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D.G. Kaye,  D.G. Kaye books,  Journaling,  Memoir writing,  Non Fiction,  On Writing,  self publishing,  That's Life,  Writing Muse

Change in Writing Habits, Book Break the New Book


Today I’m talking about how I notice some of my writing habits have changed through the years. When I wrote my first 6 books, I was disciplined differently. I did my writing first thing in the morning right after breakfast – or the day would surely distract me. But as the order of life sometimes changes, so has my writing.


I could write a rough draft in 2-3 months of writing 5 days a week with anywhere from 100 to 2000 words in a session, depending on the inspiration – sometimes the well is empty. After writing time, I’d move to the computer. Writing all my drafts in longhand comes in handy when wanting to stay off the computer to avoid distraction. After checking out blog comments, posts and social media, and although writing for the day was done, I then spent time in between the daily grind of life, reading articles on learning the trade of self- publishing and homing in on the craft of writing.

It’s now well over a year since I put out a new book. Oh sure, I was working on one, but somehow my enthusiasm wasn’t there, and I stopped enjoying the writing. Then life happened – a lot, then came winter vacation escape, and finally, I realized that I just needed a year off from the disciplined mandate of writing a book.

In that time of not writing a book I was still writing. I write 2 monthly columns, blog articles, book reviews, run guest interviews and have been featured as a guest myself on many blogs, and have even ventured into writing poetry more seriously. There’s no shortage of writing in my life, I just wasn’t feeling inspired to write another book without a timeout from the burnout of publishing 6 books in 5 years. Each of those books took up a good 6-8 months of my life, and I realized how swiftly life is passing by, and decided I need to be living a bit more before committing to a new project. So, I learned to accept my welcomed book writing break and learned it was okay to not be writing a book for a while. The only pressure I had  was self-imposed, so I finally admitted I don’t have to write a book every day for the rest of my life, and if I’ve lost the interest for a particular project, it’s okay to abandon it. Now that doesn’t mean that all the work I’d put in would go to the delete bin. All it meant that the started manuscript would live in rest in a folder until such time I may get inspired to go back to it.

In that time away from book writing, without the rules of my self-imposed discipline hanging over me, instructing myself to write first thing in the morning, I didn’t always only write in the morning anymore. And I noticed I was developing new writing habits – writing spontaneously as compared to writing by schedule.

In my old writing habits, If the morning had passed and I was into my daily activities, I was done writing till the next morning. If an idea sprouted to mind, I’d simply jot down a sentence with the idea in a notebook to keep for fodder for a future a topic to write about. But now, throughout this past year plus that I haven’t put out a new book, I have found that random ideas have taken up more of my immediate attention—going with the inspiration when it hits. Instead of just making a notation, which would have certainly had a different interpretation than the one I originally had in mind from the magic of the moment, instead of jut jotting the thought down and left to meld into the many other fleeting ideas, I’ll immediately pick up a notebook and write what comes to mind about that topic, while it’s fresh in my mind, dropping whatever I’m doing in that moment to take advantage of the moment. I have notepads scattered in almost every room with ideas and started stories waiting to be told, instead of just ideas that were left as a sentence,  never to be found again in the midst of a mountain of notepads. And I’m quite enjoying being a spontaneous writer. I’ve amassed several ideas for books and blogs this past year from random ideas that come to mind.

Through this new, no pressure process, I was sparked by an interesting book blurb I’d read while browsing through some books on Amazon, sparking a new idea for a book to write, which has since become a new enjoyable experience again. I’m thrilled to have my book writing mojo back.

It felt good to find inspiration again and to be starting a new project, despite the multitude of interruptions from daily life, and despite not always getting to write first thing in the morning or working on the book daily, My raw first draft is ready to be entered into the computer now where first round revisions will begin. I’ll be taking a winter escape break in a short few weeks, so when I return, I’ll be diving into rewrite mode as I enter my stories. As it seems life may be taking on new directions for us this year – again taking up a lot of my personal time and brain space, I hope to publish early summer. At least I now have a plan. I suppose the bonus is, the longer I allow my  manuscript to marinate in-between edit rounds is a good thing.

