At the recent RWA 2014 conference, Nora Roberts made a statement that resonated with me as writer who currently has a different, full time, paying job. When asked if she ever took a vacation or time off from writing, her response was, “Writing, to me, is like exercising your body. If you go a few days without doing it, your muscles start to get weak and break down and then you need to start building up again to where they were when you left off.”
Read that statement again. It’s such a simple declaration, but it makes so much sense.
Because I can’t write all day everyday due to my work obligations, there are sometimes days that go by where I won’t write anything more than a few emails. On the days I can devote to my writing, I find I need to reread and edit what I’ve done before I can go forward. This is because I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing the story. Life intervened, work took over, and my time was not my own to devote to what I love.
Several years ago I broke my ankle and wasn’t able to go to the gym for 8 weeks. When I finally did get back there, all the progress I had made in my arm and stomach muscles before the accident, went the way of the dinosaur and I was a hot flabby mess again. I needed six weeks to get back to the point I was at before my ankle sidelined me.
Not being able to write in a timely fashion does the exact same thing. I loose the progress I’ve made and need to refresh my writing muscles – and my brain and creativity – in order to move forward.
I always knew Nora Roberts was my writing mentor – even though she doesn’t know it – and this point drove home just why she is such a special woman. Not to mention an AMAZEBALLS writer!
My goal for the next month is to write something everyday in my WIP no matter how much time I can devote to it. 30 minutes or 8 hours. Anything is better than letting my writing muscles go slack.
If this resonates with you, drop me a line and let me know. Visit my new page on Facebook : Peggy Jaeger, Author too.