You see the title there, and maybe that’s why you clicked over to see what’s going on here.
If you did, please know I didn’t say that quote. It was said by the famous late writer, Norman Mailer. “Every one of my books has killed me a little more, ” he said.
I didn’t know the man. I’m not on par with him as a writer. I am not as prolific a writer as he was. And I certainly don’t earn my primary income as a writer as he did.
And yet, I can totally understand what he said.
As some of you who follow my blog may know, I hit a wall this summer. Exhaustion took over, and I needed a break from writing. While writing novels hasn’t killed me, the promotion of them was making me crazy. Every morning I thought to myself, “Just what do I need to do today to sell one book? How can I market my book today on social media? How can I spread the word about my novels? How can I post one more thing on social media without annoying my friends and supporters?”
These thoughts began to consume me, and I knew I had to tread lightly. Ruining friendships over book promotion is not worth it, but I needed to put a little distance between me (as a person and friend and mother and wife) and my writing and marketing. I could feel myself slipping into a sort of dark abyss and feeling quite down about things, and I didn’t want those feelings to affect me and my family.
Taking a respite from writing has been just what the doctor ordered. I am concentrating on my family, helping my son with his college applications, teaching at the university, planning a new course I am co-teaching, and exercising, something I had let slip as well.
The miraculous thing that happens when you put a little distance between you and your writing are these things called invigoration and inspiration. I find I am becoming inspired by things I’ve neglected to notice; I am invigorated by relationships I never knew I could have; and story ideas seem to be coming to me at a mile a minute.
It’s a good thing I keep a notebook. I jot down ideas that may be novel-worthy, and I’ll examine which stories I might like to tell next.
I’m not done writing novels, I’m just gearing up for something I can sink my teeth into to grab hold. The inspiration fairy, when given some room to breathe, seems to want to come to life and help out a weary writer and marketer.
And, moreover, because I do LOVE writing so much, I don’t ever want to utter the words Norman Mailer said.
I won’t ever let my creativity and need to tell stories kill me a little.
I absolutely refuse to allow that to happen.