Tonight I've been thinking about something my husband says - something his own father taught him on one of their frequent camping excursions. "If you're lost in the woods, just stop. Get your bearings. Don't just wander and get yourself more lost." (I'm going from memory here and dear hubby is sleeping, so it's not an exact quote - but you get the gist.)
Basically where I'm at with my work is lost in the woods. I don't know how I got to this point, and I don't quite know how to get out. All I know is the more I try to find my way, the worse it gets.
So, I've made the decision to take a sabbatical. I need to stop writing so I can find my way again.
Don't worry. I don't envision it will be a long stoppage. I just need to get my bearings again. In order to do that, I think I need to set all of the books aside for a while. I need to let my focus shift to teaching my daughter during the day, and letting my brain free to wander at night.
During the past couple years, I took the stance that whenever I had a writing problem, I just needed to push through. Up until now, it's worked for me. Otherwise I couldn't have written RTL or Blink as quickly as I did. Those were easy books to write. Not quite sure why, but they were. Even when I had to completely rewrite the middle of Blink, it came so much easier than anything has come these past couple of months.
I think pushing through has exascerbated the problem this time. I had problems with Nano, so I pushed through until I got stuck. I switched back to Justice - which I knew already had problems - and in pushing through that manuscript, I think I've only made them worse.
So, I'm stopping in the woods.
Maybe I'll take this time to try submitting Blink. Maybe I'll use this to get Manhunter ready for submission. Or maybe I'll just chill.
I know... I made a vow to do something writerly every day. But this vow is going to have to be put on hold or I'll just keep churning out crap and making myself feel worse about this career I've chosen. In a contest between keeping a vow and or protecting my writing, the writing has to come first.
I'll still be here - blogging and visiting blogs. I'll still be keeping up with the industry and making sure I don't fall behind on the latest news. I'm just not going to be writing or editing anything until this passes. (Or until the time comes when I know I can make it pass without doing irreparable damage.)
Maybe I'll write a short story... That worked the last time. (And that is when Fire was born.) We'll see how things go.
Until then I just have to keep my stick on the ice.
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