This week, I officially came back from an awesome vacation. We saw our son graduate high school. We traveled about 4000 miles, went to three amusement parks, visited a dozen friends and family, and spent waaaay too much money on food and fun. I read books, watched movies, even went on a Drop Dead Diva binge. (Four seasons in 3 days).
And I did not write a word.
I had tweets and blog posts going the whole time, thanks to the wonderful technology of pre-scheduling, but I didn't even doodle ideas. It was a complete break from a years-long marathon of writing and marketing, posting and blogging, and it felt terrific!
Now, however, I find that all my good habits have been wiped away, and I'm going to have to start all over again. Not what I expected.
I had thought that I'd come home refreshed and aching to get back to my computer, where I'd discover that my subconscious had been working in my absence, and that I'd need only put fingers to keyboard and find the words flowing. Perhaps it works that way for others, but obviously, it did not for me.
I'm not complaining, and I'm not advocating that writers never take a break. Rather, I just want writers to learn from my experience that we are not all the same; some of us need the habit of writing, and its from that habit that our inspiration comes. There's nothing wrong with that, as my writing awards will attest. (Incidentally, two of my books are up for another one. Tell you about it Monday.)
So if you've been "taking a break," waiting for a Muse that isn't showing up, stop. Get at your computer, pick something and write. Bully yourself if you need to. Write junk. Outline, scribble, play with scenes...but WRITE. You may find that the inspiration will follow the work, and when the two meet, the fun begins.
That's what I'm doing, starting with my blogs and newsletters (because I have deadlines), then with a short story/novella about Vern based on an old noir movie I saw. "Sins of the Brother" takes place before Vern met Sister Grace, and it's classic noir--dark and moody, and a lot of fun. I want to submit it to an anthology I was invited to write for. A good way to get back onto the horse. After that, it's back to Gapman.
BTW, don't forget the serial story I'm writing to raise money for the Colorado Fires victims. Check it out at http://coyotefires.karinafabian.com