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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -2020- Pot Luck – #WritingHabits by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I found this in my archives, not even sure I reblogged it? But It’s always interesting to look back on plans, then a year later, look where things went – south? Looking at plans, did they come to fruition? And then of course, the dreaded burnout. And then eagle-eye Sally Cronin found it in my archives and shared it at her Smorgasbord Blogs from the Archives Series.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -2020- Pot Luck – #WritingHabits by D.G. Kaye

 

 

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the first post by D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies and she shares her observations about her writing habits and how the have changed over the course of her previous six books. I am sure something we can all relate to. This was first posted in January 2020 and just before Debby took a book break.

 

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 just 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. Please head over to Sally’s to continue reading.

 

*Note, I think I originally wrote this post in early 2020. Intentions were good, but 2020 happened big time in my life, and still continues. The book was finished and self-edited then left aside again. As soon as I get some semblance of a publishing mojo, the book will be released. Stay tuned!

 

Source: Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -2020- Pot Luck – #WritingHabits by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

 

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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.

26 Comments

  • Pete Springer

    I remembered this piece and enjoyed reading it a second time, including my comments from the first go-round. I’m still walking each day, and I realize that has become part of my process. A couple of days per week, I walk with friends as I miss socializing. The other days are my thinking and observation time. Observing human nature helps when it comes to writing. I seem to get some of my best writing inspiration when I’m walking alone and thinking.

    I suspect that life’s circumstances have prevented you from writing as much.

    • dgkaye

      You suspect correct Pete. And thank you for taking the time to read again. Yes, when life is throwing curveballs at warp speed, we need to take a breath and a step back. And your walks are important for both physical and mental health. Thank you Pete 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Yay for you Darlene. You said it. I have way too much going on at home right now to concentrate on editing, so hopefully, by the summer for me too. <3

  • Stevie Turner

    I used to write about 1000 words per day as well, but then I thought … why keep pushing yourself? Nowadays I write when I feel like it, and usually take the summer off to enjoy my van. I’ve just finished a book during this latest lockdown, and will take part in PitMad tomorrow. x

  • Jan Sikes

    This is so good, Debby. I was thinking just this morning how writing can become like a job and then you lose the joy. I don’t want to lose that joy. We are the creators of our lives. We get to choose (within reason of course). But your post reinforced my determination to find joy in writing or not do it at all. Thank you for sharing!

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Jan. Right? We are self publishers, writers and have to deal with life. If the mind isn’t cooperating, find something else to do. Nobody has a gun to our heads. 🙂 xx

  • Olga Núñez Miret

    I remember this post as well, Debby. I agree with you and with Jan. I’ve never written consistently (mostly because I was always doing other things), and I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I’d hate for it to become a burden, or to have to push through with things I was no longer interested in. And there are aspects of publishing as a business that I feel no affinity for.
    It’s been the hell of a year, and I know things have got increasingly difficult for you. I’m thinking of you and your husband and hope things get better.
    Take care.

  • Diana Peach

    A wonderful post, Debby. I do think that we have to find (and frequently re-find) our writing joy. It’s such hard work and if we burn out or push ourselves into a grind, it can stop being fun. Writing habits are super helpful. 2020 has been tough, throwing our routines into disarray! Hopefully 2021 will be a wonderfully creative (and healthy) year.

  • Pamela

    I think we writers have to give ourselves “a break” sometimes, in more ways than one. If I don’t write one day, or read/comment on my blog, or work on a WIP, I berate myself and feel badly. That’s just wrong. We writers need down time, to do what’s necessary at home, to walk and observe and “think” as Pete suggests, and sometimes to allow ourselves to sit down and reaad the books of others and just ENJOY ourselves. So be kind to YOURself, Debby.

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Pam, for confirming this. If we didn’t get out and observe and just live life, where would we get our fresh ideas right? The thing about writing is we need our creative minds, and when life intervenes it can certainly affect our creativity. Everyone needs a time out sometime. 🙂 xx

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Debby – you’re a word-smith … and busybeeing it too – though I know life has taken a change at the moment – still you’ll always be writing … and will want to write – it’s in your bones! Just do what you can and be at peace with the process and timing et al … all the best – Hilary

  • Amy M Reade

    When the well is empty, there’s nothing to draw from. I’ve recently decided to discontinue one of my series that was becoming very hard to write. I can’t figure out why it was so hard, but I know it stopped being fun. That was my clue to quit worrying about it and move onto something else without guilt and without looking back.

    I hope you’ll continue to take time for you whenever you can! I’m still amazed by your output!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Amy for the kudos, and for sharing some of your own hurdles. Yes, when it stops being fun, it’s a great idea to run to another project. You know it. <3

  • Lisa Hutchison

    Hi Debby,

    I think I will go back to last years blogs to see my writings, an interesting idea, after this year’s events. All of us writers experience the creative cycles of writing, the ebb and flow. When you have extra stress and added responsibilities, writing takes a side or back seat. It has in my life. Once, life settles, you will go full steam again. I look forward to your future book and my own. 🙂

    Many Blessings
    Lisa

    • dgkaye

      Hi Lisa. Thanks for sharing your take. Yes, I especially think since we are empaths we get so intensely struck with things, and no doubts, our tool as a writer is our creativity. When the brain is overwhelmed with pressing issues, it cuts on the creativity. Cheers to us and getting those books out this year! Hugs xox

  • Deborah Jay

    I used to beat myself up about not being organised, or scheduling my writing time, largely because it had to fit around my day job, but that didn’t make me feel less guilty. I’ve listened so much to all those writers espousing quick book production, even putting out a book a month because they do NOTHING else.
    For them, it brings the big income they desire, but what about life? I’ve come to terms now with finding a balance, where I actually do get to have a life. I’m never going to be fast, but what the heck – since the advent of Amazon self-publishing, writing is now a long term business. And I want to survive, with my sanity intact, and enjoy both my writing and my life. I’ll probably never bring in huge figures, but what the heck? I will have enjoyed myself.
    Sounds like the issues forced upon you have made you re-evaluate that balance. Take the time to enjoy what you can of life, and write/edit when you feel like it. The world won’t fall apart if your next book is overdue. <3

    • dgkaye

      Succinctly said Deb. Exactly, I did 6 years of 7 books. I love writing, not so much publishing, lol, but creativity flows so much better without pressure. <3

  • Liesbet

    I remember this update from you about a year ago, Debby. Yes… how much has changed. Yikes! But, despite the pandemic and all the health issues in your bubble, you have been quite productive finishing and editing your book within a year after the first draft. So, I think congratulations are in order. Can you share the final title of your “Collection of Firsts” yet? Wishing you both good health, continued productivity for you, and a healthy sprinkle of fun as well. Thinking about you. <3

    • dgkaye

      Hi Liesbet. Thank you for the kudos. Yes, you’ve reminded me that the glass is half full, not half empty. 🙂 At least I have the book written and ready to deal with publishing. I’ve himmed and hawed over the title, asked opinions, but somehow I feel this book needs to remain titled – Fiften First Times, it’s the subtitle I keep playing with. <3

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