Wednesday, 7 August 2013

IWSG August - Taking a Break

It's the summer, it's August, no work for me and plenty of time to sit and write...

The trouble is I don't really want to!

Before school finished (I'm a teaching assistant) I planned to come back from an idyllic two weeks on Zakynthos and keep my calendar clear so that I could spend whole days of the remaining four weeks doing what I wanted - writing.

Nah.

My brain won't work. I spent my holiday feeling jittery as though I should be doing something else (writing?!) and I'm not sure that I like that feeling.

I have so many friends and family trying to catch up with me while I'm off work that even the thought of juggling serious writing and socialising makes me hyperventilate.

I am feeling trapped by my hopes, dreams and ambitions - and a little voice inside me is saying make the most of people while they are still around to enjoy (especially aging parents). I'm sick of feeling pulled in so many directions, the main pull being towards the laptop.

Will I write something this holiday? Maybe. Maybe not. The novel is there, in my head, but to be honest it could stay there ripening for another couple of years. I'm not sure the time is right. Maybe I'll go back to writing the occasional short story when the inspiration strikes, and give myself a break.

It's not good to be laying on a sunbed jangling because you've forgotten how to relax. I can't even read without my mind wandering. Time for something to change, I think.

Thanks for listening to my inner turmoil.

Hope you're not feeling too insecure - I'll be hopping around to find out!


Thanks as always to Alex J Cavanaugh for starting this group. You can find the full list on his blog but I'm not pasting it here because it gets longer all the time!

24 comments:

Murees Dupé said...

Maybe taking that much needed break from writing is exactly what you need. Take the time off and see what happens. Enjoy.

jaybird said...

Sounds like you NEED this vacation Linda. My hope for you is after spending a few "down" days, your mind will start to relax and you will be able to think clearly again. Sometimes, a little time away just to think clearly, helps work out everything you need to be refreshed and ready to work again when you get back.

Have a wonderful time. Enjoy yourself. Your writing will be there when you get back!

J. A. Bennett said...

I think summer has a way of doing that too us. It seems so much easier to write when there are deadlines and it's freezing cold outside. Funny how that works.

Jai said...

When it is right - you'll write. Sounds like time away is just what might be needed right now.

Rena said...

definitely time to remind yourself how to relax. It's not easy. When I was getting my advanced degrees, I felt like I HAD to be working all the time. Just take a deep breath and go for a walk. Try giving yourself permission to take a break.

Crystal Collier said...

Baby steps. I find if I've been on break for a while I have to build back up. I'll read over what I've written a while back, ponder on it, come back later and add a few edits, build from there. Within a couple weeks I'm happily adding 1000+ words a day, but I have to ease back in.

Best of luck!

Gwen Gardner said...

Roland Yeomans quoted Neil Gaiman to me just this morning - something like, If we write one page a day, by 365 days - one year - we'll have a novel. It's something to think about. Only one page. I need to get back to it. I haven't written anything in months, always waiting for the right conditions. Hang in there, Linda!

L.G. Smith said...

I know what you mean. My parents will call me up and ask me to go to lunch, and I always groan a little inside. By the time we''re done it has taken two hours out of my day to go meet them for lunch. And the whole time I'm checking e-mail, thinking about all the writing I have to do. I'm really not very present in those moments, and that's not a good thing, as my parents are getting quite old now. Sigh. I'll be done with this novel in another month or so and then I really should re-evaluate my schedule. Good stuff to think about. :)

Suzanne Furness said...

I think you need to relax and enjoy friends and family. As you say sometimes it is more important to spend time with them while you can. I know where you are coming from though, I too am a TA and the thought of the long holidays being used for writing is so tempting. How much have I managed so far? Well maybe a couple of pages! Enjoy the summer :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

I think that feeling of not wanting to write when you've got the time is a common one. My mind always focuses a lot more when it's got a boundary. Working on some short stories might help you get back into a writing frame of mind.

Donna K. Weaver said...

When you're story HAS to get out, you'll know. In the meantime you can study and learn the craft and stew on the story. Hopefully, when it's ready, and you're ready, it will just come out.

Pk Hrezo said...

Sounds like you need to rejuvenate a bit. Don't feel bad for needing time for that. As long as you listen to your inner writer at some point, take all the time you need to stock up on inspiration and eventually you will HAVE to get writing cuz you wont be able to stand it anymore. :) Have a lovely holiday!

Ingrid Engen said...

Although I'm often tempted to not write when I don't feel like it, I know that having the discipline to sit down and pound out fifteen minutes' worth of writing makes me feel like I haven't wasted the day completely. Perhaps let your novel stew awhile longer, or take some time to outline or brainstorm for the time you do feel motivated to sit down and write. But in the meantime, I'd encourage you to write a little bit every day, even if it's just 100 words. :-) Best of luck!

Nicki Elson said...

Yeah, I think you're right that maybe a break from writing is in order - not just a break from writing, but from feeling guilty when you're not writing. Enjoy those friends and family! But if you miss the writing too much, maybe just carve out small patches of weekly time that are sacred to writing, then when it's outside of that time, you really won't feel guilty.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I can totally understand being pulled to family. Once that story is ready, it will be like an overflowing pot!

Patsy said...

It's so hard to get a balance we're happy with, isn't it?

Awen said...

So many wise words above, it's hard to know what to say that hasn't been said. If the muse is there it will get you. I gave up on camp nano because the story didn't want to be written. No matter how long I sat I front of the iPad on my free days nothing would be typed ...so it is shelved - for now! I am doing short stories to keep the imagination ticking over until I want/need to get back to the novel. Good luck x

Deborah Osborne said...

Yes, lots of good advice. Take care of yourself and I'm sure you'll find a way through it. Sometimes time is all you need.

Melissa Marsh said...

Whenever a long holiday weekend or other long vacation looms, I always think I'll get so much writing done. Rarely does it happen. It's a weird conundrum.

Found you via the IWSG!

Empty Nest Insider said...

There are so many distractions especially during the summer. Try not to worry and enjoy your time off.

Julie

Debra McKellan said...

Too much of anything is dangerous. Go ahead and take that break! You deserve it. :)

Tara Tyler said...

i know the feeling of which you speak! go take it easy and come back refreshed!

Tonja said...

The story definitely needs to cook for a while - it does for me anyway. I always make big writing plans for the summer, but it never works out. I'll make up for it in September.

Vikki (www.the-view-outside.com) said...

HUGE (((((hugs))))) honey :)

Perhaps a break is exactly what you need, and then perhaps a completely new project that you can get excited over? ;)

Xx