Sometimes people ask me what my writing routine is. Here’s my answer:
I write always. Seven days a week. As much as I can, while still maintaining a semi-functioning household.
As I wrote THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT, the second book in the UNDER THE NEVER SKY trilogy, always wasn’t even enough. I ended up taking myself out of town a few times, to a little spot in Half Moon Bay, where I’d hole up for intensive, fourteen-hour a day writing marathons. I had to do it. That book was a struggle for me. It was one of those that refused to click until the very last, and I was learning to juggle deadlines, marketing demands, and all the other responsibilities of a professional writer.
|This was my writing hideaway. |
I wouldn't call spending time here a sacrifice.
I’m pleased with the outcome. I finished the book. It exceeded my expectations by roughly a billion times when it hit the NY Times Best Seller List. I’m glad I put in ALL THOSE HOURS, but you know what? Something’s gotta change.
Not because I’m afraid of hard work. I am so not. I love hard work. I love getting freaky obsessed with a project. But what I learned this past six months is that I’m not doing myself any favors by being freaky obsessed ALL THE TIME.
What happened, essentially, is that I exhausted myself and my creative tank. I got to the end of writing that book, and I had nothing left. No gas. And I decided that I needed to not work always.
I still work very hard. Still seven days a week, to be honest. But now I’m making a concerted effort to bring other things into my day. Lunch with friends. Walks with the dog. The other day, I even went to the movies. In the middle of the week! For no reason! I totally blew off writing for a few hours… and I was so proud of myself for that. It felt good. What felt even better? Sitting back down at my desk, relaxed. Inspired. And eager to write.