Sabbatical

For a few years now, I’ve been stifled creatively. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to overcome it–perseverance with writing in hopes of pushing through the creative block; pursuing other creative outlets like knitting; getting more exercise; writing just for fun instead of publication; writing longhand with a fountain pen and a nice notebook instead of typing on the computer, etc.

Nothing has really helped.

Even the two books I published during this time–Glamours and Gunshots in the Whitney & Davies series, and Candles in the Dark as the start of a mystery novella series–felt forced, causing more stress than joy in the process of creating them (I had more fun researching Candles than writing it, which really isn’t how it’s supposed to go).

Moving to England was supposed to be a creative re-awakening for me. When we visited two years ago in March, I felt more alive than I had in ages. I was sure coming here to live would have the same effect, only more so. I was sure I would find my creative flow again.

I haven’t.

Since arriving, I have toyed with the idea of taking a month-long break from writing. Maybe longer, maybe six months. Maybe a year? But then I would have the idea for another story, and I would think that maybe I just had been tired. I would start to write the story … and everything would collapse on itself again, like an overdone soufflé. The story that had seemed so vibrant in my head would get stuck somewhere between my imagination and my fingers, and only something lifeless would appear on paper (or computer screen).

So last week, I made up my mind, and realized that I need to state it publicly or else I’ll be tempted to go back on it at some point. Accountability is important!

2019 is my sabbatical year for writing. I’ll still be doing my weekly journal posts and monthly flash fictions for Patreon–and at some point I will write a short story for the higher-level patrons–but aside from that, I am Not Writing. Maia and Len, Pauline, all the other stories I’ve been working on behind the scenes … they will wait until 2020.

It’s a little scary to think about. It’s also exciting. Taking a break from writing gives me a chance to pursue other interests for a change. I can study some of the subjects that fascinate me but I never have time for. I can finally finish all the knitting projects I have in the works! I can devote a proper amount of time to learning French (and Italian, in preparation for when we get around to visiting Rome). I can work on figuring out whether I’m a soprano still or if my voice really has changed to alto, and if the latter, how to sing harmony.

More importantly, I can stop feeling so torn between responsibilities and calling, and can try living a more whole life.

I will post occasional updates here throughout the year to keep you all informed as to how it’s going. Wish me–not luck, but a good journey!

4 thoughts on “Sabbatical

  1. I wish you abundant blessings on your year sabbbatical. I know it is going to be a very interesting one and that you will be refreshed and renewed for 2020. Life is an adventure and I pray you enjoy each day of it.
    Love,
    Nancy

  2. Writing takes so much out of you that sometimes you need to refill your cup so that once more it can “runneth over.” We have discussed it a great deal. I imagine we will a great deal more. Refill yourself for a month, six months, a year. When it is right to return to writing, you’ll know.

  3. WELL DONE!! I’m sad for me (I want more Whitney & Davies!!), but so happy for and impressed with you doing what you need to do!

    Six years ago I quit my job to take a 6-month sabbatical to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life/career. Best. Decision. Ever. It ended up lasting well over a year, but for the first time in my working life I feel like I have a direction, and it’s finally the right direction for me. It’s an amazing feeling, and SO worth the difficulties it took to get here.

    I pray *your* sabbatical is as refreshing, fulfilling, rewarding, and energizing for you as mine was for me, and that it gives you loads of space to reinvigorate those creative juices. Soak up all the new experiences you’re allowing yourself and enjoy your journey!
    Dana

  4. WELL DONE!! I’m sad for me (I want more Whitney & Davies!!), but so happy for and impressed with you doing what you need to do!

    Six years ago I quit my job to take a 6-month sabbatical to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life/career. Best. Decision. Ever. It ended up lasting well over a year, but for the first time in my working life I feel like I have a direction, and it’s finally the right direction for me. It’s an amazing feeling, and SO worth the difficulties it took to get here.

    I pray *your* sabbatical is as refreshing, fulfilling, rewarding, and energizing for you as mine was for me, and that it gives you loads of space to reinvigorate those creative juices. Soak up all the new experiences you’re allowing yourself and enjoy your journey!
    Dana

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s