So, my brain is supposed to be on a break – well other than finishing up edits to the book I’m about to query.
You see, I’ve been going non-stop for three years, writing one book after another in an effort to get these stories out of my head and establish my career. Plus, I seriously don’t know how to stop writing. (This on top of a full-time day job.)
The result is that my brain is tired. It needs to take a break but doesn’t really want to stop. It’s flitting from one new plot idea to another like a butterfly or pixie in a garden of flowers. In the last two weeks I have been assailed by the following ideas:
- A desire to finally write one of the contemporary stories that’s in my head. It’s a little darker and slightly paranormal. But the plot is tangled right now and I don’t have the brain power to untangle it.
- A semi-historical/semi-fictional take on Phantom of the Opera. Not sure if I can make that one work, and even if I can, if I’m twisting history too much with what I want to do with it.
- A desire to resurrect my Robin Hood/Maid Marian story because there are two Robin Hood films in the works, which hopefully will spur interest in that story again.
- A vague idea for a paranormal contemporary book. It’s really just an idea and a name for the MC. It may or may not ever happen.
- A non-specific inkling that will eventually lead to filling in a plot hole in the third Guinevere novel. I know what I need to do with a character motivation-wise, now I just have to come up with the how and the specifics.
- Ideas for two Arthurian novellas. I really like these and I think they will work well as bridges between my Guinevere books, once those sell. There are two King Arthur/Lancelot movies in the works, so hopefully that will draw publishers’ interest to Arthurian legend.
- The knowledge that I really should write the two historicals (one is 19th century, the other WWII) that I have started researching.
- The desire to write another series. No idea what. I just want to write a series.
- A niggling feeling that I really should write a traditional romance because that’s my secondary genre.
This list doesn’t include the majority of the other books floating around in my head. Having so many ideas isn’t a bad thing, other than my brain won’t commit to anything. That probably is just because it needs to take a break. But like I said, I don’t know how. I’m afraid of wasting time. Other authors, social media and the industry send the message of constantly go, go, go – produce more now, especially when you’re trying to break in like I am. But what do you do when part of your brain says it’s exhausted, even as it tries to keep going?
Not really sure why I’m sharing this other than I feel the need to tell someone, or in this case, several thousand someones. I know I could distract myself with something else. I have a few things I need to do around my house, but writing and reading really are my main non-day job activities. I want to do a DIY MFA (more info on that soon – you get to learn right along with me!) but that involves brain power I really shouldn’t be using right now. And I’m trying to learn French. But none of those is enough to stop the creative brain from assailing me when it should be at much-needed rest.
Do you have any ideas how to get a constantly buzzing writer’s brain to simmer down for a bit? If so, I’d love to hear them.
Niki, I feel your pain! At the same time I admire how creative and tireless your mind is. You already have more work accomplished and more ideas in the pipeline that many writers come up with in an entire career. I agree that’s not a bad thing, but I also sense that you deeply, deeply need to rest the little grey cells.
You won’t lose ideas if you write them down, as I’m sure you are doing. If you have a notebook or a device to make notes on always with you, you can add thoughts about all the projects you have in mind as they occur to you. The *purpose* of that is to release your mind and give it some peace. I think maybe you need to do this so that, after some measure of time that feels right, one or two projects float to the surface and you can focus on those.
I hope you will take some pressure off of yourself and give yourself permission just to breathe for a while. To write well, we have to write, and we have to read, but we also have to live.
Happy Easter, my dear.
Thank you so much, Suzanne. You are right about needing to live. That’s something I have been putting off in favor of my writing. But now, with 6 books nearly under my belt, it is time for life, time to breathe, as you said. I like the notebook in the purse idea. I’m going to have to do that. Happy Easter to you, too.