How does a holiday break affect your writing?
That was one of my concerns when I left for Sweden in Easter. There I faced two weeks without writing on my novel. Two weeks with my thoughts drifting further away from my fictional friends.
On my return I approached my desk that first Monday morning with trepidation. A sprawling mess of papers lay scattered across its surface and on these were our passports, tickets,my jewellery. With a nudge I cleared a space for my Ipad and keyboard.
I felt unprepared to start; my memory hazy and mentally timings were out of kilter. Baby steps, I told myself. Baby steps. I therefore picked up my tablet and started to read the last chapters of my first draft, familiarising myself with the story and its characters.
Until now I’ve tried not to reread too often what I’ve written, concerned that I would become excessively critical and too keen to do a major rewrite early on. I feared my flow would be be halted.
My fears were groundless.
After happily reacquainting myself with the story, I studied my notes on Scrivener’s Corkboard and noted which section I intended to tackle next. I was glad for the side notes I’d made previously, they proved very helpful.
To revisit my friends in the book I read through the character notes I have made in my notebook, once again thankful that they were so complete and detailed.
By now my mind was once again buzzing with the book, the characters started to whisper their words, the story painted in my mind.
Still, I was not quite ready. I decided to wait until the following day. Tuesday morning, with all travel paraphernalia cleared away, I read the notations I had made during my holiday. Yes, I know, I lied! Strictly speaking I wrote a few pages of notes now and then.
Finally with the tablet and keyboard up, I was set. I had to laugh at my own ridiculous state. My nerves jingled as I faced the blank screen. I flexed my fingers, relaxed my neck back and forth. Then I took the plunge. And typed.
A few sentences in I was thoroughly enjoying revisiting my book and letting my creative spirit flow.
Often you read about writers being worried about taking a break.
Does it really cause such difficulties?
Don’t writers, as people in every profession, need a holiday?
An opportunity to recharge their creative energies?
I really would like to read your opinions about this; whatever your profession.
Until then, hope you enjoy the video – writing the title of the post brought it to mind. This song and many other ‘80s pop songs got me through all my school exams:-)
“If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.”
Current Word Count on first draft of my novel: 62,358