I keep saying I'm not writing... but I'm continuously working on my craft.
It's just not in the way one traditionally deems to be writing. I'm not, for instance, outlining a new novel. I'm not sketching out characters before I go back through a draft, not revising a current WIP so that I can fix verbs, add detail, or tighten the language.
But I'm still working on writing. Here's what I've been doing:
1. Putting together my syllabi for two classes, both of which begin next week. Why is that writing? Because I'm getting other stuff out of the way so that I can make time to write. And that's something lots of writers have to do. Very few of us (i.e., NONE) have the luxury of doing nothing else in the world except write.
2. Reading. Yup, that's definitely preparation. I've been abandoning books a lot lately, too--more than ever before. If I hate something in chapter three, then I drop it. What's the cliche? Beating a dead horse, or something? But I've managed to mix the terrible books in with really good ones, and all of them add to my understanding of what literature should and should not be.
3. Thinking. My books have been drifting through my conscious and subconscious minds. They've popped up in dreams, unbidden, and crept into my early morning thoughts. And that's a good sign. It means I'm truly gearing up to write.
4. Painting/Drawing. Nothing helps my imagination more than drawing out characters (in full costume, for I love costumes, even if I rarely describe what characters are wearing) or painting out scenes. In most of my novels, the setting is crucial to what happens.
5. Researching. I'm actually going on a cruise in February with the hubby, and we planned out where we were going AND what excursions we were taking based on the needs of my Mermaid novel. Really. Isn't it sweet that the hubby's willing to go along with that? I did have to choose a historical tour over a ride on a pirate ship, though, and that stunk, mainly because I could have used both. But books in the library and internet searches are also leading towards answers and plot twists and details I would not have otherwise.
I hope to get to the tactile act of writing very soon. But in the meantime, I can't say I'm not writing. I'm moving in the write direction, even if I can't yet return to my manuscript.
All in good time. When I'm ready, I'll know it. What a beautiful day that will be, too.