When I was a younger writer, I pushed myself to write every day. My first book was written from 4-7am daily, with a full-time job and and infant. I pushed myself terribly hard. Another book I wrote basically in a weekend, holed up in my church office—when I drove home at the end of the weekend, my fingers were so swollen from typing that I could not grip the steering wheel.
I don’t write like that anymore. These days, I’m much more content to follow my muses and inspirations, to write when I’m feeling energized to write, and to lie fallow for weeks or even months at a time.
For example, I’ve got the idea for my next book, including title and premise. I’ve worked and re-worked the hook with my friend and agent, Kathy, and I think about the book every day. I haven’t written much, however, because it just doesn’t feel like the time is right.
Instead, I’m sitting and stewing, thinking and pondering.
I don’t feel any anxiety about this. Instead, I feel great confidence that I will write the book, and I’ll write it well. But it won’t happen on a timeline that’s imposed upon me or upon it.
In fact, I can feel the moment approaching—the moment when I will rearrange my life around the writing of the book. When that happens, it will change a lot: my sleep and work patterns, what I’m reading, and what I can commit to for my leisure time. But writing a book becomes and all-consuming activity for my primarily because of the mental energy it takes. When I’m writing a book, that book is about all I think about. And because it takes up so much of my intellectual energy, it’s not something that I can flit in and out of. It’s everything.
It’s coming. I can feel it. It’s just around the corner…