Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Do Writers Take A Holiday?

I’ve been asked before what my writing schedule is, and my honest answer is, “I don’t have one.” Unlike many of my colleagues, who write five or six or seven days a week, or others who set a word goal of so many words (2000 seems to be the average), I let myself put writing aside when life intervenes in the form of a family need, a special situation, or even a holiday.

This past weekend was no exception. Although I’m in the middle of writing another novel, I took a holiday to celebrate with members of my family. And I’ll bet that I make the deadline my publisher has set, despite not writing for two or three days.

In his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey mentions the need to “sharpen the saw.” In my case, I take that to mean that when I reach the point where my brain feels like mush and I can’t for the life of me figure out the next scene in my work-in-progress, I need to take some time to get away from writing. Stephen King, in his book on writing, calls this “letting the boys in the basement work.” I’ve found that I often wake up with the answer to a problem that’s been nagging at me. The boys in the basement have struck again.

So my answer to the question, “Do writers take a holiday?” is “I do.” I can’t speak for other writers, although I hope some of them will chime in here in the comments section.

And to encourage you to speak your piece about all this, I’ll randomly select one commenter to receive a copy of my latest book, Medical Judgment. Just add your email address to your comment to be included. And good luck.


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18 comments:

  1. I can understand the need to take a step back from active writing.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  3. I think all artists need to take a step back from time to time and enjoy life and refresh their minds.
    Thanks for another opportunity to win the book.
    allthingzsewn@gmail.com

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  4. Writers are human like the rest of us. They need to step back and relax to get recharged. You need to give yourself permission to step back at times.
    duellonlysis@aol.com

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  5. Thanks for the post and a chance to win your book. I am looking forward to reading more of your books. Krisite
    tklovenestataoldotcom

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  6. I am not a writer but I think it would be absolutely necessary to take a break from your writing in order to get a fresh perspective and some relaxation time. spotts06ATcomcastDOTnet.

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  7. Would love to win a copy of your book! I would think there are times when you do need to just step away for a bit.
    sallyshupe1 [at] gmail [dot] com

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  8. Would love to win a copy of your book! I've read them all to date! I do think writers should take a vacation. Keep up the great writing though!
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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  9. I am not a writer but I have found that whenever I am stumped on a project, if I put it aside for a while then the solution will come to me. Sometimes in the middle of the night, like you said.
    I would love to win a copy of this book.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

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  10. I am a writer and sometimes I find stepping away for a few hours helps when I'm stuck. And other times, I just need to push through. The key is know which time is which. :-) pat at ptbradley dot com

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  11. I am not a writer but I was able to work at a job that I truly loved and I still needed time away from the library. Hours, days or, if you're lucky, a week's vacation, are often just what a person needs to are to refresh, rejuvenate and recharge! Writers are certainly no different and family times are also necessary! So glad you could get away---I'm sure some wonderful pages will be the result!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. You may never a take a holiday, but you vacation and get a way from writing and eventually you will retire from writing.

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  13. It sounds like your methods work !
    Martha T.
    CRPrairie1@imonmail.xom

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  14. I'm a writer and yes, I do take holidays from writing. In fact I took one beginning last Thursday and started writing again today. I would love to be able to take an entire month off at once, but I have a book due in a few of months, so I must jump back into it. :)

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  15. As with any activity or vocation, a person does need to step back and take a break, even a vacation, to re-energize and refocus. Would love to win a copy of your book.
    betsylu2@msn.com

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  16. I am thinking a writer really must take a holiday from writing at times. Sometimes when you are in the thick of things, ideas might become jumbled or unclear. But, if you step away, clear your mind, and face the writing clearly and with a new prospective, those creative juices may open up easier for sure!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  17. I hope all writers take vacations. Even if you are not going to an office each day with a long commute, you are working your brain just as hard...maybe even harder at times. Good for you and good for all authors who choose to take rests...I'm pretty sure it makes for better writing.
    debsbunch777(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. Thanks to all of you who left a comment. Sally Shupe has been randomly chosen as the winner of a copy of Medical Judgment. I'll email Sally to deliver the news.

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