Thursday, 29 January 2015

Giving up writing

I am giving up writing... not forever, just for February.

Although to be honest, I haven't written much over January, so it's not a huge loss to daily life.

Why am I doing this? Because Hubby is off on a six week tour (well, five weeks and two days...) and I'm going to be at home with a manic dog, a teen with college interviews and mock exams, and a 10 year old with a birthday coming up. I also have to juggle my work hours, especially around the up-coming half-term holiday.

Writing just feels like a huge extra pressure that I don't need.

Have I ever mentioned how I don't cook? Hubby does it all. He's great at it. When I cook, my kids sit down to dinner with expressions that say don't worry Mum, it can't be as bad as last time!

Instead of writing, I'm planning to spring clean early. I'm currently listing all the things that need doing in each room, because - I don't know if you're the same - I tend to clean everything, put all the stuff away, and then realise I missed wiping down the paintwork on the back of the door. Or I'll have done the door, but missed the frame. I figure, with a list that I tick off, I'll actually get through everything.

Without the pressure of writing, I'm looking forward to watching a few films I've got recorded, and to - definitely, absolutely - do some reading.

What are your February plans?
Do you ever put writing on hold to, you know, have a life?
Do you have any ideas for films and books I should check out?




56 comments:

  1. I also had several months last year that I didn't write a single word for my book (or not many) because I was too busy traveling and working on my blogs. Not good. I ended up being demotivated, because the book seemed to take forever to write. I think that writing a little everyday is the best, even if life gets in the way sometimes. Glad the book is finished now :)

    As for the movie recommendations... You have to see Whiplash. Such an intense and beautiful movie. And it'll make you want to work hard hard hard on your writing :-)

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    1. I think travelling definitely comes under the 'research' banner though!

      I've never been able to write a little bit at a time - I'm an all or nothing kind of writer.

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  2. MY writing went on hold for three weeks the moment I heard that my daughter's baby had arrived on January 8th. I flew to UK and spent every waking hour in the hospital or driving her to appointments as she had an emergency Caesarean. Oh yes, and cuddling the baby and my other grandchildren, visiting friends, shopping ... Go for it, Annalisa, it'll do you good!

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    1. You had a very good reason, Liz. I hope you had a lot of cuddles and some lovely memories until next time.

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  3. My writing has been on hold for... actually, I don't like to say. It's been way too long!
    As for good films, I watched Dallas Buyers Club recently on Netflix and it was brilliant - great story!
    Enjoy your break. :-)

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    1. That's a great suggestion. I saw Matthew McConaughey in an interview and it sounded a really interesting story.

      Enjoy getting back into the writing.

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  4. I hope you'll come back fresher after your break. Sometimes we need it, even if it is enforced by life.

    I've been writing during January, but more freelance articles than fiction. Need to find a balance.

    The last book I finished was Stephen King's Misery. Although it is scary, it is actually pretty inspirational, writing-wise!

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    1. I saw Misery when it came out as a film. Scary, and made me wince in parts!

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  5. Maybe it's a good time for you to relax and recharge. Breaks are good.

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    1. I don't tend to take breaks often with my writing, although I do sit with a blank screen feeling useless. It struck me that a proper break would be a better option.

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  6. Nothing wrong with taking some time off to focus on other pursuits. Best of luck on the cleaning up/organizing and be sure to take it in small steps, less daunting that way :)

    I need to do more reading, too!

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    1. I'm also going to spend a couple of days - non-consecutive - doing absolutely nothing! :-)

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  7. ahhhh...I go a weekend away and I'm like a crack addict on Monday morning.

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    1. I once stopped writing for a couple of years - I remember the feeling of relief when I started again.

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  8. I hope February will work out great for you and that your husband's tour goes well. Though, I don't envy the spring cleaning part. Enjoy the movies! Guardians of the Galaxy was a fun movie.

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    1. Sometimes, I just need to clean. It doesn't happen often though :-) Guardians of the Galaxy was good, wasn't it?

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  9. I've put writing on hold before. I barely wrote all of last summer, actually. Enjoy the time off. :)
    My anniversary is in February. :) Also, we have our first speech meet. So I should be fairly busy. :)

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    1. Happy anniversary, when it comes around. It's good to hear other people manage to take time off and not lose all motivation.

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  10. I've taken breaks when I know life will be crazy. Funny thing is- once I walk a way for a bit, stories just begin to gel and flow so much easier when I get back. I wrote Defying Reason after taking a summer break. The story just hung out with me and was ready to put on the page by the time I was ready to get back to work.

    I like to put everything on a list too. Nit because I forget stuff, but because I like to mark off what I've done. I mean you notice when a place is dirty, but then when it's clean you forgot how bad it was. That check list is like a pat on the back.

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    1. You have four boys, how is your life not constantly crazy??? I love it when stories hang around and won't leave until you've written them.