And so, perhaps you may be wondering what I’m working on? Because it’s still a work in progress, I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say, as a memoir writer, you can expect more personal stories. This book is based on ‘first times’ of doing things in life – my life. The title has yet to be finalized, but the working title is ‘Fifteen First Times’, the subtitle is: The Good, The Bad, The Funny, and The Sad. They may be my stories, but they’re relatable, and sometimes moving. So, if you enjoy reading my books, I’m confident you’ll want to read this one!


Here is a ‘very’ rough draft of a ‘working’ blurb:

A collection of first-times in life where Kaye takes us with her on some of the big moments of life’s most natural events through the intimate, conversational style we’ve come to know from this author’s style for extracting the meatiest moments in life and getting to the heart of each matter, delivered with sincerity and inflections of humor.


Have you noticed your writing habits have changed through the year?



© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye



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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.


  • Norah Colvin

    I’m pleased you got your novel writing mojo back, Debby, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy your new book as much as I enjoyed your others. Summer publication sounds like an achievable goal.
    It’s funny you talk about a change in habits today as I also did earlier today. If there is one thing we can expect for certain, it’s change. We need to adjust our expectations to changing patterns in life. I wish you success with these changes you are embracing.

  • Harmony Kent

    I used to be more creative on an evening, but now I’m married I’ve had to change my habits. These days, I write in a morning after clearing my email, etc. I’ve also started outlining more, when I used to always be a died-in-the-wool pantser.

    Best of luck with your new project, Debby! 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Harmony. So weird because I do feel more creative in the evening – when I actually want to relax and not think, lol. And yes me too, a pantser I was, but functioning much better with an outline – okay, maybe not legible to others, but I know what I mean LOL 🙂

  • Carol Taylor

    A pantser by nature I am trying to bring some structure to my allocated writing days which is going ok but I am starting to get itchy so am guessing it will be night time writing again soon when I seem to write the best…Like you, Debby I have notebooks everywhere…Sounds like your new book is taking shape…Hugs xx

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Carol. There’s something about night time writing (late night) that brings forth thoughts that seem elusive by day. It’s always good to experiment! <3 <3

  • Marian Beaman

    I can relate to your observation, “writing spontaneously as compared to writing by schedule” although I still write in the morning after meditation time. Last year was completely dominated with editing, publishing, and marketing my memoir, as you well know.

    You are a prolific author, Debby, writing posts and articles in addition to books. I look forward to Fifteen First TImes, an intriguing title complete with its own outline. 🙂

    Take care of yourself!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Marian. Who knows – working title may remain. As you know a book gets many facelifts until the final product, lol. At least I’ve got the bones. A vacation is in order! Who knows from there. 😉

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Debby – well done for just letting life marinate gently, while the thought processes get a chance to sort themselves out – our lives do change constantly. I’m so glad you’ve got your writing mojo back … and how lovely a recovery holiday to boot … thanks for the thoughts and inspirations – cheers Hilary

    • dgkaye

      Hi Hilary. Thanks for the cheers and kudos. Life can certainly be trying at times, it’s all about learning how to dance between the hoops! 🙂 <3

  • Hugh W. Roberts

    Oh, definitely. Late last year, I went from doing all my chores in the morning to doing all my writing in the mornings. Have there been any results yet? You bet there has. I seemed to have found my mojo for writing flash fiction and short stories, which I lost in the second half of 2019.

    That’s a good plan you got ahead of you. ‘First Times’ sounds like a great subject, and we all have many of them. I think there is lots of fodder there for you to write about. Good luck with continuing of writing, editing and publishing of the book, Debby.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Hugh. I think many of us seem to ease into a more comfortable writing style after ‘x’ amount of time passes and we get most acquainted with our writing selves. Thanks for the kudos Hugh. Slow and steady for me! <3

      • Hugh W. Roberts

        I agree, Debby, although I’ve found that the balance can often shift. However, change is good, and we should never be afraid of it.

        I agree about slow and steady. Whenever I hear or read the words ‘slow and steady’ I am instantly whisked back to 1988 and a certain nightclub doorman I called ‘Gordie Mike’, but that’s a story for another day.

