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Writing In Seasons

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I was interviewed by Chris Trondsen at Erika Tascon’s Birthday Bash last month! Watch it if you want to see me incredibly hyped up on too much caffeine and if you want to meet my new friend The Little Hair That Would Not Stay In Place

Among other things, I explain how I write in “seasons” around 2:56. I point it out because my seasonal writing goes against everything in those library books about how to “be a writer” —

“REAL writers write EVERY day and once they finish a book REAL authors IMMEDIATELY start writing on the NEXT one so they are ALWAYS writing like REAL writers…”from The Only Real Way To Be An Author by Huckster Notawriter

It makes sense in theory on paper (pun was required). If you work out every day, you’ll get stronger. If you write every day, you’ll write better. But they fail to mention that some writers aren’t the norm.

Most writers are rabbits.

They can bounce from one project to the next, finishing a book in their children’s series then another in their adult series just in time to release a racy e-novella under their fourth pen name. They hop around with their semi-robotic routines, their superhuman discipline, their ability to crank out thriller after thriller and never run out of steam or have the slightest dip in quality.

These writers annoy me. No amount of energy drinks can help me keep up with their spirit-crushingly spectacular pace.

Other writers are bears.

Sometimes plotting and writing and editing and polishing an entire novel is such a mental exercise that your muse simply needs to rest. For a LONG time.

My muse needs 6 months of hibernation for every 6 months of writing activity. Like clockwork, my mind switches to creative mode at 5PM PT, which is why you’ll often see me posting word count updates to Twitter at 3 in the morning.

If I push myself to write in the off-season or at different hours, everything comes out wrong and falls apart into a frustrating mess. My muse just isn’t awake.

I’ve learned to work with it. Half of the year, I’m online: making videos, websites, shows, projects, everything from that side of my life. Then the writing seasons creeps up on me. Before I even realize what’s happening, I’m suddenly writing in a frenzy again.

Keep writing, but keep loving writing too.

I’ve learned to not be afraid of doing things my way. If you have school or a job or commitments and can only write on Wednesdays after 7PM, don’t feel like you’re any less of a writer than someone who never pries themselves from their pens-and-microwavable-food-covered desk. If you scheduled writing time for every day at noon but find yourself uninterested and uninspired, relax. Do something else. Take notes for tomorrow so you feel better. Writing doesn’t expire. Often letting an idea simmer for the night will deepen its flavor it the morning.

Now that I’ve finished this alarmingly lengthy blog post, I just realized something… I think writing season is about to start again.