Getting back to work after a break
All right, last week I wrote about dictation software that really didn’t work for me because I’m a kinesthetic person (I need the actual act of writing or typing to think and be creative). What I didn’t mention and didn’t talk about was how I was actually doing getting back to writing after a six week break (ha! Literally… get it? I broke my wrists… eh, yeah, okay… sorry…).
Let me say first of all: IT’S HARD!!! Oh, my goodness! I never thought it would be so hard.
I’ve been writing for over twenty years. I have never once in all that time taken such a long break from it. Never. In twenty years! I have gone from writing book to book. Even before I sold my first book, after I finished writing it I went straight into writing the next one, and so on. Not even after I didn’t get a third contract with Kensington Publishers (who published my first four books). I kept writing and hoping I’d get another writing contract with another publisher. Of course, it really paid off when self-publishing became a thing, and I realized that I was better off without that contract because I had complete control over my entire book and the publishing of it.
I won’t say that those intervening years were easy – it was five years between the time Kensington published my fourth book and when I self-published my first. But I kept writing. I kept working.
…until I broke both my wrists and I literally could not write. I sat in bed or chair with my hands in the air, held above my heart as the doctor told me to, wishing for all the world that they would get better fast—or at least well enough to be able to type (I couldn’t hold a pen to write by hand with my casts). It still took six weeks.
But now, look at me typing away! But what to type? What to work on?
I have a novella I wrote before my accident that is in desperate need of editing and some rewriting. The publisher of my Royals & Rebels series is waiting for it. I also have a book I’ve promised to write to be a part of a series by a group of authors. In other words, I have commitments.
After not writing for six weeks, you’d think I’d be chomping at the bit to get back to writing. I’m not.
Is that the most awful thing I’ve ever written? You bet it is!
I love writing. I love my fantasy worlds. I love creating characters. I love to hate writing, even. But here I am, now able to type with only a minimum of pain and… I’m not certain I want to.
I’m absolutely certain that once I get back into my writing groove I’m going to love it again. So, I’m starting out slow. I’m analyzing my novella as if it was a book written by one of my coaching clients (after six weeks, I have enough distance to do this). And I’ve finished plotting the novel I need to write for this new series, taking my time researching what I need to research.
In other words, I’m starting out slow.
I’m taking my time to get back into this world of writing—and not just because I can’t type for long before my wrists hurt too much. I’m taking my time to get used to using this creative side of my brain. I’m taking my time to remember what I love so much about writing: the plotting, the conflict, and best of all, getting to live inside someone else’s head for a little while.
If you’ve ever taken a long break from writing either by choice or by force, how did you get back into it? Was it easy or did you find it as difficult as I have been? Please share your experiences and if you have taken a break from writing and haven’t yet gotten back into it, then do as I am doing and take it easy. Allow yourself the grace to take slow steps. Recognize that it is not easy, but you can do this. Self-discipline is hard to get back to, but you can do it. Set a schedule, and follow it and soon you’ll be tapping away at your keyboard and enjoying yourself just like you used to.