No, it's not what you think. Not a break from writing, but a break in feeling as though you haven't done enough for your writing. Most of my friends are writers and I talk with them frequently, either via email or on the phone. We chat about all sorts of things, but I've noticed one trend. Many of them talk about what they haven't done as opposed to what they have done. It's rarely, "I'm so proud of myself for finishing that chapter, submitting that manuscript or heck, reading a book or watching a movie." It's usually, "I didn't write, I didn't edit, I didn't submit, etc." And I say, "Give yourself a break!"
Do I concentrate more on what I haven't done than what I have done? You betcha! Therefore I'm including myself in the mix. Today, instead of my 'To Do' list, I'm going to do a 'Ta Da!' list and make myself list the things I've done for my writing this week.
1) Blogged twice (good exposure)
2) Commented on three blogs (more good exposure)
3) Took an online writing course (taught by the amazingly talented Allison Brennan. Oh man, was this class great!)
4) Read some pages in Blake Snyder's Save The Cat! and Stephen King's On Writing (fantastic books!)
5) Made notes for two more books. (love those ideas that pop up out of nowhere!)
6) Spent several hours on Facebook, making friends, commenting on statuses and reading bios of other authors. (more exposure and a great way to meet authors and readers)
7) Created a new list for my links page on my website (not a lot of fun but a must)
8) Prepared an excerpt to add to my website for RESCUE ME (okay, this was fun!)
9) Fixed some dangling modifiers my copy editor suggested for RESCUE ME (I apparently have a great fondness for these!)
10)Starting signing bookplates to send to a bookseller in Australia who requested them. (I met her on Facebook!)
11)Watched several action movies to help me get a better feel for writing some action scenes. (Mission Impossible and the Bourne movies are my favorites)
12)Watched several romantic movies to help me...well, you know. (Return To Me, Princess Bride and Where The Heart Is)
13)Read several industry articles (very interesting things going on in the publishing industry right now)
There's more, but you get the picture. Yes, I am a writer and my number one priority is writing. However, instead of beating myself up for not writing the fifty pages I had hoped for, I'm going to give myself a break and think about the other positive things I did as a writer.
I know many of you have full time jobs outside of writing and I am in complete awe that you can do that and write too. So, you deserve even more credit. Now it's your turn. List all of the things that you've done for your writing this week. And after you're finished, give yourself a huge pat on the back for being the incredibly talented, energetic and multi-faceted person that you are!