I just wrapped up the in person events on my annual Novel Fun in the Summer Sun book tour, and am looking forward to enjoying time on Cape Cod with my family. But I haven’t had a real vacation for over ten years. Can a writer ever really take time off?
Writing every day siphons off a tremendous amount of focus and energy from other activities–and losing the momentum slows down the creative process and makes it harder to re start. Besides the ideas and story opportunities that pop into my head, everyday intrusions open up in my inbox. Then there are family events and obligations and everyday tasks. I have a mega re-credentialing to complete for work–meaning hundreds of pages of reading and on-line testing to document continuing clinical competency.
I love my flexible and attenuated summer work schedule, but that will come to an end in about three weeks. I’d hoped to have so much more done-or at least started by now.
Storm Watch was released on July 19, and even though the flurry of events has died down, there is still plenty to do. Promoting the Unfinished Business Series has been non stop, and I’m now gearing up to have all the books put on Audible. I love this series and, as I predicted, being a few steps from where Bethea and Elisabeth first met, the opening of a fourth book featuring Sandra Kensington elbowed ahead of everything else. Right here, at then scene of the crime, after morning beach yoga.
There are plenty of other submissions languishing, and a new urban fantasy project that needs to get going again. Right now, as I’m working on this post, the rest of the family is out shopping for dinner, and I’m hoping they’ll cook it and clean up so I can tick a few things off my to-do list. Will I write, or go bowling, or to play mini-golf? When am I going to finish reading that article set and take my second of three post tests?
But, as every writer knows, when an idea pops into your head you must pursue it. That spark of creativity makes for the most inspired, and generally easiest writing because you brain is already wired to keep going. It might short out and turn into nothing–or it could turn out to be the “next big thing.’ Maybe my Unfinished Business isn’t done.
I don’t think I’m the only one facing these dilemmas, and would love to hear your thoughts.
“I’ve been waiting all my life for this moment, but the mere glimpse of the woman who’d once been my best friend ripped apart my soul. Her death destroyed me, and then I took down a lot of others on the way to Purgatory. Should I take seize this chance to right those wrongs, or should I just leave the slumbering ghosts at rest?”