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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Wake Up! It's 2013

Ah, the start of a new year. If you don't pay attention, Christmas will be here again before you know it and what will you have to show for the past 365 days?

Each year I battle over-extension during the holidays. Day job, writing, decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping...the list goes on and on. This year, I changed things up a bit and went on a writing hiatus. From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, I did not write a single word toward any fiction project.

At first it felt great. I celebrated Thanksgiving with joy and made the most of my kids being home for the holiday by taking the entire week of Thanksgiving as vacation. Oh my! Sleeping in, creating menus, baking traditional Thanksgiving fare...it was wonderful. I didn't miss sitting down and battling with my characters one bit. I even dug into a couple of Christmas books I'd downloaded onto my Kindle. Ahhhh, good times.

By the end of that weekend, I did feel a tiny nudge of guilt. An attack of conscience. I need to work on my historical romance. The characters are calling to me.

I ignored them. I pushed them away. I baked cookies instead.

As the month of December continued and my to-do list of holiday chores whittled down, I'd look at my computer and was tempted to just jot down a couple of notes. Re-read the story. Maybe edit a scene or two. You know what? I don't think I could've despite any determination on my part. My hand was stayed and I felt the gentle nudging of Jesus whispering, "not now. Celebrate Me now. Feel My joy." The guilt and angst went away and I never did push the button to launch Scrivener.

You know what I did instead? I read books. OMG, I have tons of free books on my Kindle and I started reading through them. Some were good, some were great, some were - well, needed a bit more work before the enthusiastic author should have hit publish. It gave me a great feel for what kind of work was being published without the backing or blessing of the Big 6 of publishing (I'd heard there were 6 big publishing house, it seems there might more, but Big 6 gets my point across.)

What did I learn by reading the competition?

  • I realized as far as plot lines and trends go, anything works.
  • I must write what's on my heart, not the market.
  • I must write and rewrite, then edit and re-edit and make sure my books are the best they can be before offering them to the public.

I learned much more, but you get my drift. I discovered great authors who's plot took twists and turns I'd never seen in traditional publishing. I even BOUGHT their other books and now watch for their new releases. I expanded my horizons : )

Okay, back to my hiatus. I made it through Christmas and found I'd enjoyed this holiday season more than many years past. I do feel badly for neglecting many of the loops I usually participate on, but I needed to devote time to creating and living the family atmosphere of holiday preparation.

It was VERY good.

New Year's Eve rolled around and the spirit of comraderie was alive and well in Seekerville as we hosted a 27 hour New Year's Eve party. OMG, the good Lord has blessed the Seekers a ba-billion fold. We shared the day and night with all those whom we've grown to know and love through the common thread of loving romance and Jesus Christ.

And on January 1, 2013, I tapped the Scrivener button on my laptop and launched the WIP I'm currently sculpting. You know what? I was still there waiting for me. My characters welcomed me back into the fold and I'm back to constructing their story with renewed creativity and vigor.

Truth to tell, I was on the brink of wondering if God intended me to continue writing or did He have other plans for me now that I reached a goal of publishing a book.

His answer came clear as day.

Please join me and watch my word count grow : )

Blessings to all my friends in this new year!!!

4 comments:

  1. I cannot believe how fast 2012 went! I'm sure that 2013 will be no different. I'm so glad your writing break was a true rest and allowed time to enjoy your family. I am on an extended writing break, directed by God. I have been having withdrawals, but am learning that God's timing is everything. It has been a difficult time at work and my daughter just got engaged and is getting married in May! I doubt I would have had much time to write anyway. ;)

    Blessings to you, Audra, in this new year! I know God has big things for you!

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  2. Sherrinda, congratulations on your daughter's engagement! What a wonderful celebration to look forward to later in the year. I know planning a wedding is a lot of work, but really, can there be any task a greater labor of love??

    I'll be watching your blog for pictures. I love weddings.

    Breaks from writing are good things when exercised for the right reasons. Enjoy the time off and don't worry, your characters will welcome you back with open arms when you're ready and no longer stressed over other issues.

    Patience in everything, sweetstuff. God has great plans for both of us : )

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  3. Hi Kiddo,

    This break was supposed to happen. Your writing will be stronger for it.

    I know you, I know how you work. You want this story to be out for people to read, it's a great story with wonderful characters and strong lessons we can all take to heart. It will come as it should.

    I took off a couple weeks in December and though I was itching to write, I needed time with my husband, and time to celebrate the season in a way I haven't ever been able to when I was working.

    Now I'm writing and the words, while not easier to come by feel instantly right or wrong when I put them down.

    Loved the blog,
    ~LA

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  4. Thanks for the support, Leslie. Yep, I feel all kinds of writing goodness flowing now : )

    "You can do it all." It's a myth, you know. Pick one thing and do it well. That's my mindset for this year.

    We'll see : )

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