A Year (or Two) Away from Writing

I’ve pretty much always known I wanted to be a writer. I feel edgy and off kilter if I’m not writing regularly. And for most of my adult life, I’ve been writing almost daily. But about two years ago, after writing 20+ books, I hit a wall. The words were coming more and more slowly, and the effort it took to produce those few words was becoming more and more painful.

I was constantly under contract to write, and I had always loved writing, so wasn’t this a good thing? Most writers would say it was a downright excellent, wonderful, amazing thing, to have someone else paying me to write. It is. It was. And yet, something was terribly wrong. I was experiencing creative burnout.

Rather than push on and perhaps make myself forever hate writing, I decided I needed to take a break. This was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life. I worked so hard and so long to become a published author, and I was terrified that if I walked away from my career, it wouldn’t be there for me when I came back. But there didn’t seem to be any other choice. I had reached a point where I was under so much stress I couldn’t write.

I decided to try something totally different that I’d also always wanted to do–teaching. So I went to graduate school, studied special education, and spent the past year teaching special ed at a local high school. It was a relief to have a break from my writing life, and yet, it always feels as if a piece of me is missing when I’m not writing. I’d occasionally give it a try during the past two years, but it hasn’t been until a few months ago that the words have started coming to me again in more than just fits and starts.

I don’t want to jinx myself by saying too much, but I am writing again. Yay. It’s so nice to have that part of myself back.

10 comments

  1. Judy Pennell

    Good for you—and for your readers! Life and burn out take a toll on everyone, pubbed or not, so I’m thrilled that you’re making it over that wall. 😉

  2. Judy

    I did make it to Nationals. Actually saw Cindy and another Dancing Diva. Missed you! I haven’t been doing much since Dallas. Ironically I started working @ our Freshman High school! Glad someone of your calibre is working with SPED. My oldest sister did the same.
    Again, missed you! Hugs!

  3. How are you enjoying working at the high school? What are you doing there? I hated to miss a conference in NYC, but it’s been one extremely hectic year, and I wasn’t ready to cram a trip in too. Next year I hope!

  4. Judy

    I’m a Computer Lab Mgr. Fancy title for keeping the monkeys from tearing up the computers. Lol and some trouble shooting for Staff computers & projectors. I enjoy it. Gets me out of the office/house.
    NYC isnt my favorite National location–too large. But, I love people watching on Times Square. There’s a wealth of story fodder there for sure. 😉

  5. Diana

    Welcome back to blogging and writing! I checked in on a semi-regular basis and when you hadn’t blogged in so long, I was worried that something was wrong. Glad to hear that you were just taking a much-needed break. I’m also a teacher, but of 4- and 5-year-olds. Are you still living in the Bay Area? I’m in SF.

  6. Like the pics Jean! Cool app. (I’d like to see one of you and Russ that is made to look old-ha!) From what I can see, I think the grapes is my fiorvate. Can’t wait to see more And, I love having another way to communicate with you, since I’m one of the few people that are still not on facebook )) Thanks for blogging

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