This past weekend, I finished my editing mark up of Draft 1 of Adventures of Some Kid, and thus began working on Draft 2. I’ve had a bit of a break from writing these past few weeks, burying instead my head in books. Even writers need a break now and then even if writing is something we love more than anything else. In my time off I’ve discovered a few great authors that I hadn’t previously read (see previous blogs), I’ve taken up painting and spent some quality time playing videogames.
There is a two-fold benefit to time away from writing, a) it gives your brain an opportunity to refuel on creative juices and b) it provides you with the opportunity for fresh experiances (whether literary or literal), two important components for a person to be able to write.
One thing many writers don’t seem to appreciate is that just like any other profession, writers need to update their skills and knowledge. Doing research for a book is all good and well, but desktop research is dry fare in comparison to actual experiances. A train commute can provide you with a decent pen insight sights, sounds and smells as well as pen sketches of the type of people who travel by train, in a way that reading a book about trains never will. Also reading books by other people will inform your style and provide you with a reference point of what’s already been done.
More importantly a writer should take time to read about what’s new in the world of publishing and bookselling, read books on writing and take part in writing exercises to flex and train those writing muscles. Even writing in a different genre or format will improve your writing skills.