17 August 2013 - 4:49 pm

Hiatus over

This is what a hiatus should look like. (Picture by xn3ctz)

This is what a hiatus should look like.
(Picture by xn3ctz)

So, I took July off writing Starwalker. After the end of Book 3, I needed a bit of a break to catch my breath and prepare for the start of the next storyline.

I didn’t intend for the hiatus to be a break from writing altogether, but this is what ended up happening. I did some planning (for Tales from the Screw Loose and upcoming Starwalker), fiddled with some logistical stuff, read a few things, but otherwise… nope, no writing. No editing, no short stories, not a single thing. I didn’t even post here very much.

In truth, I needed the break. I needed to catch my breath in so many ways.

Clearly, my body thought so, too. When I decided to take a couple of days off work to have a bit of a holiday from that too, I got sick with a nasty cold/flu bug that has been doing the rounds. Isn’t that always the way? You take a little break and your body decides it’s time to indulge in that thing it has been putting off for a while: collapsing in a disgusting, dribbling heap. That was three weeks ago, and I’m still trying to shake off the last of the virus.

I had some personal-life stuff explode during the hiatus, too. Nothing bad or disastrous, but family is moving around and there has been a lot to do to help them out with that. I’m currently house-sitting (effectively) and looking after all the family pets. Juggling everything at home with work and being sick has been a challenge. It’s another level of complication that I have to deal with.

With everything that was going on, July ended with surprising alacrity; before I knew it, I was knee-deep in August. Starwalker was suddenly due and I was ill-prepared for it. I had fallen out of my usual writing routine and habits, and I was still struggling to recover enough energy to think straight after being sick.

I was stuck. I really didn’t want to extend the hiatus, because that’s a bad habit to get into and I needed to force myself back into my writing routine. At the same time, I didn’t want to put up a sub-standard Starwalker post; that wouldn’t have been fair to my readers.

In the end, I chose a compromise: a teaser post that featured a regular AI, both shorter and simpler than the usual story entry. It was easy to put together, it went up on time, and it led neatly into the next storyline.

I was so relieved when my readers reacted positively to it (they’re lovely but I still hate to risk disappointing them). And since then, I’ve managed to get a full, Starry-narrated post up that started the fourth book off properly, thanks to a handily-placed public holiday.

I’m still struggling to get back into the rhythm of writing on my daily commute. It has been hard for a while now and it’s only getting harder. But I’m determined not to miss any more deadlines. This week, I got the first draft of the next Starwalker post written at my monthly write-in. I’m going to push myself to keep working away at it, gather some momentum, and push back into the routine I once had.

I’m also going to tackle my health issues and see if I can manage them better, too. Something has to give and I’m sick of the fatigue getting in the way of what I love.

I have so much I want to do. So many projects. I just need to figure out how to make it all work.

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