Novel Update and Hiatus

It has been just shy of four months since I started writing the first draft of my novel, and I'm in the home stretch! I have the entire book outlined and plotted--all that's left is to write it down on paper. It is crazy to think that I'm only a few weeks away from officially having written a book (regardless of how bad the book may be!). Reaching the end of my first draft has always felt like chasing the horizon--something to strive towards, but never actually reach--but now it is actually within my grasp and I can't believe it!

However, I've noticed that as I've neared the end of my draft, the amount of words I've written per day has diminished. Maybe it's an avoidance tactic. You know, the way you suddenly need to look at old baby photos or try on all of the clothes in your closet when you are packing to move. Or maybe the urgency is just gone. Now that I know I can actually write a book, I have nothing more to prove. Either way, something needs to change. I want to finish my draft within the next month, and, at the pace I've been going, that definitely won't happen. So, I had to sit down and figure out my priorities.

Since graduating college, one thing has been extremely clear: I want to write books. There isn't anything else I can imagine doing with my life. When I try to imagine my life without writing, there isn't anything left, and that is REALLY scary. I could do a lot of different things with an English degree, but I essentially have all of my eggs in one teeny tiny basket, and right now I have to focus on caring for and protecting that basket. So, I've come to a decision. I'm going on a mini blog hiatus.

Since the start of my blog in July 2015 (9 months ago already?!), I've written two blog posts every week. And honestly, I never considered blogging as work. I was surprised by how quickly I grew to love writing the posts and reviews. However, keeping up a blog definitely takes a lot of time. I spend several hours every week researching and reading to come up with blog ideas, and several more posting on the Instagram account associated with my blog, keeping in touch with my followers, and engaging them in literary conversations. Again, I enjoy all of this! BUT it takes time. Time that, frankly, I can't spare right now.

Now, this won't be a full hiatus. I expect to write a few random posts here and there when I feel inspired. However, I won't be maintaining the two posts per week schedule I've had for the past nine months. I feel guilty, like I'm failing to follow through on a commitment, but I know this is the right thing for me to do right now.

In 2012, Neil Gaiman gave a keynote address to the graduating class of The University of the Arts and said:

"Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be--an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics, and supporting myself through my words--was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal.

And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be alright. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain."

Well, today, right now, taking a break from the blog is taking me towards my mountain. Because, at the end of the day, I don't want to be a professional blogger, I want to be an author. I want to make money doing what I love and write things that change people. So, I hope you all can understand and will still be here when I return full time--hopefully within the next month.

In the mean time,
Happy Reading and So Long,

Mallory