Of Holidays & Writing
On Monday, I talked about my holiday—much needed after the recent years of ‘earthquakiness.’ And there were photos, here.
Yesterday, another author said: “Wow. A break from writing! Are we allowed to do that? ”
Now, although the smiley face suggests that this was tongue in cheek, here’s why my answer was, and is: “Absolutely, yes!”
Not just because, as mentioned on Monday, all work and no play makes for very dull writers indeed–and if that dullness were to carry through into the writing, as one fears it eventually must… (I leave you to join your own dots.)
Equally importantly though, as I climbed Queenstown Hill to gaze out over mountains and lake water, or cycled around nearby Lake Hayes, or simply sat in the sun with my coffee and a good book, I felt my perspective on the book I am currently writing shift.
For quite a while now story-wise, I’ve been right in amongst the trees, eyeballing the detail equivalent of roots and bark, branch structure and the patterning of leaves. It’s important and needs to be done—but over the holiday as I gained time and space from the individual trees, I gained perspective on the whole of the forest. I looked along the full continuum of the story, not just this book Daughter of Blood, but back to its first beginnings in The Heir of Night and forward to where I know it is heading in The Wall of Night Book Four. Story-wise, I saw how the pattern of light and shading fell across the entire ‘forest’—and how I could draw out those effects of light and shadow more clearly in the book I am currently writing.
I had insights, dear readers, and what’s more, I had fresh ideas.
So that’s why I feel that absolutely, writers need to have breaks from writing. It’s not even a luxury, it’s a necessity—the same as with any other kind of work.
And those good books: rest assured, I’m going to be posting all about them very soon!