One of the authors at the recent Ninc conference said, “Don’t think of writing as draining your mental energy so you need to refill the creative well. Think of writing as recharging your batteries so that the more you write, the more you’ll want to write.”
In a way, this is true. Once you’re on a roll, it’s a glorious feeling. The story flows and you don’t want to stop or interrupt your train of thought.
But how about when you’re in between books? I’ve heard other writers say they write every day, or they take a week off and then start the next story.
Me, I’d rather take off a few weeks or more to catch up in all the things I put off when I’m on a project. I can keep going with one book after another for only so long. Eventually, I reach a saturation point where I feel as though I can’t write another word. I don’t want to sit at the computer in my writer’s cave every day while life passes me by. I’m not getting any younger.
Currently, I’m revising my WIP. It’s intense work because I don’t set a daily page quota. I start when I wake up and I quit when my brain feels fried. I need a break. A month or two looks good right about now. I’ll clean the office, sort files, catch up on emails, write blogs, go out to lunch, and go shopping. And I might even start plotting the next story. Once I do the character development and write the synopsis, I’ll be ready to roll again. In my view, this is part of the creative process.
It’s okay to keep the engine running but sometimes you need to shut it down for maintenance. It might turn on smoother from a fresh start. I know that I need a break after I’ve completed a few books. How about you?