I recently found myself in the unexpected position of having absolutely no publishing related deadlines. For the first time in over three years, I didn’t have that huge monkey hanging on my back. It was startling, strange and wonderful. After the initial shock of “What the hell?” I quickly settled into “This is nice.”
I hadn’t realized how stressed I was or how much pressure I’d put on myself to get the next book out. To keep my three novels a year schedule. To have a new release so the readers wouldn’t forget me…until I suddenly didn’t have to do it anymore.
The new freedom was amazing. This weight I hadn’t know I was carrying was gone and I reveled in it. Yes, I still had writing things I wanted to do, book ideas I wanted to write, but I wasn’t stressed about getting them done. In fact, I still haven’t done half of what I’d originally planned and I can’t get myself to worry about it.
This summer I’ve been enjoying my time with my kids without the nagging burden of word counts and deadlines. I’ve read more, cooked more, laughed more and had more time for real people in my life. Those fictional people are pretty cool, but reconnecting with the people around me has been rejuvenating.
I’m preparing for the RWA National Convention next week where I’ll dig back into the business side of writing. And I have the added bonus of going into it feeling refreshed and opened to what comes next. I have a great new series idea, a proposal and pitch ready and an award to win (I’m thinking positive here).
I hope you get a chance to enjoy your summer and remember that breaks are necessary. Even unplanned ones can be a really nice blessing.