Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Taking A "Creative Break"

I've been feeling a bit drained creatively the past few weeks, a gradual slide downhill. I think the many months I have been working on this novel are wearing on me. I think of Frodo trying to get that darned ring to Mount Doom. It's a long journey. I started working on it in October last year. It's almost been a year now. That's a long, sustained effort, for sure. I've only taken one real break during that time, when I finished the completed manuscript, to let it "cool" before I started editing it. Even then I pressed on, trying to start another novel. For the time being, I think my creative juices have run low and I need a "creative break", a break from trying to be so darned creative all the time, and also a chance to take something in, to replenish the well. A time to feed my creativity, nurture it along, rekindle the fire and passion, which are certainly still there, but which need a little nurturing right now.

Since I discovered Google Books I've downloaded over a gigabyte of information from them. I've been like a kid in a candy shop, as my last posting shows. It's been a real joy discovering all the stuff I can download for free that it is so very interesting to me. The books I've downloaded have even inspired me to come up with a non-fiction book I want to write. I have already created a basic outline for it, and a detailed outline of the first four (of eight) chapters. This is more creating, I know, when I feel I want a break from creating, but I couldn't resist. I can definitely see completing that book and feel it would be very marketable. Special interest, not a big seller, but a valuable book for its intended audience. I won't say any more about it, but I know it's a great idea and one I have the expertise to write. I think I'll keep working at this non-fiction book, and continue to work on it even as I return to editing and completing my Fantasy novel.

I also want to take time to read some of the books I've downloaded, and others I have on my list (current fiction titles). I need to take in ideas and information right now, feed my heart and soul, and give my novel more time to sit as I contemplate how I want the remaining chapters to go as I continue the edit. I can see turning it into two very different novels depending on which direction I want to take as I finish editing it. One would be pure fantasy, the other fantasy that is closer to historical fiction. It is certainly not historical fiction by any means, but I could create a more realistic sense of actual history, or change the names and continue with the fantasy aura. I've thought about this several times over the past months, and always decided to go with "fantasy that is based very loosely on history". I'll probably stay with it, but while I'm exploring this in greater depth right now at the very least I will be getting ideas of how to anchor future novels in a more historical context.

Anyway, I'm officially on a "creative break" for a short time, maybe 2-3 weeks, not long considering the many months involved in this novel-writing project. I look forward to blasting back into it with the fervor of a zealot once again, but only after taking time to feed my writer's soul.



Debra Young said...

Yep, during the long story-journey, stepping off the road, flopping down beneath a tree and staring at the clouds for a while makes the journey more of a pleasure. Since I've decided to do the same thing, my mind feels a whole lot lighter, and I'm anticipating higher productivity when I step back onto the path. So, go ahead, tuck that wildflower behind your ear. d:)

Wynn Bexton said...

I think writers need breaks now and then. I've been on one the last few weeks -- mainly because I've been moving and went on a week's trip to NYC. But we mustn't stay away too long and let the Muse slip away. So, hopefully I'll be back on track before this week is over. Good luck to you too and enjoy your little 'rest'.

Anonymous said...

Take that break!! Although my "creative break" was medically induced, when I returned to my novel project, it was like I had replenished the deep wells of my creativity, and since then, my project has become an avalanche of creativity. I heartily encourage all creative souls to take a break occasionally, if only to rediscover what you love about your work, and the creative process and flow.

Cheers, Christian