Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Writing Hiatus

I didn't plan to take a break from writing - it just sort of happened. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. After all, I'm still working on my freelance writing, still writing at the day job, and still writing blog posts and emails. But I'm not working on the next novel.

That is partly due to the idea for the next novel not exactly hitting me upside the head. And really, I'm ok with that right now (but not for much longer!).

Normally, when I'm hard at work on my novel, my evenings are pretty regimented. I try and always leave room for time to work on the novel in between getting off work and bedtime. But lately, I've instead allowed myself the time to do whatever I want. Last night my daughter and I played UNO, I nuzzled with my cat, I thumbed through some research books, and just relaxed. I've been doing that lately - just relaxing.

But I know I will want to jump into the next novel ASAP. Until I get my thoughts and ideas formulated, however, I plan to enjoy this downtime.

Have you ever had a writing hiatus?


  1. I'm on a situationally imposed hiatus right now, but doing the other types of writing you mentioned, and a bit of poetry in the meantime.

    Enjoy your R&R. It's good for the writer in you. :)

  2. I had one forced upon me after the fire and truly with all the upheaval I'm still not back in the groove the way I sued to be. I am working on my novel and a memoir project again, but lately I can't seem to write a worthy blog post for nothing. I need to find my writing mojo and get back to a healthy balance of all things writing.

  3. I think when this happens it could be our brains telling us that we need to have time-out to let the ideas and inspiration flow, before setting off once again.

  4. Ummm...YEAH....

    My longest was about 10 years I think. As you know, I've gone a year without writing anything new. You worked really hard on this novel so I think it is natural for the well to be dry. One day its going to fill up in a rush and you will be unstoppable. Probably sooner than you think.

  5. It's always great to refill the creative well. Enjoy this time!

  6. Yes---it's the time our brains get to rejuvinate and try out other ideas. You just finished your other one so take this break!

  7. LOL! My three pregnancies and subsequent children have often imposed writing hiatuses - flu, lots of school stuff, moving, all those things have as well. It's ok - life is all about balance, and just like a toddler's diet, it's not going to be balanced every day, but in the long run it should be.

    Also, I think it's hugely beneficial to refill the well, so to speak. You have to absorb to create - go to a museum, read, spend time in nature, listen to music, play with your little girl - it's all good!

  8. Absolutely! I take novel breaks when I need them and focus on other projects. When I come back I'm revved up.

  9. Yes, and what I often find is that my mind is processing some sort of writing, in some way, during that time. Usually something's cooking up there that I eventually bring back to the page, in an idea for a scene or character, or maybe an essay. Something. I think of a hiatus as a necessary part of the process.

  10. Yes, I have. It lasted for 5 years. Yikes!

  11. I agree with the other authors. You've just completed a monunental mental ((-; task, and your brain is probably going "Hoo, boy! What a rush..."

    Your uneasiness may, in fact, be the "comedown" from the natural high of the "Creative Haze". You know what I mean. That state of pure bliss when you're living in your mind -- your brain a rumbling mill of creation. When life "out there" time warps and you discover that the half hour you've spent "inside" with your characters was three hours "outside" (in the boring world), and you look around at the messy house and it's the most satisfying mess you've ever seen. (You've alluded to that previously.) The Creative Haze is pure bliss.

    Incidentally, did you know that the brain waves emitted by a person during a creative process are the same as those emitted by a person in deep meditation? You've got PTS: Post Trance Syndrome


  12. Well, I just loved everyone else's comments. They said what I would have said if I'd been quicker.

    Oh, and the well isn't dry, Melissa. But you do have to pull the bucket up.

  13. Ditto on the fab comments above. (Love knowing that creative brain waves = deep meditation brain waves!) My writing hiatus lasted several months after my last novel. I was writing, just not getting anywhere. A brief period of relaxation is OK for me, more than that and I get frustrated.

  14. I've recently come back from hiatus and the break was good for me to refresh my mind. I needed a little time to remember why I love writing so much but I also needed to remember that one cannot live vicariously through their characters forever. I needed to get out, enjoy the sun, love and cuddle with my doodles, and treasure the beauties that I have.

    I'm excited to hear more about your new novel idea! Tell us more!


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