Monday, September 15, 2014

Being Not A Writer

I used to want to be a writer more than anything else in the whole wide world. In many ways, I think this is still true. But lately I've been finding myself not daydreaming of imaginary worlds and publishing success—instead my mind is filled with quite the opposite.

I want to be in my real world.

I want to play video games for a whole day straight with my husband and not feel guilty about looming deadlines. I want to hang out with my kids at the park without my mind spinning on a plot arc. I want to go several days without sharing a single thing on social media because my life is mine and I want to keep it to myself. And I want to not read about everyone else's lives online. And I want to draw and paint. I want to run and move and remember that I am more than the words I put on a page.

This is an odd feeling for me. For the majority of my life I've vastly preferred the world in my own head to that of reality. I've had this goal to make a living by sharing those worlds with others. Now that I've shared a lot of words with others, I find myself wanting to greedily hoard all my words and keep them to myself.

Now, please don't start freaking out on me. I'm not depressed or feeling like I'm a horrible writer or something. That's not where any of this is coming from. Oddly enough, I am in a very good place with my writing mentality. I feel capable and experienced. I know I have developed this skill and grown. I love what I create.

I'm just…tired. Burnt out. I mean, it's to be expected after publishing five novels in a 15 month period. That is insane. I do not recommend it. Hindsight, people.

I was so eager to be this thing called an author, and like most debuts was frantic to do all the things all the time for all the people. I knew I would do this to myself, but at the same time I wanted to give it my all. I had to TRY. I am proud of how much I tried. I wouldn't take it back.

But it is time for a break. A BIG break.

Like, until the end of the year.

I'm writing this because part of that break comes in pulling back from social media, and I don't want people to get confused when I'm not interacting with them on certain platforms. I will actually be blocking Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Facebook from being used on my network. I've already removed the apps from my phone.

I will, oddly enough, be keeping my blog and Instagram. When I was thinking about my social media usage and where I feel the best, I discovered I still enjoyed blogging, and Instagram pictures always make me smile and I get no stress from that site. So if you want to interact with me online, check in here, on Instagram, or email me. I will still be around, just not in a big way.

Why am I doing this? Mostly because I need to cleanse my palate, so to speak. I've finished a big run of work, and before I move to the next things I need to be not a writer for a bit. I'm really looking forward to it, and I'm sure I'll be dying to get back to writing by the New Year. I am desperate to feel that passion again. I hope my creative well is overflowing after I take this time to deliberately fill it up. I will keep you all posted on my little non-writing journey this fall/winter, here on my blog.


  1. I think a LOT of us realize we're happier when we pull back from the internet. I'm glad you're taking steps to protect your happiness. We could all probably stand to evaluate our social media usage and figure out where to concentrate our efforts and where to disconnect.

  2. Taking a break this summer was the first time I didn't feel stressed that I wasn't writing. And it was lovely. I hope you have a wonderful break - you deserve it! XO

  3. Sounds like a great idea. 5 books in 15 months is insane (in a good way)! Enjoy your time off!

  4. I've had a bit of break lately mainly because my brain isn't working due to the pregnancy, but it's actually been great. I've loved watching TV shows during naps and sewing and reading books.
    I think this is an excellent idea.

  5. I took a couple months off from writing this year, once I'd finished the edits on Memory War and Lady Raven. It's good to take time to re-charge.

  6. ALL THE HUGS, Natalie! I'm SO SO happy for you and all you've done over these past few years…you've balanced a crazy schedule amazingly well. Enjoy your break!! xoxo

  7. I usually feel guilty when I take breaks from writing and blogging and tweeting, but then I remember I needed every last one of them to focus on living my life and I shrug it off. Enjoy the time off! :)

  8. Writing is life, but also life is writing. If you do stop and pay attention to what's around you (like playing video games and enjoying your family) your writing will, when you return to it, reflect all that passion for life.



  9. I'm glad to hear you're taking time out for yourself. It's easy to get caught up in a career and lose sight of who you are as a person.

    Just a thought- I really hope you come back stronger next year after your break. But if you don't, that's okay too. There are plenty of people who get into a career and find the love gone after five-ten years. You as a person are more then you as a writer. You as a writer are awesome too, but what I'm saying is that you shouldn't be afraid to reinvent yourself. You're not a failure if you find that life is pulling you in a different direction. You've achieved your dream, you shouldn't feel chained to it. I sometimes wonder if this is something I'll do for the rest of my life. After all, people of our generation are expected to have multiple careers, are we not? ;)

    Anyway, that's my two cents. I hope you have a ton of fun on your break!

  10. Enjoy enjoying life! =) I can totally understand needing a break- we all do. Go rock those video games!

  11. How can you not be a writer and still manage to come up with a new verb?

    Anyhow, have fun as you Whipphiate. Enjoy the break.

  12. Wow... Ironically, I'm going through this exact same thing right now. My writing group and my friends and family keep asking me how my writing is going and all I can say is "meh." I'm not interested in it right now. I want to play video games and read until 1AM. I want to go on walks with my husband and throw writing aside for the time being.

    I was worried that maybe I was losing the desire, but now that I've read your post, I feel like maybe I'm just doing what you're doing. I need a break. I'm burnt out.

    Thanks for sharing, because now I feel better in my own writing journey. =)