Not that it has anything to do with what you're about to read, but here's a close-up of my Thanksgiving centerpiece. I'm crazy in love with white roses.
I recently finished a manuscript and sent it to my editor and then announced to my hunk o' burnin' love that I was going to take six weeks off writing.
Oh, I had big plans. First I wanted to clean my office and streamline my files and records, including those on this computer. Then I meant to revamp my website (which has suffered from my inattention during the eleven months I've been blogging). I also planned to read lots of books, make at least half a dozen trips to the movie theatre, do some antiquing, and catch up with several old friends by inviting them to lunch with me, one at a time. Not until the first of the year would I dive into another manuscript.
I started writing five years ago, at the end of November 2000. Until that time I had never tried (not even when I was in school) to write fiction. Because I fell so hard and fast, this five-year anniversary seemed like a good time to step back, take a break. "I'm afraid I'll burn out," I explained to my husband. Surely it was past time to thoroughly evaluate what I'm doing and why. Shouldn't I have some career goals and a business plan?
I stopped. I looked around. And after the first week I realized that I don't want a business plan. The spontaneity of my writing, the freedom to drop or pick up a story idea on a whim, is something I treasure. And since I've always measured my writing success by my level of personal satisfaction rather than by the books I sell and the money I earn, there doesn't seem to be much point in hammering out a business plan. Could I sell more books, faster, to more publishing houses? Perhaps. But that's not what I'm writing for. And that's the primary reason I've never signed with a literary agent.
I quickly decided to forget the business plan and glory in my eccentricity. But taking a break from the writing was still a good idea, I thought. I could soak up lots of new experiences and freshen my perspective before plunging into my next writing project. A month off would be good; six weeks would be ideal.
I'm not going to make it. I woke up at 3:00 this morning (not an unusual occurence), in the mood to create something. I stumbled down to my office and powered up the computer....
And remembered that I currently have no writing project in the pipeline. For the first time in five years, I don't have a plot to flesh out, revisions to pound away at, or a manuscript to fine-tune. And I don't like it!
It's time to start something.