When Downtime Isn’t Downtime

Confession: I finished my latest book the last week of October. Forgive me Nano’er, but I didn’t participate.

May not sound like a lot to some writers, but for me, NOT writing something new is, well, something. Instead, I decided to ‘take the rest of the year off’ from writing.

Yeah. Right. And I’m secretly related to Bill Gates and he’s left me all his fortune.

While I haven’t actually plotted the next book out on screen yet, I have been toying with a sequel AND another totally different book. I’ve also been putting little tweaks on the last book, critiquing my writing partner’s works, and catching up on some well-earned reading.

Which, as any writer will tell you, it’s not really downtime at all. The brain still relishes in new words, new ways to describe something, new ideas. Like anything else I love doing, the lack of downtime isn’t a problem. Of course, the dogs or hubby might feel slightly different. But, I can’t help it. The time away from one story idea and set of characters allows me to see other things in new light. In turn, that always starts new ‘what if’s’?

How about you? Is downtime from writing really downtime? Can you effectively shut off the writer brain 7×24 for days, much less weeks on end?


6 thoughts on “When Downtime Isn’t Downtime

  1. I’m always thinking about new ideas and “what if’s” but sometimes we need the down time. I too am taking “the rest of the year off” I might do some editing but I’m not going to start a new project until the new year. My problem right now is that I’m in a kind of limbo…have agent, am on submission and therefore am not sure what direction to go in next. I have a few ideas rolling around for new novels with new series possiblilities but also would like to expand into a sequel on the novel I wrote this past summer…and then the third installment for the one of submission…so I’m in a bit of a muddle right now!

  2. I finished my last book at the end of October, too. And took the NaNo month off. The brain needs a rest sometimes. But, that doesn’t mean it’s turned off. All through the last few weeks, I’ve been plotting and thinking of scenes for the next book and a couple weeks ago, I started putting it all on paper. Which means the writing will begin very, very soon.


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