This month’s Writer’s Forum magazine suggests taking a step back from your writing and having an “ideas week” as an antidote to burnout. Well, I think I agree with their approach!
Just back from a week in a holiday cottage in Wales – sleeping, eating, walking, site-seeing – all very conducive to battery-recharging. Have managed to return with at least one almost fully formed idea for a long story (possibly even enough for it to be the basis of this year’s NANO attempt), and another scribbled beginning. Last night in that dozing moment before properly going off to sleep, I even had an idea for a potential amendment to a previously rejected story, so might have a crack at that today.
I deliberately didn’t take my laptop on holiday – partly, it has to be said, because the thing is on its last legs and tends to do rage-inducing things like randomly switch itself off whilst I’m in the middle of typing (and that sort of thing always seems to happen when you think you’ve written something spectacular, and the re-write never quite measures up). But partly it was just to have a change of pace. I took a notepad and pen instead. And I scribbled. It was fun.
Mid-week, issue No 78 of The People’s Friend Special was out, and it was an extra special joy to pop along to the newsagents in tourist-mode and be able to pick up a copy – which includes my story ‘Going Solo’ (with an excellent illustration by Jim Dewar – Judy is exactly as I pictured her!). ‘Going Solo’ was a story originally written for my local writers’ group – yet another reason I have to be grateful for the group’s support, encouragement and deadline-provision!
The publication of this story though has given me a bit of a slap as it’s the last thing that was “out there”. I now have no other stories so much as submitted, let alone awaiting publication. So it’s official: the holidays are over – time now to get back to work!