Monday 8 January 2024

Taking Time Away From Writing - The Creative Process


It's a new year and this will be my last month of writing the current projects I'm on. I have two more to write after that and then I plan to take some time away from drafting itself and delve into the revising and editing process. It's a lot to put together. The way that I've juggled drafting and revising and editing before has always worked for me, but this time around I knew that I needed to spend and apply more time and energy to one rather than the other.

It's not that I will never draft again. I'm sure that after about a year of all the revising I will be itching to dive into a couple of new projects and pick back up with writing the way I have done for a number of years, but that I know that in order to do at least two of my past projects justice when it comes to the editing and publishing train, I need to spend a lot more time working and reworking them. Part of being a writer is about knowing where to spend your time best and for me, this means saying goodbye to new stories for the time being and putting it all on older ones.

Saying that it doesn't mean that I won't be writing. Both of the projects I'm thinking of will need extensive rewrites and the only way for me to do that, given that I plan to cut one of them by about 40K words, is to dive in and get lost in the twists and turns, refine my revision technique and allow myself to really immerse myself into the worlds, the characters and the story that I very much want to tell.

At the time of writing this, the year is starting to wind down and I'm looking forward to a new one starting. I want, like most writers, to get all my ducks in a row and make sure that I know what I'm going to be doing moving forward. I want to be able to know the plan of attack and while I shouldn't, if all goes to plan, stop drafting until June or July time. I should, hopefully, have a nice plan of how to switch from one writing muscle to the other.

There's nothing wrong with needing time away from writing for other reasons too. This is my personal one, the need to focus on a different kind of craft, but I know that for some writers, they have other, completely valid reasons, for wanting to take that time away. The key is that only you can decide what you need, only you can decide how you work and what works for you, and only you can really be the one to make those kinds of decisions when it comes to your own writing journey.

I've been planning this break for a couple of years now. I would get closer to it and flip flop between whether I wanted to do it, or whether I was going to change my mind and let the chips fall where they may. In the end I've gone with what works for me, and that is to take this break, but always allow myself to move onto other things if the need arises. I may be strict with myself when it comes to planning my time and everything else, but I also know that sometimes there are stories you need to tell, and the only way to get them told is to sit down, pull up a page and just write to your heart's content.

So whatever your own personal reasoning for taking that break, remember that you are the one who knows you best, and that you don't have to offer any kind of explanation for anyone. You write what and when you need to, and do things your way, because looking after yourself has to be the top priority.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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