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  11. Unfortunately I've had to essentially put my life on hold in order to finish writing my "book" (my dissertation, which hardly anyone will ever read). So I can definitely understand your desire to take a break from writing, because after being immersed in writing for a while, it's good to take a step back and have more time for the other things and people in your life that are important to you.

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    1. I'm looking forward to a couple of days of doing nothing! I commiserated with you about your dissertation on your blog - I came up with a stunningly brilliant idea too ;-)

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  12. reading is fun homework for writing, so you are just working on inspiration. Plus in Feb, with Valentine's Day there is a lot of chocolate to eat. Hang tough with the kids, scrub away, and what the heck - have them help cook - just make a huge mess in the kitchen and maybe one is a chef in disguise. You shall have an excellent Feb. I do hope you blog a bit on your experiences - just be silly.
    Read - The Cuckoo's Calling and the Silkworm - Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling. Good stuff!

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    1. I'm still planning to blog. I've been meaning to read the Robert Galbraith books, thanks for the reminder.

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  13. Taking a break is necessary. I took all of last summer off. Sometimes life comes at you too fast and furious. Have fun and enjoy the time off!

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    1. Thanks Stephen, I'm sure I will enjoy it :-)

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  14. I think it is a good idea to not give yourself the pressure of writing for a while. Focus on life and then when you get back into it you will no doubt feel refreshed and ready to go. Enjoy that spring cleaning and reading.

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    1. Thanks Suzanne - I'm hoping to come bouncing back!

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  15. I almost had a heart attack when I read that title. Sometimes we need to take a break from writing. I hope your spring cleaning goes well. :)

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    1. Hehe, I was giggling when I wrote that title :-) Yes, a break is sometimes necessary. I'm enjoying not feeling despair in front of a blank screen!

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  16. Sometimes a breather is just what the doctor ordered, my friend. I hope it helps and rejuvenates!!

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    1. It's helping already, Keith, but the busy times will start tomorrow!

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  17. I went on writing and blogging breaks when I had both my children. Sometimes it's nice to take a break. When you return to your work, you can look at your words with fresh and well-rested eyes.

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    1. I've got a couple of things in the pipeline that weren't working, so hopefully I'll have a lightbulb moment when I look at them again. Writing with babies is hard, no wonder you took a break then!

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  18. Sometimes we need to step back, especially when the rest of life is getting way too busy for us. Enjoy your non-break and remember to take care of yourself when you're so busy taking care of the rest of your family too. All the best to you and yours, M. J.

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    1. Thanks M.J. I have chocolate, so I'm well taken care of :-)

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  19. Usually I try to write more, not less, but I get that it can be a stress. Way stressful, and it's true I only really feel that way when I try to make a goal of writing regularly as opposed to when inspiration/boredom strikes....you may be on to something there.

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    1. I'm hoping that I'll be inspired to write before the end of February, but because I've planned not to, I won't be anxious about it. Ideally, I'd like to write more than I do, but then I really would not have time for anything else.

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  20. You are having a busy month. A break is needed. When I take a break, I itch to write and have lots of new ideas.

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    1. Why is it everything always seems to happen at once?!

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  21. My writing has been more or less on hold for the past year - for various reasons! I am getting itchy fingers to start again but am not going to force it until I know I really have time and am organised. Enjoy your month off - I have really been enjoying my 'real life' - I hope you do too!

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    1. Next week should allow me to enjoy real life more. This week is all work and appointments.

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  22. Sounds like it will be a full-on 6 weeks for you!

    I don't cook either ... but if I had kids I guess somebody would have to. :)

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    1. I am very lucky I married a man who can cook, otherwise I'd have really struggled these past 16 years :-)

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  23. I haven't written much of anything in months so I can definitely understand. But I was glad to read you're not quitting forever. You scared me for a minute!
    I laughed about your kids when you cook. You have to be a better cook than I am LOL. Just tell them they are lucky they don't have me cooking for them. :D

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    1. I couldn't give up writing, even if I wanted to - it always finds me! Unfortunately my kids have been spoiled with Hubby's cooking - he is very good.

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  24. Good luck with your six weeks! There have been times I had to put writing on hold. While I still think about it all the time, family and other things in life do have to be attended to. If only I could write while sleeping!

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    1. Sleep-writing would be awesome, Christine!

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  25. I think a list is a great idea, but you do know how I love lists ;-) I'm taking a break from writing right now too . . . just too much to do to market 18 Thoughts.

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    1. Writing and promoting really don't go together well, do they? I wish you every success with 18 Thoughts.

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  26. Well that works. I think we all have to take breaks periodically if we want to stay sane. By the time you get back to your writing, you'll be astonished at what you have waiting, and that rediscovery is the best!

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    1. But the question is, Crystal, are writers sane then? ;-)

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  27. The best part is, when you come back to writing again, you''ll be so charged up you won't be able to stop writing. Have fun with your break.

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    1. Super-charged writing? That sounds great :-)

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  28. i think about giving up writing once a week!

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    1. The non-writing life isn't all it's cracked up to be :-)

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Please comment - I love a good chat!