February 1


If you follow my personal blog, you already know that I recently took a very enlightening (and relaxing) vacation from the day job. One of the things I did during that vacation was sort of “jump start” my writing again. And so far, it’s holding, though not at the pace I’d like.

Between 2009 or so and just a couple of years ago, I wrote pretty much every day. Then, I hit a few “snags” in life: dog problems, changes at work, mid-life crisis, crisis of writerly-direction…take your pick – they were all part of it. And the writing became more and more sporadic until finally I was barely writing at all, and miserable about it. I tried, I really did, but my head was just not where it needed to be. I had to deal with everything else before I could focus on writing again.

So now that my life and head have both stabilized again (more or less), it’s time to get back to work. I bought myself a set of motivation videos by Dean Wesley Smith, watched the first three, and decided I would do my best to rearrange my evening/late-night routine in order to get half an hour more writing time (starting at 10:30pm instead of 11pm, and going to midnight).

I thought I was on to something, but last week, putting my plan into action proved more difficult than I anticipated. Long story short (and whining redacted), I really can’t get more than half an hour’s worth of writing time at night. I can’t get back to the office before 11pm most nights (which is kind of baffling, because theoretically, it should absolutely work with the routine I have set up), and I am falling asleep at my desk by 11:30-11:45pm no matter what I do to try to circumvent that (without jeopardizing sleep later, which I can’t because I do still work during the day, of course).

In any case, all this to say, I still averaged around 500 words Mon-Thurs last week, and I’ve been working toward that this week as well (400 wds last night). And while that’s nowhere near what I’d like to be writing (1400 words a night/4 novels a year), I need to remember that it’s consistent, daily writing, and I can still finish two novels and a few short stories just writing at that speed all year long.

And that’s *not* a bad pace, really. It’s what I can handle right now without sacrificing health, sleep, or mental well-being.

Yes, I could sacrifice “more” for writing, but, I’m not going to. Priorities, you know. I’m not writing Friday nights because I need one night per week to take care of my teeny-tiny publishing business, and Friday nights between 11pm and Sat. 2am or so is the time. It’s working, and I feel good about that.

I’m determined to just be okay with what I’m capable of now, and work hard at getting those two novels out this year, plus a few short stories.

The really cool thing is, I think the break was good for me, as far as getting some perspective goes. I’m suddenly seeing weaknesses in my writing that I knew were there but couldn’t quite put my finger on before. With that new perspective, I’m working on fixing those weaknesses as I go, which will hopefully result in stronger stories overall.

So, that’s where I’m at. Moving forward…slower than I’d like, but moving, nonetheless, and with a better idea of what I need to do. If I can just remember that’s not a bad place to be in, things will be good.

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Copyright © Jamie DeBree, 2015. All rights reserved.

Posted February 1, 2017 by Jamie D. in category "Writer's Notes


  1. By Ardee Eichelmann on

    Jamie, glad to see that you are working on getting your groove back. I know what it is like to be miserable when you are not writing and I know how life and our “head space” can get in our way. I am my writing’s worst enemy! I wish you well my friend. Write On Sister, Write On! Cheers, Ardee-ann

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