One thing I’ve seen a lot of lately, is the advice to write even when you don’t feel like it. There is some truth to the benefits this brings, I will admit. Some days I just need to make myself sit down and start writing before the creativity decides to kick in.
That being said, there are times when I cannot follow this advice.
Three years ago, I began working on a Regency Mystery trilogy. I was so excited about the story these three books was going to tell. However, without going into details, I can tell you that I was going through a rough patch. I wrote most of my first draft when there was so much happening and I was angry at life in general.
A heroine who was so bitter and angry, it felt toxic just reading about her. It took nearly a year to rewrite and rework that particular story before my main character became someone readers would sympathize with instead of hate.
Other authors may not be like me, but my life does affect my writing. My feelings and frustrations come to life in my characters. The emotions are never write if I have to force the words out. When my heart isn’t in the story, I end up having more to fix than if I just take my time.
And that’s where I am right now. Even though it has been several months since I worked with editors on Not My Idea, I’m still exhausted emotionally and creatively. Even though my plots are bright in my mind, when I try to force them onto the paper, they are lifeless and bland.
So, I give myself permission not to write. Because there is a lot going on my life and my attention needs to be somewhere else, I am setting my writing aside. If my heart is really in the story, it won’t be more than a day or two before I begin writing again, slowly and at my own pace. Maybe it will only be a couple hundred words, maybe more.
It’s my words. My story. And I’m going to write it when and how I want.