A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing” Eugene Ionesco

I read this quote months ago, but it’s only now that I’ve given my novel to beta readers and am awaiting feedback, that I fully understand it. I’ve always felt that when I travel abroad, or when I go for a trip up the coast, that I’m not entirely relaxing – I find it very difficult to switch off. And the quote basically sums up why. I can’t think of a time in my life where my mind wasn’t wandering off to a story I’m writing, a character I’m trying to empathise with or a plot problem I’m trying to solve. Even now, as I take time away from my manuscript for the first time in a year – I feel strange. Not writing feels unnatural.

What’s more, is that my brain has now gone into overdrive to compensate. Not only am I sitting in random places, writing snippets of my characters’ memories, but I’m also nurturing a new idea… I’m not sure I’m completely committed yet, so I haven’t put pen to paper in a ‘Chapter One’ sort of way, but I’m thinking. I’m constantly churning over the themes, the characters, the settings in my head – allowing them to mature well, before I make a decision.

Of course, there is still so far to go with this year’s novel. Next week I’m meeting with one of my beta readers to discuss, which I’m looking forward to immensely. I’ve been dying to be told what works and doesn’t – I only wish I’d manned up and done it sooner. No doubt I’ll be sharing how it goes at a later date.

I guess the purpose of this post was reach out to those who aren’t physically writing much right now and say, that’s okay – it’s probably as close to a vacation from writing as you’re ever going to get. But when you love it as much as we do, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, is it?

– Helen