Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vacation's all I've ever wanted (thanks to The Go-Go's)

Last night I was reading this post by my friend, Rachel Hawkins, and her plan to June Sploon. And then I was reading this post by my friend, Kate Messner, about her plans to help librarians and teachers write this summer. And I was like, oh, that would be fun to get in on that June Sploon action. And yeah, I should totally ask Kate what I can do to help her, because that's an awesome idea.

And then I was like - cool your jets, Lisa. Yo, this is supposed to be the summer of some much-needed R&R!

There is a part of me that wants to jump in to every cool thing offered if it could potentially mean a) an opportunity to spend time with people around the blogosphere who I think are cool, b) more exposure for me and my books or c) something that motivates me to get more books written.

But the thing is, I have been at this writing thing a long time now, and I no longer want to do it 24/7. There was a time when I lived and breathed writing and promoting and everything in between, and I don't want to do that anymore. First of all, I don't think it's healthy for me and second of all, this is now my job, and how many times have we heard, you won't be on your death bed, looking back at your life, wishing you worked more? I'm really trying to treat it more like a job.

Because I've been at this a long time now, I know I can write a book in 2-3 months with my tried and true 1,000 words a day. And I also know that summer is my most favorite time of the year. Rachel and I have actually talked about this, and summer is NOT fun where she lives, (down south y'all) so it's logical, I suppose, that summer rolls around and she's ready to stay inside with the glorious A/C and write. Okay, so deadlines help with that decision too, of course.

Summer is when I want to PLAY, as much as possible. I'll have to work some too. I will most likely have two editorial letters this summer, on two different middle grade novels. I don't really need to write anything new on top of that, when there are hikes to go on and berries to pick and pools to swim in and beaches to comb.

For about nine months of the year, give or take three days, Oregon is dreary and gray. Perfect writing weather, really. And during those eight to nine months, I'm usually working in the early mornings on weekends too, because I don't want to lose any momentum I have in either drafting or revising. So I'm working a LOT during those months. It's taken a long time for me to get to this place where I tell myself it's okay to take a break (as much as possible) during the summer.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about writing and breaks. How do you decide when it's time to take a break? Do you schedule them, or take them as they come? Do you have a favorite time of the year when you want to be playing more than working, like me? Do you think I'm crazy, wanting to try and step away from the writing world this summer?


  1. I was thinking that one project a quarter for any writer (screen, novelists, etc.) is a good goal. With you saying you can write a book in 2-3 months with your 1,000/day goal, that sounds about right (for me). I actually write 1,000/day whenever I am working on a project. I believe a break is something that isn't just desired, it's needed.

    I am now E-publishing on Kindle. I have three books after the first one that comes out next week, ready to be edited and published. I have spaced out how I want the books to come out. This gives me time to breathe. After yesterday, with the promoting and doing everything myself (website, book cover, marketing, etc.), I am DONE!

    LOL. All in all, regardless of when you take the break, I think it's imperative. I can't see myself going a whole summer without putting something into the writing life, even if it's short stories to keep my readers engaged, but I definitely feel where you are coming from.

    Once this book is released, I'm going to focus on getting the other three edited and ready for release as opposed to writing more and more and more. Blessings with your vacation!!! Have fun, relax.

  2. I love this, Lisa. Ever the role model. xo I'm up for some time off, too.