When You Just Need To Step Back

I’d mentioned before that I started writing this series on July 1st, 2021. I’ve been pretty devoted to it, writing or researching every day. I managed to accomplish quite a bit, and have been feeling hopeful about being ready to query in 2022.

When December 2021 came, so did a lot of holiday stress, and family emergencies that required my full attention. I made the decision to step back from the series for the month of December, and hit the ground running in January. I made a plan you see, and the family joke around here is we don’t make plans… we have ideas, because plans are doomed. So was mine!

January, so far, has proved even more chaotic that December was. I want to get to my book, but with my mind on so many other important things, I had to have a long talk with myself. Was I doing justice to Grasslands by forcing myself to work through, while being so distracted? More important, was I giving all the attention necessary to my family if I was stepping away to work on the books?

As many writers with “day jobs” or a family face, I was in the throws of a dilemma. What was the best way to proceed?

A step back. It needed to be done, but I also didn’t want to step so far away that I lose my inspiration and drive. I needed a compromise. With help from hubs, family, and friends, I figured it out. Continue going to my twice monthly writers meetings with Bard’s Corner, using that time to brainstorm on the work I need to do. Beta read for some amazing people, to keep engaged. When inspired, if time allows, do some writing. It is, after all, cathartic. It’s an escape into a world I can control.

The best way I can sum this up… let yourself take a step back sometimes. Come back fresh, inspired, and ready. Life is all about balance, and you aren’t letting anyone down by remembering to prioritize. When I’m ready, I imagine I’ll blast through many of my rewrites. Mostly from sheer excitement over being back in Grasslands.

“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” —W. Somerset Maugham

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