As I write this, we're in the midst of another January cold snap. The urge to hibernate is strong, but since I have a part-time job outside the home and am part of a car-pool for getting my son to school, it's not an option. If I had my 'druthers', I'd be somewhere warm, soaking up the sun. Instead I find myself surfing the net, looking for inexpensive trips south, knowing I can't possibly go anywhere before the end of April. And even then, not somewhere far away.
Work on my writing progresses well. I blog regularly and tweet often. At the end of November I reread my WIP and wrote the pivotal scene. I've since gone back to the beginning for revisions and am all the way up to chapter four. Considering how much my writing has improved since I began my novel (ten years ago, cough, cough), the reworking of it is a pleasure and will no doubt provide a better experience for future readers.
It's true, while I haven't shut myself away, my novel has enjoyed lengthy periods of hibernation. I started off strong, but then hit a certain point in the plot; let's call it a cold spell. I knew where things were going to end up; I just didn't know how I was going to get there. So I wrapped it in blankets and focused on other projects, including picture books, short stories and personal experience pieces. From time to time I'd hit on an idea, pull back the covers of my novel, try out some thoughts, and put it to bed again.
You see, hibernation isn't just good for bears, skunks and other animals. It can also be good for your writing. Much like a nap refreshes and restores, a writing break gives your brain a chance to percolate and drum up new, or better, material. When your imagination wakes up like this, you're back on a roll. And how exciting and adrenalin-pumping is that?!
Don't be afraid of putting your work to sleep for a while. It's not going anywhere. It'll be there when you're ready to get back to it, and no doubt better than it was before.
Now I think I'll go back to sleep for a while. Baby, it's cold outside!
For more of my writing, please visit my website at www.susan-barclay.ca