I have mentioned before that I am slowing down my writing schedule. It looks like I’m slowing down more than even I anticipated.
I took some time off from writing last month, having hit a stage of burnout I’d never experienced before. Not ‘writer’s block’, mind you ... the story ideas continued to come fast and furious, as they always have. I’d simply hit a wall as far as the ability to keep going. Such is the price of crazy New Year’s challenges and my typical eagerness to rip out the stories that clamor inside my brain.
Unfortunately for my peace of mind, when I get a new idea my muse screams, “Write it NOW!!!” In recent weeks, the rest of me started yelling back, “Put it on hold or I will shut the whole thing down.” I had become mentally exhausted.
I took a week off, the longest I’ve gone without writing in over three years. Even during my summer vacations I have written almost every day, and at a hectic pace that most don’t attempt. I think I must be beyond obsessed with writing. Obsessed or not, the schedule I'd set for myself became too much and my brain turned to mush.
Let me tell you, that week off was amazing. I felt twinges here and there of guilt that I wasn’t writing, but overall, my entire being breathed a sigh of relief. The chaos that had taken up residence inside my skull quieted. I looked forward to the day each morning when my eyes opened. A couple of times, after putting my son on the school bus, I went back to bed. I read books. I meditated for an hour at a time. Ah, decadent laziness. It was lovely.
I came back rejuvenated and ready to write again. No longer do I feel crazed with the need to write so many words a day, to push and push and push forward until my nerves scream. I realize I had put myself in a writing hell of my own making. I’d almost turned the thing I love doing into a nightmare.
I’ve sworn to myself to not reach that breaking point again. That means I have shuffled around my schedule to give myself more breaks and more room to breathe between books. I realize that I do not have to drive myself crazy by pounding out book after book at a rate of every 6 to 8 weeks ... in fact, it’s best that I don’t. For the sake of myself, my family, and my books, I am slowing way the hell down.
My friends, I am afraid you will have to wait longer between books from now on. I will still be writing five days a week, but I will take a day for myself and one for my family as well. I will reduced the amount of writing I have been demanding of myself in a set amount of time. No more 12 hour workdays for this gal. After each book’s release, I will relax with a week off to recharge. It could be I only release 4 books a year from now on. It could be even less. I am sorry if you are disappointed with that, but I cannot continue to write myself ragged.
This is your heads-up on the matter. Any urgings to ‘hurry’ when it comes to the next book will be viewed with amusement from now on. If I catch myself rushing like before, I will be kicking my own ass. I will invite you to kick it with me.
Thanks for your patience and understanding. Alien Caged is coming soon, so make sure you don’t rush through it, okay? Clan, Honor, and Empire, the next new book in line, will likely not be seen before March.