I'm not the kind of person who can not write! I've tried to take a break, to concentrate on something else like reading a book but stories keep coming to me and it would be a crime not to do something about them.
Last night I bought one of my favourite pads of paper - and despite already being a short way through a new draft - I decided to make some book notes. One of my absolutely favourite parts of writing is getting to know my characters, making them all three dimensional and turning myself into a crazy person who sees imaginary people. I love working out what they listen to on their ipod, the kind of phrases they repeat without even realising it. I love finding out what their favourite drink is or the movie they wish they'd never watched. The thing about characters is that they become real people and their story is exactly that - THEIR STORY - not yours anymore.
At the moment I'm learning about someone called Mercy Taylor. I've been writing some notes, finding some images and generally asking her lots of questions in my head. I want her to be a strong lead character for my novel, someone who can show me her story without waiting for me to point the way.
So far the plan is working. Mercy Taylor is becoming flesh and blood. She has told me all her secrets, and the things she is most embarrassed about.
As a writer we have to accept that the time when we're not writing is usually the time when we're gathering informtation to use in a book. We never aren't writers. Even at a Bon Jovi concert on Saturday I was hit with the idea of a book and just had to keep making notes.