The importance of recharging

I’ve been off the grid for a while. I’ve been recharging. I think this is so important for creative types, and especially important for people who are walking the long (and often lonely) road to publication.

I gave myself a goal at 22 to write my first million words by the time I’m 30. After 8 novels and 1 novella I’m at 890,000 with 10 months to go. I have 110,000 left to write. I guess with my next project (and a sneaky Nanowrimo novel,) I’ll be golden. Not that this arbitrary goal matters to anyone but me, mind.

See, I have this stupid obsessive streak about stuff. When I start something, I go go go go until it’s finished. I started thinking last year that I should try and change my habits a bit. I’m all for experimentation with the craft, as you know. I’m not precious with my words; if they’re crap, they’re crap. Hell, most of those 8 novels ARE crap. But I don’t believe any project is wasted. It all teaches me something. It all adds up.

So for my latest WIP (the one after Nano 2015!) I tried to take things slooowwww. I started writing it in December, and I’ve just sent it off to some lovely critique partners last week. So that’s like, er, six months or so to create a draft worthy of other people’s eyes.

The day I sent it off though, guess what I did? I started my next WIP, of course! Because I clearly have issues. I mean, what do I think is going to happen if I step off the conveyor belt for a few weeks? I’ll forget how to write? Forget how to read?

I got 3k into my new-new WIP when I slammed on the brakes. What the HELL was I doing?! I already had one WIP that will need attention when I get my feedback.

So, in the spirit of a new approach, I’ve decided to recharge a bit. Time out. I’ve got some hella cool hill walks planned in Wales and the Isle of Man. I’m working full-time and saving for another trip to Vegas in March. I’ve got a TBR pile that is seriously about to collapse and kill me one of these days.

So I’m allowing myself a few weeks away from writing.

Sort of.

(Come on, it wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t at least a little obsessive, would it?)

I’m going to think during my time off.

Think about my new-new WIP. Think about the characters and the journey I’m going to take them on. (Read: the pain I’m going to put them through. Mwhahahaha!)

Then, when I’m recharged and desperate to get back to the keyboard, I’m going to kick some serious butt with New-New. Here’s the plan: finish the first draft before November, do Nanowrimo, and BAM! There’s my first million wurdz. And some change towards my second million. Because we all know I’ll need my second million words by the time I’m 40, right? (Oh my God, brain, why do you do this to me? Why!)

So there you have it. A wee update from my brain to yours. Moral of the story: sometimes it’s OK to take a break.

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