Book Blog: Why I need a holiday from writing my book
I haven’t worked on my book much over the last three weeks. Every so often I’ve clicked into the Scrivener app and messed about with one or two of the chapters, but I’ve not spent the time on it that I know is needed if I’m going to finish it any time soon.
I wonder whether I’ve run out of steam. Whether I’ve lost interest in it. Whether my motivation and my inspiration have disappeared. Whether my writing is just not good enough and perhaps that’s why I’ve stopped. All the usual stuff that can go around in my head when I have an expectation of myself that I’m not meeting.
When I do that, I lose sight of what I have achieved. I ignore how much I have done and I forget that there is a process that helps to make the book the best it can be.
Leave some space after writing
Part of that process is to leave some space after writing so that when I come back to it, I can look at it with fresh eyes and a new perspective, and it is easier to see what needs editing. Sometimes when I’m working intensely on a chapter, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. When I’m in the thick of it, I see what I think I’ve written and not see the actual words on the page.
There’s also the danger of loving the pieces too much! Sometimes what I’ve written doesn’t show the message that I want to convey but, because I love the chapters so much, I can get too attached to them. The curse of working with a content editor is that she tells me when this is true, even when I don’t want to hear it. The blessing of working with a content editor is that she’s not afraid to point these out to me. I need to distance myself from those pieces so that I can either edit them or write fresh stories that say what I want to say.
It’s like I needed to take this break from writing my book, and life has forced it on me. Work has got really busy and other things have needed my attention.
Have a holiday
I’ve been working with clients, having a short holiday and writing other things, just not pieces for my book. For example this article. Even as I’m writing, the question arises “Why am I writing this blog instead of working on my book?” It’s a good question. At the moment the urge is to do this and I trust that. I know that at some point, the time will open up, the urge will reignite and I will get back to working on my book, probably next week some time.
For now here’s an update on what I have achieved so far:
I’ve got thirty chapters written, edited and waiting for a final review. (They are short chapters just in case you’re wondering!) I have another four chapters that are with my content editor at the moment and another three chapters ready to send to her. I have five chapters that she’s reviewed that I need to rework or rewrite.
I also have eight pieces that I’ve written, but I haven’t yet decided if they have a place in the book. If they do, then I’ll need to do some more work on them too.
So the book is coming along, just not at the pace that I sometimes think these things should happen. But that’s true of a lot of things I do!