16 Jan

Hibernation:  to become inactive or dormant.

That’s not terribly accurate in describing my writing journey so far this winter.  I am quite active with customers. I probably have more work than I want to have, truth be told.  But my creative pursuits regarding novels are in hibernation and it is a fascinating process for me.

I thought I’d share it with you.

I started my newest “Shadow” novel, “The Magician’s Shadow,” about two months ago.  I breezed through the first 22,000 words and then called a halt to the proceedings.  I did not call a halt because of a brain freeze, or the so-called writer’s block, but simply because I was at the point where my muse had to decide on the direction of the story.  It’s always like that when I write a novel.  When I start out I have a general outline of the story in my brain, but the specifics and quite often the ending are unknown.

So I call a halt to the proceedings and allow my muse the freedom to do her thing . . . which she is, thank you very much.  I haven’t written a word in that novel for three weeks now, but as I go about my daily activities, little snippets of the story will come to me.  Yesterday a major future scene came to me while I was out walking the dog.  I wasn’t thinking about the book at all, but there it was, delivered to me on a silver platter, with love from my muse.

And so it shall be. When my muse is finished she’ll let me know, and at that point I’ll continue writing the novel.

I always feel my explanation of the writing process should come with a warning label . . .  don’t try this at home . . . because it really is a random process which is impossible to teach to others.

My best words of advice . . . trust in the process!

In the meantime, I’ve finished another coloring book, which will be published soon, and I continue to pick up new customers for my freelance business.  More money is always appreciated!

So there you go! Don’t sweat it.  Let the story come to you.  In the meantime, be productive.

Thus sayeth the old man!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

37 Responses to “Hibernation”

  1. Janine Huldie January 16, 2018 at 2:59 pm #

    Bill, I am with you on this. The cold and winter seems, plus the after effects from the holiday season find me in bit of hibernation, as well. I do have work don’t get me wrong. But on a slower pace, I suppose for myself and my own writing. Glad to know it isn’t just me and am in good company at the very least. Happy Tuesday now once again 🙂

    • Billybuc January 16, 2018 at 3:09 pm #

      Nah, it’s not just you, Janine! I really do believe the winter months are a tough time for our psyches. We just have to hang tough.

      Have a superb, slow-paced Tuesday.

  2. susanzutautas January 16, 2018 at 3:02 pm #

    I’ve been in a funk for months now and hoping my writing comes out of hibernation soon 🙂 Have a great week Bill!

    • Billybuc January 16, 2018 at 3:10 pm #

      Susan, you are too good of a writer to stay silent for long. You’ll be out of that funk soon, I predict. In the meantime, have a hot cup of coffee and chase away the winter chill.

  3. Mike January 16, 2018 at 6:16 pm #

    Hi Bill – It’s good to let projects simmer.That way you get to savor the progress.

    • Billybuc January 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm #

      True words, Mike! I’m kind of enjoying the break from writing novels. Thanks for the visit.

  4. Manatita January 16, 2018 at 8:33 pm #

    Looks like this ‘unknown’ writer is becoming known after all. You’ re not scared? Lol.
    I like the dog. Hybernation? Not yet Bro, not yet.

    • Billybuc January 17, 2018 at 2:49 pm #

      There will be much time for permanent hibernation when I die, Manatita. And I’m in no hurry for that kind of silence.

  5. Audrey Howitt January 16, 2018 at 10:23 pm #

    I am just starting to come out of a dormant period. I used to worry about them, but have found that sometimes, great growth happens in those between times. Sounds like you make great use of those times–enjoy–

    • Billybuc January 17, 2018 at 2:48 pm #

      Thank you Audrey! Selfishly I wish you didn’t have dormant periods. 🙂

  6. 1authorcygnetbrown January 17, 2018 at 11:54 am #

    I think your definition of your current part of your process is “hibernation”. It isn’t as if you’re not working on your writing project, it is simply that you are not working on it on paper. I know that I get many of my best ideas after I have slept so I see that happening with you now.

    Each of us who have been writing for a while has a process that we follow. I too have taken a break from writing fiction right now. My goal right now is to create a system that makes the best use of my marketing time. It’s not that I am not writing every day either. I write a lot! It’s just not on my series.

    That said, I think that every new writer should try, at least in the beginning, to write something every day to develop the writing habit. there is nothing worse than a writer who lets weeks, months, and years go by without putting a single word into their word processing program.

    • Billybuc January 17, 2018 at 2:41 pm #

      I do agree with that, Donna! A habit, or fixed schedule of writing, is necessary. How does one improve a craft without writing?

      Thank you!

      • 1authorcygnetbrown January 17, 2018 at 2:53 pm #

        I don’t have a clue how someone can improve writing skills without actually writing. I have come to the conclusion, that an aspiring writer is someone who wants to be a writer but doesn’t actually write. A writer becomes a writer by practicing his or her craft

      • Billybuc January 17, 2018 at 3:55 pm #

        I love those definitions, Donna, and I concur.

  7. Sageleaf January 17, 2018 at 4:23 pm #

    Big Bro, you’re a prolific writer with a prolific muse who is very wise. It’s really neat to read about your process. AND you make coloring books. You’re so cool. Sending you big hugs and wishes for a wonderful week. Stay warm up there.

