Sunday, May 31, 2009
The Hiatus Well
Every once in awhile, writers drop out of everything. Sometimes they're working on contracts, or some times they're "going back to the well". Sometimes, they're just working on life-interferes projects.
Since self-promotion sucks up a high percentage of writers' time, it's often difficult to make time (repeat: MAKE time, not FIND time). Now, this is going to get deep, so please stick with me....
While necessary, conferences can suck time and energy, before and after. (Before a major conference, I used to spend about a week before and one after, devoted to preparation and recovery, respectively.) Sometimes writers need to get out of their caves and circulate with other like species. Sometimes, they need to stay away from other writers and just focus on their own work and career. Many top sellers are now circulating less and writing more. According to one survey I read, submissions to agents are up now, writers seeming to be more productive.
In today's economy, conferences had better have the good stuff to get attendees. That means the professional line-up of speakers, agents, editors whatever needs to be outstanding. Else, why would a writer leave their keyboard and possibly their own means for a paycheck?
If an agent says she is going on hiatus to clean up her workload and meet client obligations. I respect that agent.
The Creative Well is deep and dark and diving into it isn't easy. To brew a truly unique story, one that the writer can create and write themselves, is exhausting mental work.
Mental work needs physical balance, which also takes time and often writers neglect this. Samantha Hunter is a writer I respect because of how she balances her life and creativity, which actually fosters even more story creativity. Other writers garden, ride motorcycles, and I especially like to do just about anything creative, plus driving on open road. Most writers are creative creatures by nature, either prior to or during their careers. Barbara Samuel's blog post about her process in bread baking reveals much introspection, and I like to bake, etc., too as you can see on my other blog. I'm also into many, many other activities as yet another of my blogs lists.
I've been in my Hiatus Well now for a short time now, keeping up whatever business necessary, and creating something I love and hope editors also love--well, readers, too, but first you have to go thru an agent, to an editor, and then to a reader. That's simplifying the journey.
Today, I've been surprised by the progress in a new project, more pages than I expected. To wrap myself around this new idea, embrace it, took more time than usual--because it wasn't my usual.
Uh-huh, pleasantly surprised by this project developed while in the Hiatus Well for only a short time. It's been a real stretch, exhausting at times, but so far I'm pleased. Writers have to nestle into projects and this one took a lot of feeling around to settle in for the long ride.