I’m going to start this post with a short personal note.

Over the past week I put a house on the market that I designed and built. I had my first surgery outside of wisdom teeth removal and have been stuck in bed. And while bed-ridden, moved from the house I built into a basement where the few clothes I can wear sit in a laundry bin. We’re preparing for a move out of state.

Between big life changes and pain-killers, my brain is not in a good place for writing.

This makes me panic on two levels:

ONE – I define myself (probably far too much) as a writer.

TWO – I’m working on a few projects that are very different for me and require a lot of brainpower. I feel a NEED to turn something over to my agent.

So, instead of writing, I’m reading and watching TV. And not just reading, but reading books that have sold well, that are similar to what I want to write. I’m studying the characters, informational reveals, and pacing.

I’m watching TV (Netflix) for the same things – Character study, subtext, pacing, what makes one show compelling and a similar show boring. Teen shows, mystery-suspense, paranormal… Even a few documentaries (let’s face it, a lot of us love mysteries that read like documentaries – just look at Silence of the Lambs).

I could totally take time off. I could shut down my brain and watch bad TV for bad TV’s sake. And maybe I should do that more often. But right now, I feel as if I’m both taking a break and doing research that will make my stories stronger in the end.

On another note – my edit brain seems to be working quite well, and since I have all this free time on my hands, I can turn around a story edit pretty dang fast. See HERE for details.


Happy writing!

~ Jo


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