myself sharp by doing things I don't normally do.  I can get away from the long developing process of writing a full novel and try to do it in a much more condensed version.

I also take a little bit of time to not write every single day.  Yes, writing can be like going to the gym - the more time you take off, the easier it is to continue to take time off.  However, just like the body, the mind needs rest.  I read a lot, but I can get to things from my reading pile I'd postponed when I'm between novels.  I can also just chill out and not worry about hitting 2,000 words for the day, nor do I have to feel guilty when I don't hit that daily goal.
(Even chickens need an egg laying break)
I also work on other novel-related projects that don't involve coming up with whole stories from scratch.  Wrongful Death has needed to be edited for a while now, and I'm going to use the "off season" between the end of Schism and the start of my next project to do just that.  There's been more than enough time for me to take a look at Wrongful Death with fresh eyes, and I can now at least run through it once.  I want to take some time off between editing cycles so I can refresh my own mind, but it'd be great to get near the end of that process before the 4th of July.

Also, Canidae needs to be reworked, and the off season gives me a chance to start doing that.  I won't get anywhere close to complete before I begin on my new novel in July, but I can work on it a little bit and stay with a world I'm familiar with before diving into a new one.  It'll allow me to reset before going full bore to another full novel, and if I feel like I'm burning out, I can always put the rework on hold until later.

So I guess the answer is that there's not really a break for a passionate writer, only a shift in focus.  But doesn't shifting our focus allow our vision to stay strong?

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