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!!!