Break-up/Make-up Cycle

I’m not sure what it says about my dedication to writing, but I give up quite often. At least once a year. Usually after National Novel Writing Month in November.

When I write really intensively for long periods of time, I tend to burn myself out. I need time to recuperate and recover afterward. Sometimes that time is longer than I think it should be, so I get frustrated, and begin to doubt myself and my ability so much that I feel like it’s the end of my writing career.

But it’s not. I’ve found that I can’t force myself to write during one of my breaks. If I do, the break ends up being even longer. So I find it healthy for my writing to quit for awhile sometimes.

Not all of being a writer is about writing. We have to absorb a lot of the world in order to write, so I go into Input mode where I read and watch shows and spend time with friends and family and go on adventures to recharge my batteries and compile material.

Then there is the more analytical side of being a writer. The editing. The submission process. My creative side of the writer psyche is ill-equipped to deal with those things because they take a detachment and a rational mind. The creative side has to take a vacation when those things are going on.

So even when I quit writing, I am still working on being a writer. And even when I think I might never write again, I always come back. It’s too much a part of me not to. It’s in me. The only time I really feel like myself is when I write regularly. I miss it when it’s gone.

It’s like a bad relationship, I suppose. We’ve broken up and gotten back together so many times. My life is incomplete without it, but sometimes I just can’t live with it. Sometimes I need a break.

But my writing group never lets me actually give up. Their support and encouragement always brings me back around. And the fact that I understand this cycle now helps, as well. I am slowly starting to accept that I am a writer, even if sometimes I’m not actually writing. I’m pretty sure writing is my soul-mate, so we will always get back together in the end.

Sara is a Kansas-grown author of the fantasy and horror persuasions. She is convinced that fantastical things are waiting for her just around the corner, and until she finds the right corner, she writes about those things instead.

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