What I Learned from a Month of Not Writing

As referenced in my post October Attacks, October kind of snuck up on me. I had big writing plans, I was forced to put them aside to focus on work stuff. I resigned myself to being a responsible adult, and expected that to be the end of things.

Not so.

aXm2363xjUTurns out that not being allowed to write makes me want to write a lot. I had so many ideas. I was on fire with enthusiasm for all my many works in progress. I went back, reread and discovered the plot that in my mind was insurmountably dull was actually kind of engaging. I kicked a major plot hurdle. Even more exciting, I was motivated to actually sit down, organise and write blogposts in advance. Regular readers of this blog will know that never happens.

A friend introduced me to inspiroBot, ‘an artificial intelligence dedicated to generating unlimited amounts of unique inspirational quotes for endless enrichment of pointless human existence.’ Randomly generated inspirational images. InspiroBot just tickles my sense of humour. The picture on the left there? I went to generate something just for this post and that is the first image I got.

Since I wasn’t writing, I could listen. I don’t remember now what set off my podcast binge, but I ended up on The Creative Penn. Joanna Penn is an author of thrillers (with an edge), and a huge advocate for self-publishing. She is relatable, she is both realistic and encouraging, and she makes me feel that I can do this author thing for real. She starts off her podcasts with a summary of what is going on in the world of publishing, particularly self-publishing, and they are just as valuable and informative as the interviews that follow. She focuses on topics useful for self-publishing, but these would be of use to anyone who would like to make a living creatively.

aXm7988xjUI Don’t Even Own a Television is … They describe themselves as a podcast about bad books. Each episode the hosts take one book and dissect it for an hour. It is done with humorous intent, whether or not it is successful is up to everyone’s individual sense of humour and I suspect this pointed style could be uncomfortable for some. Me, I just like to listen to them talk about books. They’re so invested in books! They want books to be better! That makes me excited.

And this, in turn, made me even more impatient to be writing. I have dusted off the draft of The Dead Living and sent it off for a fresh opinion. I have plotted out the third story in the Thorns and Fangs series. I have dusted off ideas for two novels set in Japan in an effort to write something my Mum can read. And if this is the result of not writing, I think I need to do this more often. When I write, that is all I do. This month has shown me that I am more creative if I have some non-writing time to balance it out. Going forward, I am going to try and incorporate some off days into my writing schedule. Until then? I have 200 episodes of the Creative Penn to get through before November.

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