  • Pete Springer

    I haven’t been doing this long enough to have changed my writing habits, but everything you say rings true with me, Debby. One of the beauties of retirement (I”m defining retirement as not having a regular 9:00-5:00 job) is that deadlines do not hinder me. I can appreciate how writers develop routines and strict schedules to adhere to, but I’m about living for the moment. If I’m feeling creative, that’s the time to write. While that often is in the morning, there are days where the enthusiasm isn’t there.

    One of the biggest things for me is that my life is in balance now, and I intend to keep it that way. I loved everything about my career, but teaching became almost obsessive for me. I thought about teaching and kids all the time. It didn’t matter if it were the weekend or the middle of the summer—education and kids were always on my mind. I can’t tell you how many restless nights I spent worrying about students who I knew would be fine if they didn’t have so many obstacles of dysfunction (often crappy parents who couldn’t manage their own lives, let alone be any role model for their child) in their lives.

    Writing for me is a hobby; I don’t want the pressure of thinking of it as a job. When you view something as a creative endeavor, it becomes exciting. I’ve got many other interests, too; I intend to nurture all of these things. One of the biggest is taking care of myself and getting regular exercise.

    I know you don’t need my permission, but I think your plan makes excellent sense—focus on what you need. That doesn’t mean you’re selfish; it means you’ll attack your writing pursuits when you’re feeling the most creative and energetic.

    • dgkaye

      Pete, thank you. I love all you said here, and you are doing it all the right way! You finished your daily career and are remembering to give yourself ‘me time’ – so essential. It’s all about priorities, and often when life is overwhelming we forget to do some things that are good for us – like sometimes even eating, lol and exercise, which I’ve been sorely lacking of these past few months. I intend to rectify that in a few weeks and start a better schedule. One day at a time is my mantra Pete. As a chronic worry wart I always liked to focus on every issue that needs tending to in one fell swoop. I don’t need to tell you how overwhelming that can be. It’s quite a task to learn how to take each thing day by day when you’re used to being a juggling multi-tasker. 🙂

  • Sally Cronin

    Glad you have made progress with the new book and you have your mojo back Debby.. Looking forward to reading and I am sure it will be as enlightening as your others, a wonderful concept and everyone can relate to first times…. I used to write in the mornings too but I need sustenance a couple of hours to get myself together these days. I think it is the marmite that gets me going.♥♥

    • dgkaye

      Lol Sal, thanks for the kudos. There’s so much going on in my life right, I’ve accepted the fact that there are circumstantial disruptions that seem to get in the way of good intentions, but by not putting additional pressure on myself (like I usually do), the book will be birthed according to my ‘one day at a time’ strategy to keep from getting overwhelmed. Thanks for you always ongoing support. <3 <3

  • Toni Pike

    Glad to hear about your mojo, Debby – and I agree, we need a break sometimes and also to think about balancing writing with other things in life. I’ve been on the same journey and haven’t written much in the last few months – but have done some other important things. I love your blurb! Toni x

    • dgkaye

      Thank you and thank you Toni! And it sounds like you too needed a breather from putting out books. It’s natural right. We are not machines and life happens. We all need a recharge sometimes. 🙂 <3

  • Stevie Turner

    I just write when I want to as well. It’s much better not putting yourself under pressure. And what for, may I ask? What’s the point of struggling to find words when words won’t come? I look forward to reading your new book whenever you decide to finish it!

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    It is so interesting to read your creative process, Debby, from a morning routine to writing when inspiration hits. For myself, I’m just happy to have any kind of routine. I SHOULD be doing more on my book, but because I’m nearing the end, I’ve been slack! For blogging, I tend to write and work on the post in the afternoons. My brain is too fuzzy in the a.m. and that is usually when I exercise. 🙂 Best wishes on your new book!!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for chiming in Terri. Strange, I had the same problem – nearing the end I ran out of gas a few times. My draft is still raw, but it’s a draft, huge accomplishment, lol. Best wishes on your upcoming book too. 🙂 x

  • Jacqui Murray

    I really enjoyed hearing your journey. I’m not there yet but I can see it after about 3 more books (which would put me at 6–same as your number–in my prehistoric fiction series). I see a wall there so I appreciated reading how you handled this.

