I can definitely state that my decision to take a two week hiatus from writing was a good one, at least from my current perspective of someone with nearly a week of hiatusy goodness still ahead of him. Quite what I will think of it next week when I’m trying to re-engage my brain to the task of writing is another matter, and one for the future, so let’s not worry about it now.
Last week was a write off for reasons of stress and time and stress and depleted brainpower, not to mention stress, but I’ve now had two evenings that would normally have been spent wrestling words out of my head that have instead been spent in blissful relaxation. I’ve watched Sopranos, I’ve sped through the third book of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy at an alarming (for me) rate, and I’ve listened to the new and incredible Swans album on endless repeat, all safe in the knowledge that I’m completely free to do these things, freed by the magical power of the hiatus.
The problem is that a boy could get used to this, to putting the kids to bed when my partner is working the night shift and not immediately opening the same laptop I’ve been using all day and trying to turn my head back on. I sat on the sofa last night, listening to the aforementioned album, reading the aforementioned book and wondered to myself why I don’t allow myself to do this every night.
The answer, of course, is guilt. I feel guilty when I think about the time that I’ve already put into my writing, and how it would have been wasted if I don’t carry on. I feel guilty about the demands I’ve put on my family in the name of ‘becoming a writer.’ But mostly I feel guilty when I think about the younger me, the one who always dreamed of being an author, who wanted that above almost anything other than being an international rock star, and I feel guilty that I’ve not quite managed to turn that dream into a reality.
I have to keep trying, for him. That’s what I’ll tell myself next Monday, when it’s time to crack open the manuscript again. Hopefully that’ll be enough.