Vacations are dangerous things for a writer and I’m paying the price now. I took a few days off here, a week there and now I’m struggling to get back on track. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to write. Now don’t get me wrong. I remember how to type. I know the rules, but what’s missing and needs to be restarted is a groove. Yes, a groove.
|Starting is hard. Restarting is re-hard|
There’s a momentum in writing novels that is not only pleasant and constructive, but totally necessary. It’s long form fiction after all and one’s head has to be involved in it all the way. You have to remember themes and characters of course, but also mood and intent. It can easily slip away, like an old family recipe you make every week growing up, but forget after you’re married and don't cook and then have to call Aunt Rita because you don’t remember how to make broccoli taste right.
|Wait. I was supposed to be doing something....|
Write every day. That’s what writers say. And they’re right. Every day. Every single day. If you have a project, stay on it. If you’re in between, write blogs, or letters, or journals. Edit. Stay with it. The word may be mightier than the sword, but it rusts twice as fast. I’m a lazy man. Look at my fat belly if you don’t believe me. I shouldn’t be surprised to discover that my brain is lazy too. Getting back into an intellectual routine is as hard as getting back into a physical one. It’s easier not to stop than to begin again.
Now that the holidays are over and I have months of winter ahead of me, cold dreary undistracted days of potential creativity, I’d like to think I could pursue a few changes in my life, a couple New Years Resolutions, but I can’t. Before I can take on anything like that, I first have to make up the lost ground and get back where I was.
I can do it. I am doing it, but this vacation has taught me the dangers of slowing. It takes only days to forget a rhythm it took years to learn.