Sunday, January 28, 2007

Taking A Break

That's right -- I'm taking a break. I'm not doing any writing. In fact, everytime I sit down to read over my mms on hard copy I actually fall asleep (which is sort of disconcerting but I'm ignoring that). My son and I are going to very pretentious and rowdy play groups, we're even going swimming. I had planned on taking a break right after Mick was born, but it didn't work out that way and since I am so ridiculously ahead of schedule and so ridiculously burnt out -- I'm taking a break now. For my sanity. For my writing.

Of course what I feared would happen if I took a break is actually happening -- inertia. But right now, that's okay. It's nice to have a quiet brain for a while instead of constantly rehashing plot points. It's nice not to be reading and rereading what I've written and feeling that terrible roller coaster of "this is great!" "this is the worst thing ever written, ever." It's nice to not be writing.

Because, actually all that craft stuff I learned this year -- all the McKee gems and various other pearls of wisom I've gleaned from Virginia Kantra and Jenny Cruise and Diana Peterfruend, they are actually sinking in.

I have this terrible tendency to go to workshops sick and tired of my current mss. And when the very smart person giving the workshop actually makes my brain flicker in a sudden lightbulb moment I sit there and think "oh god. If I actually do this really smart thing that will make my book better it means I will have to do some work. Some real work. I'll have to rewrite the entire first scene/chapter/kiss/act/black moment/ending." And then, of course, being me. I don't do it. I think -- I'll do it next time and because I'm working so fast and not being smart at all I don't even remember it by the time next time rolls around.

So, right now I'm reading some old notes and the brain is still flickering and I'm taking the time to really figure out what some of these craft gems have to do with my writing. I am taking the time to internalize the stuff I think will make me better. I'm using a little forthought and planning in the hopes that this burn out and frantic chasing my own tail will stop.

I'm sure in two weeks I'll be here saying -- oh my lord! WHy did I stop writing -- I've fallen and I can't get up. But I'll deal with that in two weeks.

8 comments:

K said...

Everyone needs a holiday from time to time.
Plus really, you're doing research. Just because you're not writing doesn't mean you're not observing, listening for speech patterns, good dialogue, picking up plot twists for future books.

Maureen McGowan said...

Don't worry Molly, if you can't get up, we'll give you a hand.

And you deserve a break. Take it.

Christine said...

I agree Molly. You deserve that break. It's funny everyone I'm talking to seems to be in the same boat. Maybe it's the weather that's taking a toll on our creative side.

Sinead M said...

Molly has written non-stop since her son was born, at least three books in less than a year. (It could be more, I was too embarassed to keep count, my own output is tiny in comparison) and not only that, but these books are GOOD, some of the best writing she's done.

Take the break and enjoy it. It's well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Every once in a while, you need to take a break--whether you think you have the time for it or not. Believe me--my baby just celebrated his seventh birthday on the weekend and I took some time in the midst of deadline hell (again) to celebrate with him and thought "ohmygod--I can't believe he's SEVEN". So take all of the time you need and enjoy it with your beautiful baby boy, because you'll never get this time back. You'll just blink one day, and suddenly your baby will be skating down the ice with a hockey stick in his hand. And we know you'll knuckle down and get back to writing when you need to--because you are phenomenal!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Wow -- thanks guys -- I should go on sabbatical more often. But even just a week has done the trick. The first two scenes for my next book came to me on my walk last night --- I was pretty worried they were never going to come. I had made some sort of stupid comment like "I'm going to plot this book better" or "more stuff is going to happen in this book" to Sinead - so now I have to think of stuff....

K...Kimber...Whatever You Wish To Call Me said...

BTW Christine, I always want to leave comments on your blog but since you don't allow non-bloggers...

Christine said...

Doh Kim. That was one of those default settings I never changed. Its been fixed and you should be able to post away. :)

Thanks for letting me know!

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