So, I’m currently in a year’s break from writing Medicals. I asked for a year off, from my fabulous editor, as there was a lot going on personally, stuff that I won’t go into here, but I asked for a break because I just felt like my writing brain needed one. Some time off to just chill, to not have to be endlessly coming up with plot ideas and twists and conflicts.
And so far, it’s going great!
Filling the Well, was a saying I heard the first time, from my great friend Kate Hardy. It was something she advocated for strongly and at the beginning of my writing journey I didn’t understand it, because I was so full of ideas and joy and enthusiasm. Only, as time wore on and I’d got my first fourteen books under my belt, I felt the need to take a break.
So I began reading. I began soaking things in. I binge-watched whatever I wanted to (The Haunting of Hill House was the first thing and currently it’s Game of Thrones) I walked the dogs on long, looooong walks, I breathed in nature, I listened to music, danced to music, did some cardio, some yoga. Took a masterclass. Anything and everything that took my fancy. And throughout it all, without fail, my brain kept returning to the thought that I needed to write.
Plots arrived. Characters began speaking. Scenes formed in my head, like mini-movies. It seemed no matter how hard I tried to relax, the writing was always there. Simmering away, even if I didn’t try. I put my fingers to the keyboard three months into my break and the ideas in my head, didn’t match the words on the screen and I got frightened that I’d taken such a big break and I couldn’t write again.
But slowly but surely, and with lots of stubborn determination and practice, the words are better again. They match what’s in my head and I’m back in the habit. I’m writing something new. Away from the genre of romance and I think that was part of the problem. I was trying something new. Something exciting. Something that wasn’t guaranteed to be published and fear was in there.
Fear of failure.
I still have that fear, but I can put it to one side now. The words are what’s important, the STORY is what’s important and I don’t have to get it right first time. That’s what revisions are for, after all! What matters is enjoying the WRITING.
I’m enjoying it again. It feels fresh. Filling the well, was what I needed to get some perspective, to think about what I want to be doing, that will make ME happy, as happy was sadly lacking last year, due to many personal things going on. Losing my beloved dog, Daisy, was one and things like that make you realise your own mortality and what you do with your own life and how you make yourself happy.
So, I’d like to hear from you guys. What do you do when YOU need to fill the well? What do you do to make yourself happy? What brings you joy? Perhaps there’s something you do, that someone else could learn from. You could inspire joy!
And I’m all about the joy right now.