Reflections on August…

I’ve been writing daily, non-stop, since January of this year. My word tracker tells me I’ve logged in over 2,000,000 words. I don’t know if that’s a lot, average for a writer, or below the norm. I do know that writing makes me happy, whether it’s my blog, my wip,or a short story I’m working on. I once heard Nora Roberts liken writing to exercising. She said, if you don’t do it for a few days, like a muscle, it begins to atrophy. The “it” is the writing or the work of writing. And I agree.


I decided to take a little break this month after I came back from RWA in NYC in July. I have a life outside of writing – I know, who’d have thought? – and I have several art, craft, and culinary projects that are time consuming I wanted to get started and done. The first weekend in the month I ripped apart every closet in my house, culled, restructured, tossed,  donated and generally made all my closets look like new again. It took me three days, 8 hours a day. By day three I had great closets and writing withdrawal. While I’d been culling,etc, several ideas had shot into my head and I needed to write them down, but I’d vowed to have a stay-cation from writing so…

Yeah. If you’re a writer you know where this is going.

Day 4 broke and I wanted to start on a new, large decoupage trunk project I was going to do for a friend’s birthday present. Since her b’day is in September and this was August, I needed to get a move on. 2 hours into the project  my hands started shaking because my writing-dormant brain had just solved a plot point problem I’d been having with my WIP. What to do? My non-writing vow slapped me hard in the face and…I slapped back. Yup. I broke my vow. For the next six hours I was able to rewrite a scene that had been driving me nutso for weeks. And it came out pretty damn good if I do say so. And right after that I wrote down all those ideas I’d come up with during closet cleaning. In fact, I sat at my laptop for a total of 10 hours that day -with one or two needed bathroom breaks – and got everything down that had been begging to be let out from my brain. The writing withdrawal symptoms ground me down. Like a meth addict, I was unable to control my “need” but in my case it was a need to write, not do drugs. Just clarifying, folks.


Today is August 16. My word tracker tells me I have written 57,000 words during the past 10 days. That’s 5 blogs, and the rest split up between several WIP’s currently in production. I’ll have to include the 500 or so from this blog as well. Like moths drawn to flames, mosquitos pulled to bug zappers, use whatever metaphor or alliteration you want, I HAD to write. No, I HAVE to write. It is, in its purest definition, who and what I am.

There’s a reason this website is called WRITING IS MY OXYGEN. You can’t life without breathing…and I can’t live without writing.



Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Strong Women

7 responses to “Reflections on August…

  1. Oh, Peggy, I wish I could just drop other things and write. I’m still trying to “do it all,” and my writing suffers, as it is the lowest on the totem pole most of the time. I have to keep the day job, I have to take care of my daughter and all of her obligations, I have to cook meals and put up the summer produce. Everything is on my shoulders. I, too, have a few closets that need some cleaning, and a car that needs some cleaning out, and 20 pounds of peaches in the fridge that need to turn into jam. Some days it is really overwhelming! I always think if I could get rid of the day job, that would be great, but I need the day job or I will not have a retirement. So, priorities!

    And what is this word tracker you speak of? I’d love to have something like that, I am always writing – blogs, emails, my WIP, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Peggy Jaeger

    Susabelle, the word tracker is in my publishing program. It tracks how many words you save every day.


    • janarichards

      I’m impressed, Peggy. 2,000,000 words! I’ve been tracking my writing since January 1, too, but I’m only at about 107,000. That’s not including blogs and guest blog posts, but even if it did, I’m sure I wouldn’t get close to two million. See what happens when you write everyday?

      I just track my words on a Excel file that I’ve created. It’s good to know how I’m doing, but now I’m feeling like a slacker! Way to go, Peggy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Peggy Jaeger

        Jan, in no way shape or form can you use the word slacker to describe anything about your writing!! Please realize that I have a husband who works 90 + hours a week, no children at home, no pets and no more job that requires me to leave the house. I write everyday for a minimum of 6 hours, most days 8-10 because I’m alone most of the time. I realize fully what an unusual situation ( and blessed one) I am in, so again, whether we write 10 words or 10 million, slacker is never a term to use!!


  3. Sandra Dailey

    You would have envied me six months ago. Only one quiet husband in the house and no outside job. Then, my mother moved in. How can one little old lady reek so much havoc! She’s moving toward the kitchen. Better go before she burns the house down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh, Sandra, I know this feeling well! My mom visits for about a month to six weeks every year. She will be here soon. I know it means my entire routine will be disrupted, and I will also have to find some more time (I have NO idea where to do that!) to be there for her. She is pretty self-sufficient, but when she’s here, there seems to be more to do. She’ll help me with canning, and meal preparation, but it still seems like “more work.” I wouldn’t trade my time with my mom for the world, though. Someday she’ll be gone, and I’ll be glad we had these times together.


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