I took more than two years off writing around the time I met my husband.
As writers, we have busy seasons. Sometimes, we have to shuffle priorities. It doesn’t mean our writing is any less important than it’s always been—but sometimes, something else is just more time-sensitive.
Like planning a wedding. Like setting up a new home. Like the whirlwind when you discover you’re (oops!) preggers less than a year in.
Sometimes, there just isn’t the capacity left over for writing after everything else is done: like building a new relationship. Like breastfeeding on 3.5 broken hours of sleep. Like starting a business or dealing with family over holidays.
As long as you don’t neglect that pen (or keyboard), as long as you return eventually, you’re still a writer—and, even in the silence of your hand, your ideas are moving forward. Maybe you only have time to jot them down in a dedicated notebook in between frantic breaths, and that’s ok. Maybe you only have time to daydream and hope to remember, and that’s ok too. Those impressions, the feel of those scenes and events and progressions, are still a framework.
Your time will come.
It can be hard to watch author after author on Facebook celebrate their latest release in your writing groups. It can be hard to sit there with that precious baby you’ve been writing for 15+ years that still isn’t ready—believe me, I know. It can be hard to start NaNoWriMo with such high hopes, only to fall hopelessly behind.
Here’s the key: always come back. Whether for two years or two days, sometimes a break is truly necessary, but always come back.
Recognize the difference between a busy season and an ongoing barrier. Seasons end. An ongoing barrier—a draining day job, a taxing relationship—needs to be dealt with. Not necessarily eliminated, by the way, but addressed.
Maybe that job you do requires some creative coping mechanisms, like special glasses for looking at screens, or a decompressing walk before dinner. Maybe that relationship could use the help of a therapist, or a good hard conversation. Maybe those dear children consuming all of your time would be ok if they were told that one hour out of the day was for quiet playtime in their rooms, by themselves.
Keep on writing.
Maybe there really are some parts of your life that need adjusting if you’re ever going to write again. Sister, you are not alone in that. Just remember: the only thing that stands in your way of becoming a published author, when all is said and done, is giving up.
About the Writer: Kathryn Tamburri (@KathrynTamburriAuthor) writes clean YA epic fantasy novels which seethe with slow-burn romance. You can find more of her writing tips on #ThePantsersGuide and follow her new #AdventureLog on the blog at KathrynTamburri.com, and be the first to know when her novels publish by subscribing to her fun author newsletter.