I thought, after the pre-Christmas book launches, that I wouldn’t mind not doing ‘book stuff’ for a little while. As it turns out, I was wrong. Here I find myself in an apartment down the coast, with a jigsaw puzzle, a small stifled child, an array of books, and the desire to write. Admittedly, for the first week or so, it was a relief to be out of my writing routine. I enjoyed reading rather than writing. Now I’m ready to re-enter the fray.
This is the interesting thing about not writing. I have all the stories back in my head. When I’m focussed on one particular book, the others seem to recede. I worry that they’ll disappear somewhere into the ether. Now that I’m on holiday though, they’re all back, clamouring for attention and in rather demanding voices too. I’m holding conversations with the voices in my head, getting to the heart of my characters and making mental run sheets for the order in which I will tackle these brats. On the one hand, it’s frustrating to not physically write all these things down. On the other, I think it’s good to be building up a good head of steam before I start.
Pondering all these things has led me to understand why writers take holidays. Usually, one would ask why it’s necessary to holiday from something enjoyable like writing (because, let’s face it, there are easier ways to make money, so if we didn’t love it we wouldn’t do it). Apart from the fact that we need to retain the facade of ‘normal’ human activity for the sake of family and friends, I think holidaying is more like percolating. Well, for me anyway. All the ideas are drip, drip, dripping away in my head and the longer I leave them, the richer and more intense they’ll be when they eventually come pouring out.
So, what can I say? Happy Percolating people!