It's definitely cut into my writing time, like I knew it would. But I've decided that's okay. It makes me appreciate my writing time a lot more, actually. And the best thing? For 4-8 hours each day that I work, I stop stressing and worrying about my publishing career. I go to work, I am incredibly busy doing the tasks that need to be done, and my writerly brain is turned off for a while.
Off, off, off.
Oh my goodness gracious, do you know how glorious that is? That crazy brain of mine does NOT like to be turned off. Stupid, crazy brain.
When I'm at home, I'm constantly checking e-mail. Is there any news? Anything happening over there in Please-Publish-Me-Land? I'm also tossing around ideas all the time. Should I do this next? What about that? And before long, I'm panicking, OH MY GOSH, WHAT SHOULD I DO NEXT, IF I DON'T DECIDE THIS MINUTE MY CAREER IS COMPLETELY AND DEFINITELY OVER!
(Which is ridiculous, but I told you, my brain, it is crazy).
When I'm working, I can't check my phone unless I'm at lunch. It's off-limits and put away. And it's pretty much impossible to think about anything beyond the moment at hand.
Writing books is fun sometimes. It's also hard sometimes. Okay, a lot of times. And it can be stressful, when you haven't sold anything in a while and wonder if this is it, if the end is here.
I still love putting words to the page. I still love writing books that touch teens' hearts. Yesterday I got not one, but two emails from young women who have emailed me over the years. They've kind of grown up reading my books. When I think about that, really think about it, I get teary because holy sweet library, I've written enough books that it was possible for them to do that - to grow up reading my books! And they wanted to tell me again how much my books have meant to them, how much I mean to them.
I want to keep writing. But sometimes, the best thing you can do to get what you want is to step away a little bit -- just enough to make you want it, and work for it, even more.