Friday, July 06, 2007


Tonight I fly to the UK.

I have peeled off all my plotted post it notes from my big piece of card and stuck them together. By rights, I shouldn’t be here talking about it. I said I wouldn’t, but I think I’ve got to talk about My Problem. Or maybe Problems.

I’m not writing. I am thinking, but mostly about why I’m not writing. I know what I want to write but when I try to do it I don’t or can’t. I wondered if perhaps I didn’t know how to get there, so I planned to plot. I talked about plotting; I cleared my desk and completed my other jobs. I bought some new stationery. And for a few hours I did plot onto a big piece of card that won’t fit into the ‘allowed to check a bag this big’ space they have at the check in desks.

So. What am I to do? I have two and a half weeks of 2/3 days in any one place and seeing people we haven’t seen for a year or so. Will I have a chance to write? Should I write about that instead? Should I continue to try and plot so that when I get back I can write?

I want to tell you that I plan to have a break from blogging BUT I think that may be a lie… I’m not sure that I can. I may be lurking…

I think that what I need is to have permission not to do any writing/plotting/thinking about writing or plotting. I don’t know where this will lead, but thinking about it hasn’t worked, so now I’m going to try not to think about it.

I may blog so do continue to look in on me, but it may be a bit sporadic too.


Caroline said...

Take time out and enjoy your holiday. Refresh and come back itching to write. If you tell yourself you won't write, you see how much you want to! I'm going away next week and I'm not going to write. I'm going to take a notebook and some books to read.

Have a holiday and refresh.

JJ said...

Yup, you're right. Pressure off.

JJ said...

Oooh, and Caroline, have a good break.

Jen said...

I empathise completely... no matter how much I actually WANT to write, I seem truly unable to actually get down and do it. When I do, of course, I absolutely bloomin love it!

I think Caroline's advice is good - take the break and tell yourself that you CAN'T do any work on your novel while you're away.


Buy an A4 notebook and just journal. I did that once on a trip to London, writing down everything in the present tense, snippets of conversation, what the people are wearing who've just got on at High Brooms, the smell of old beer from the sleeping guy opposite - the most boring stuff ever. Reading it back, months later, is really fascinating - especially when you read it back and it's still in present tense.

A. Writer said...

I've had many 'breaks' from blogging, unfortunately they've never really lasted! I've always come back sooner than I thought or wanted to.

I have gone through something similar to what you are and it's not nice. Enjoy your break and come back feeling refreshed.

I hope that'll happen to me after my break.

Best of luck!

Angie said...

Everyone already gave you great advice, but I just wanted to say I understand, and also have a nice holiday and take the chance to relax (if you can with that schedule!).

Angie said...

p.s. love the new subheader on your blog!

Rebecca said...

have a great time - I think I'd forget the writing and blogging for a while and just concentrate on really enjoying the trip! The you can come back refreshed and ready to get stuck into it.

Blogland will still be here when you get back...

hesitant scribe said...

JJ - You have stolen my post! This is MY post. Writing is a total, an absolute bugger, and I've no idea why we force ourselves to do it (except those horrid horrid horrid people out there who say they enjoy it! (Don't mind me, I'm just jealous!)

Writing this paper on writer's block - or rather thinking about writing this paper on writer's block is making me ask some rather fundamental questions, like, do I really want this and why... and I'm coming to the conclusion that it's like, why do people climb Everest. It's no fun at all, it's a killer even, but the sense of achievement at the end of it, the sense of, ooh look what I did... makes it all worth while and then some.

Have a lovely holiday. A big break. You'll be itching to get back to it afterwards and then you'll start back on your own little expedition to the summit of your own Everest!

Jon M said...

Have a break...have a kitkat...come back refreshed! Doing something else informs your writing! Everything is work! Honest...that's my excuse anyway.

Helen said...

Have a break from it all as everyone says. I took a break when on holiday last week and now I'm raring to get back into it. I took a notebook and some books with me like Caroline suggests and wrote a few ideas down.

You have permission not to write or plot. You also have permission to lurk and blog when you want to!

Helen said...

I've nominated you for a Rockin' Girl Blogger award for being my inspiration over the past few months! (See my site).

Angie said...

Oh dear, just stopped by to say that I nominated you for a Rockin Girl blogger award too, but Helen beat me to it! Seems you really are rockin, girl! :)
Hope you're enjoying the break.

A. Writer said...

Just letting you know I've nominated you for a Rockin' Girl Blogger award ;)

Saoirse Redgrave said...

Great advice. Don't worry about the novel. Don't worry about the novel's plot. Just open your mind (and carry a pen/pencil) and jot done some random stuff. Or sketch (wonky stick-figures are acceptable :-).

But mostly, enjoy your break and observe people (because aren't they what we really write?). Relax. You'll be surprised at what'll come out of a break or holiday.

Take care!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Er, sorry I'm late. Um, what everyone else said. Even writers need holidays. Hope you're enjoying the break.