My Biggest Roadblock to Writing a Novel: Why Coming Back from Vacation Is Hard

My biggest roadblock to writing a novel is other people's novels: it's hard to stop reading long enough to write Em T. Wytte

It’s really inconsiderate of them to keep writing such good stuff. But I forgive them.

Ok, that’s not the only reason I missed my deadline and haven’t started posting again as planned although, I have to admit, it’s really hard to give up all this reading that I’ve been doing. And it’s not totally hyperbole: books might very well be my biggest roadblock to writing a novel (or more novels).

Or doing anything else, for that matter. Yeah. I have trouble saying, “No,” to an interesting idea, so the minute I freed up some time from this project, about 12 other things jumped up to take its place. And some days, all of them take a back seat to reading. It’s an awful habit to have when you want to be productive.

It’s true. And I’ve been known to go to extremes to try to circumvent my reading habit. Here are 5 of the ridiculous ways I’ve tried to escape the insidious grasp of other people’s novels:

  1. Storing my books in another house. When I was in college, I ended up leaving all my books at my parents’ house (or moving them back to their house). That’s when I’d get the most done. Of course, then, I’d go to Half-Price Books, and the problem would start all over.
  2. Earning reading time. If I did x, y, and z, I could earn an hour of reading for each. The only problem is… what if I’m not done with the book by the end of the allotted time? I mean, I’m not going to stop instead of finishing it. That’s just silly.
  3. Reading only while exercising. Ok, this one worked out better than most (I got a lot of exercise for a while there.). Eventually, however, I get tired. And instead of setting the book down, I generally sit down and finish reading.
  4. Putting my reading area in isolation. Now that my books are in the same house as me, I’ve tried making them hard to get to. I’ve even blocked the entrance to my reading nook before. The Kindle App on my phone circumvented that neatly.
  5. Setting a timer in another room. Then, I have to leave the books and go to the other room to turn it off. It used to work. Now, I turn the alarm off and go back to the books.

As you can see, I’m pretty well addicted. And while it may not be my biggest roadblock to writing, it’s still pretty big. Like a flat tire or a broken axle kind of big. The kind that doesn’t necessarily stop you but does cause a long delay.

And that’s why it’s so hard to come back from vacation. When I’m on vacation from writing, I get to read. I get to read a lot (And, boy, does it feel good!). That’s why, when it’s time to get back to word, I want to keep reading. What do you mean I have to start writing instead? I haven’t read that book yet this week. Ooh, and what about this one? And maybe these other four! And, guess what? My friends just recommended three more series!


This is usually when I go to extremes like the 5 listed above and try to banish reading from my regular activities. Because I do want to be productive. I do want to overcome my biggest roadblock to writing a novel. And I absolutely will!

As soon as I finish the book I’m reading…


One thought on “My Biggest Roadblock to Writing a Novel: Why Coming Back from Vacation Is Hard

  1. Pingback: 5 Dangers of Holidays and Vacations | Words & Deeds

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