November 14, 2011

Tightropes, and other things I'm likely fall from.

So I didn't blog this weekend, like I was supposed to. NaNo adjacent, right? Writing every day in solidarity and support? Yeah, this weekend it wasn't happening.

I assume everyone participating in NaNo is writing every day, if only to make the 50,000 word goal (or whatever their particular goal is). My problem is that once you give me a rule, I want to break it. It's the three-year-old in me, I guess. The old "well, let's see what happens if I don't" thing ...

But it's also a matter of balance, for me. When I am working on a book, especially when I'm gearing up to make the last push, I eat, breathe, and sleep it. I drive it and wear it around the house and shove it in the oven for dinner. And that's sort of exhausting, in the end. All work, no play ...

My life isn't quite all play right now, with the followup to Cold Kiss off to copyediting. But I am trying to remember how to balance everything. Writing, kids, other work, promotion, the holidays (ack), and even some time with my husband in which I'm not looking at him from over the lip of my laptop. (I do sort of like him, you know.)

The thing I keep learning, over and over again, is that when I do step away, even if it's only from blogging for two days, for instance, I have much more energy when the time comes to go back to it. My brain needs some breathing time, some time when I'm not concentrating on anything more than laundry or why the cat needs to lick my hair to wake me up or HOW FREAKING AWESOME THE LAST HARRY POTTER WAS. (I'm late, I know, but man, it was worth the wait.)

First rule of writing, for me, always has to be: Do what works for you. And if that means giving your brain a day off, do it. If it means writing around the clock until you finish a scene or a chapter or even a sentence, do that. Simple.

How do you write? Every day? Every morning? In one place? Tell me in the comments -- it always fascinates me to hear how other writers work.


  1. With all my other commitments of full-time work and freelance work and attempting to be social I find snippets where I can but try to devote the weekend if not several hours in one day of the weekend to writing.

    For NaNoWriMo I've been working on that piece during lunch at work, which has been helpful. But for non-NaNoWriMo pieces I get bursts of ideas and energy on the subway ride to work, before I go to sleep, when I'm TRYING to sleep, and also when I get back from work in which case exercise becomes a nice fantasy. But I do agree that a break is needed whether it be for a few minutes or a couple of days. Not everyone can write everyday and treat it as a job because it can be stifling and frustrating. But when the mojo is going it's great!

    Hopefully you'll get a lot of rest and relaxation in during the holiday season. They are meant to be relaxing but don't always turn out as such, sadly.

  2. Are you shooting for 50,000 words for NaNo, or another goal? (I'm all for using it however works best for you.)

    When the mojo is there it's fantastic. And I do try to treat writing as a job, albeit the best one I could hope for. But some days ... it's a little harder than others. ;-)