For the past couple of months, things have been pretty quiet here on the writing front. I’ve been slowly working my way through a proof-read of The Felled Gods, making notes and thinking about future edits as I go. I’ve also begun writing the first few paragraphs of my next novel; just testing the world and my characters.
But in terms of the progress I’m used to making; things have been slow and quiet. I’ve done very little to show for my title of writer. The closest I’ve come to any fiction in past few days has been receiving a royalty payment for one of my short stories.
But then, life is about balance.
Sometimes, I come home from work and throw myself into edits or the new story draft. And other times, our weekends are spent fixing up the house or doing an extra load of washing.
And I feel okay about admitting that this month has really thrown everything writing-related to the bottom of my list.
In the past 4 weeks I got married, went abroad, adopted cats, took on a new set of roles within my day-job, helped train 4 new members of staff and made the decision to get a different car. In some ways, I feel that I’ve accomplished enough in just remembering that I can also spend some time writing, if I have the energy.
It’s true that to really improve and make progress as a writer, a regular writing routine and a lot of practise are crucial. But equally, I’m in no hurry. In 2014 and 2015 combined, I wrote over a quarter of a million words. So if I only write 500 this month, I feel okay about it. I know I’ll get back to those stories when ‘the real world’ of bills, paperwork and needing to eat quietens down a bit.
Above all, taking breaks is an important part of the creative process and without real world experiences, we’d have very little to write about.