This year has been a year with a big word count--about a dozen new (completed) stories, 40+ story headers (brief introductions), a couple of author spotlights over at Lightspeed, novel revisions with my editor, and then a 1st draft & a re-write of a novel. With the exception of about four days off after I finished the first draft of Novel #4, I've been writing 6 or 7 days a week all year long.
But last week, I finished polishing Novel #4 and I just ran out of words. My word-well went completely dry. I thought I'd start work on my Secret Santa story and drew a blank. It was ... creepy.
I thought I'd push through the emptiness, but so far, I've had zero success. And the wisdom of the universe is encouraging a break. Friday, the wonderful Sandra Wickham posted a great post about recharging your batteries on our Inkpunks blog. And then yesterday, a trip to the SFWA page gave me a blog post from Jeff Vandermeer about the importance of rejuvenating the imagination. Is somebody trying to tell me something?
If so, it's not anything I like to hear. My imagination has always been my constant companion. Daydreaming and storytelling are my fall-back entertainments, the happiest moments of my day. And writing has become my stress-reducer, feel-alive, depression-fighting past-time/drug of choice.
Not writing creeps me out.
I had a hunch I needed a break after September's writing explosion. I felt worn out, the words tired and dry. But digging into the novel revision helped. There was so much great energy packed into the book that it just pulled me out of my funk. When I reached the end, I realized I'd burned through all my energy and then all my reserves. The pretty lights and colors in my mind had gone dark.
Now that I've accepted the fact I can't just stir up new ideas out of nothing, I'm kind of excited. I took a trip to the kids' section of the library, loading up on fairy tales and spooky stories. Brain food. I can't think of a better time to step away from the computer and get down to nibbling.