    • dgkaye

      So glad to hear that my post has been a bit helpful for your own journey Jacqui. We all need a timeout, and you’ll know it when it hits. Don’t fight it! 🙂

  • Adele Marie Park

    This is going to be a great one and will resonate with readers as we have all done “first time” things. Can’t wait, sis. <3

  • Pamela Wight

    Ohhh, your new book sounds enticing! I can’t wait to read it. But, relax. I know – no deadline. Enjoy your life. Enjoy the WRITING. I’ve found with each book I’ve published that I need at least a six month break to “LET GO” and relax. So much goes into writing a book (the easiest part) and then getting it previewed, edited, published, promoted, readings. Just writing about it makes me tired. So yes, I entirely agree, We writers do get burned out. Taking a break from a book, but still writing in other ways, is probably healthy and needed.

  • Christy B

    This book of firsts sounds wonderful, and it’s all the more special for the firsts you’re making in your writing process! I love that you’re embracing spontaneity as a writer, Debby.

  • Colleen Chesebro

    Change is good for the soul, Sis. It makes us realize how precious our time and effort really is. I’m thrilled to see you moving forward on your writing journey. Always take care of yourself, first. Looking forward to the fun-filled read. <3

  • Vashti Q

    Hi, Debby! I used to write in the evenings after getting home from work, showering, cooking, eating . . . until the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes I would write during my lunch break too. Now that I work from home, I write in the mornings. I guess our writing habits change with our circumstances. I like your idea for the new book. The blurb reads fun and engaging. Happy Writing! <3 xo

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Vashti. For sure, our habits do change with circumstances. I also think after so many years we get a better feel for our time and our self-imposed pressure. Happy weekend! <3 xx

  • Deborah Jay

    Lovely to hear there’s a new book in the works, and I’m not surprised you needed the time off after putting out 6 books in 5 years. I sometimes go months without having space in my life for writing (as you know, 2019 was a total write-off for me), but I do find that I come back each time with renewed enthusiasm, so although I would love to put out books more quickly, I’ve accepted it won’t happen. To produce my best work, I need to be enthusiastic about the project, and if that means taking time off between books, that’s what I do. Sorry readers!
    I’ve also found my writing habits have changed. I used to write late at night, when the day was done and I had nothing pressing to deal with. Nowadays I’m too tired to write much at the time I used to do my best work when I was younger. But when I found the Pomodoro technique, it revolutionised my habits, and now I grab any gap of 25 minutes I can, to get more words down.
    I’ve also learned to always keep a Dictaphone with me – that way I can keep notes without having to stop and write them down, and I don’t lose them because they are all in the same place!

    • dgkaye

      Deb, you’ve got a great strategy going now. And I know about your last year and my own lack of enthusiasm. I think writers go through different stages as life changes. We have to go with the flow. Can’t force creativity, but we can’t afford to miss the inspiration when it hits, so glad we’re both always prepared. <3 And I think your Pommodore method is kind of the same as when I take up writing time, just without the timer, lol :) x

  • Liesbet

    Congratulations on the new book idea and first draft, Debby! It sounds like an interesting story collection. Could be a prompt for others as well – fascinating and moving “firsts”!

    I always write spontaneously, when I have time. The exception is my self-imposed deadline of writing a blog every Wednesday. I find these schedules annoying sometimes, but I do have to admit that more gets done when being in a routine or on a deadline than when the writing happens spontaneously. But, I agree with you that – not being on a schedule – when inspiration strikes, I often ramble away for a while at the computer. The pros and cons of both approaches, I guess. 🙂

    I know that if I were to have a writing schedule, I ( and most others, as they’ve proven) would get much more done. Oh well…

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Liesbet. I think as writers, as time goes by we all alter our methods in some form. The main thing is we do keep ourselves accountable. 🙂 x

  • Sherri Matthews

    Hi Deb, I know I’m so late here, it’s been full on since the new year and yet to get a new year post at the summerhouse…but I wanted to catch up with you before you go away on your well earned holiday. i know all about those self-imposed stresses as you know…going through that now with this submission lark arrgh. But…excited for your new plans and book! 🙂 <3 🙂 xoxo

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