    • Billybuc January 17, 2018 at 4:28 pm #

      Thanks Lil Sis! I feel the same about you. Stay warm here? We are having record-breaking warm temps. Weird winter here.

      • Sageleaf January 17, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

        Ha! We’re in some polar vortex. It’s like 10 degrees outside, school’s cancelled and there’s snow everywhere. Send some of that warmth down south would ya? 😉

      • Billybuc January 17, 2018 at 5:06 pm #

        So strange….64 two days ago here…all-time record for January

  8. phoenix2327 January 17, 2018 at 5:44 pm #

    Trust the process. So true. That’s something I need to do more of. I’m currently on working on nothing in particular. It’s nothing I would publish or share with anyone, but it keeps me in practice. Also in good spirits, because I feel like I’ve accomplished something even it’s just for me. In fact, I’m going to work on it some more now.

    Oh, I nearly forgot. Eeeee…little, tiny, baby bear. 😀

    • Billybuc January 17, 2018 at 5:48 pm #

      Good for you, Zulma! If it’s just for you that’s an excellent reason to continue.

      There was a story on the news the other night about two baby bears who had gotten into a parked car. You should have seen the damage those two cubs did to the interior of that car. Unbelievable! The car was basically totaled because of those two little darlings. 🙂

      • phoenix2327 January 17, 2018 at 5:52 pm #

        Oh, the naughty, little things. It’s a good thing the owner didn’t try to chase them out or he would have been basically totalled by Mama Bear. lol

      • Billybuc January 17, 2018 at 5:56 pm #

        it was pretty funny…the owner ran out of his house, yanked the car door open,and ran back to the house…except the car door closed on its own before the cubs could get out…so he had to do it again.

  9. phoenix2327 January 17, 2018 at 6:00 pm #

    Ha-ha-ha. At least he had the good sense not to hang around. It’s too bad the cubs didn’t take the hint.

  10. Sarah Potter Writes January 17, 2018 at 6:20 pm #

    I know where you’re coming from with this. You know I wrote 50K words during NaNoWriMo in November, then I hardly wrote anything in December, and this month has been a real stop-start-stop-start affair, with my Muse going on holiday on and off. The long and short of this is that I’m only on 59K words now, in deep with a story that has threads going everywhere, and, being a pantser I would be in a serious panic at this point if the Muse hadn’t rescued me in the past, when I was in this situation, and tied up all the threads for me. But I am living dangerously, and one day She will go on strike, then I’m doomed D: All the best with The Magician’s Shadow, and with your latest colouring book, Bill, my dear friend 🙂

    • Billybuc January 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm #

      Sarah, I’m with you…59K or 22K, it’s quite an investment of time and effort, and one doesn’t want to believe it was all a waste. I have days when I hate my muse and her fickle ways. But I can’t imagine life without her. 🙂 Happy Wednesday, Sarah, and thank you always!

  11. suziehq January 19, 2018 at 8:19 am #

    Winter is a very tough time to be productive I find and especially when the days are short, dark and weather unforgiving. We have been taking this time to do more work on our Italian as doing work outdoors not so inviting many days. Now hopefully brighter days on the horizon so I’m with you and think you have the right relationship with your muse! Have a lovely weekend my friend, hugs from Puglia xx

    • Billybuc January 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

      Thank you Irish, although I’m still jealous of your weather compared to ours. 🙂 I love that you are learning Italian. Bev is learning Spanish right now. Me, I’m stuck with gutter English. LOL

      Hugs from Olympia

  12. Emese-Réka January 19, 2018 at 11:24 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your writing process, Bill. I think every longer work asks for some hibernation once in a while. But you are working on many other projects in the meantime. You’re amazing!

    • Billybuc January 20, 2018 at 4:52 pm #

      I appreciate you stopping by, Emese, and thank you for your kind words.

  13. Michael Milec January 21, 2018 at 2:12 am #

    Practical wisdom from an “older” person comes as a free gift, only for a hearty thanks. Thank you .

    • Billybuc January 21, 2018 at 4:01 pm #

      True indeed, Michael my friend. I wonder why more young people don’t seek out that free counsel?

  14. phoenix2327 January 21, 2018 at 11:53 am #

    I think it’s wonderful Bev is learning another language. I’ve always felt that learning doesn’t end once you’ve got the diploma in your hand. How is she getting on?

    • Billybuc January 21, 2018 at 4:01 pm #

      She is enjoying it, Zulma, and going quite well…better than I would, for sure.

  15. Andrea Stephenson January 21, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

    I always believe that our muse is working even when we can’t see it – ready to bring those nuggets forth when we least expect it – though sometimes it really doesn’t seem that way until you’re out of the other side!

    • Billybuc January 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm #

      I completely agree,Andrea. Whatever your muse is doing, it is working beautifully for you.

  16. Lawrence Hebb January 22, 2018 at 6:47 pm #

    So good to get an insight into your creative process. I’m going through the same at the moment with my third novel, so it was encouraging to read this post.

    • Billybuc January 22, 2018 at 10:36 pm #

      I agree, Lawrence. It’s comforting for me to know you are experiencing it, so thank you!

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