Friday, May 10, 2013

The Art of Stopping

Confession: I'm a workaholic.

Aside from my creative writer side, I have a very type-A personality. I thrive on goals and deadlines, self-imposed or otherwise. I like to always have something going on, and I write, edit or query pretty much every day (in addition to working more than full time and dealing with kids, husband and multiple pets). But every now and then I have to do something that's rather hard for me. I just have to stop.

So, I haven't posted in a while because I needed to replenish a bit. Work has been stressful, and I've been sick several times this year, and I found myself in the unusual (for me) position of not knowing what writing project I wanted to work on. I was querying one book, and immediately started a new one, which I usually do to distract myself from querying. Then I got some great feedback from a couple agents on the book I was querying, and suddenly I went into a bit of a tailspin. Should I edit? Should I push through and finish the first draft of my current WIP? I really just wasn't sure.

Thus, I stopped. I recognized that I needed to really make myself take a long break and just BE. Which is very unnatural for me, but I did it for several weeks. I was lazy and watched lots of Buffy, Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones and Castle. And after a bit I started to feel back to normal, and the feeling got stronger, and now I think I'm almost back to where I need to be.

I've decided to pause on the new WIP and work on edits on two books. Then, querying shall begin anew! I got great responses from agents and writers alike on these, and I know the areas I need to work on. So, that's the plan. What have you been doing lately?


  1. Awesome the response the has been great. Don't overstress - just relax and be.

  2. I'm like you - and sometimes the only thing that helps is stopping completely! :) Glad to hear you've had such a positive response.

  3. Good for you. My husband is fond of saying "When you're lost in the woods, just stop." Because continuing on will just get you more lost. Stopping gives you time to get your bearings. (And if you're really lost, it makes it easier for someone to find you if you aren't wandering all over the place - but that part's not pertinent here.) So, I do the same thing you did. When I get lost on how to proceed with my writing - whether it's where to go in a story or how to accomplish my goals - I stop for a while and re-evaluate.

    I made the same decision. I put down my WIP and went back to some of my older stuff. Right now, I'm fixing one that needed fixing and querying another I just gave up on. Good luck with your edits and the submissions ahead. =o)

  4. Sometimes we gotta do what we need to do! Positive feedback is always a good thing and it sounds like the break was just what you needed. Keep at it! :)

  5. Glad that the break seemed to work (besides, watching Buffy and GoT counts as research, right?).

    Good luck with the edits and querying. When I get into a situation where I've too many things coming at me from all angles, I pick one thing out of the pile and say "that's my priority" and only work on other things when the priority is out of my control for whatever reason e.g. waiting responses from agencies, beta readers, etc.

  6. Ugh! I totally understand the whole stopping thing - which I rarely do. I'm glad to hear that you took that time. It seems to me that we make ourselves sick because we don't stop often enough.
    For me, I just transferred to a new position at work. Everything is different, and mostly, it's been for the better. We just got through a huge inspection at work and nailed our re-certification, so everyone is exhaling finally. :) Beyond that, I just completed my post-production on my forthcoming paranormal romance. Now I'm going to take it easy for a bit. Take care, my friend.


  7. Sometimes we all need that much needed break... I just had one too as things got a bit too hectic and I needed to pull back. that's great you received such useful feedback from agents.. now you know exactly what to focus on. Best of luck:)

  8. I have been thinking. Lying awake and re-writing stuff in my head. It will be time well-spent.

  9. Oh, GOOD for you for just "being" and relaxing to recoup! Very wise idea. I too am a workaholic, and I have to remind myself that time off can be very refreshing and good for the ol' muse and general outlook. We don't have to stress ourselves out...

    I'm revising line-edits from my agent right now, but I have a 2/3 completed WIP I'll get back to after that. :)

  10. Thrilled that the response has been great from agents and editors. I was in the same situation as you, I still am. So I am taking it easy.


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