BrooksBlog: Writing and Its Sickness

Spent the last seven days being sick. The kind where you hurt all over, nothing tastes good, sleep is impossible because either you cannot get comfortable or you are coughing a lung out. Liquids help, but you can’t sleep or rest with a straw in your mouth. So you start thinking about stuff, and I started thinking about 35 years as a published author and 55 years as a writer period. How in the world did that happen? How did I write all those books? At least it explains why I got so old. But how much longer can I keep this up? Am I going to write myself into the ground, my family prying my cold dead fingers from the keyboard? Am I going to keep working at the same pace until I drop? Just about now, the publisher is having a heart attack. I just signed for 3 more books, and they expect me to continue on with no interruptions or delays until those books are done. But you guys wouldn’t mind if I took a few years off, would you? Traveled around the world, took it easy, finished up on Shannara in the next decade? Speculation, nothing more. If I quit writing and started hanging out, Judine would send me up to Silver Point, stand me up 2 steps from the edge, blindfold me and tell me to walk forward 3 paces. She knows what I’m like when I’m not writing, and it is not a pretty sight. Can’t help it. It’s part of my DNA. I have to write. I can’t not write. I am miserable beyond being sick or worn out or discouraged or anything when I am not writing. So I guess you are stuck with me awhile longer.

,

25 responses to “BrooksBlog: Writing and Its Sickness”

  1. Having rest is good, but if you take a break i’d miss you and your books. Now i’m 31 and i’ve started reading your book when i was 10, I couldn’t imagine my life without your stories and characters!

    Cheers from Italy

    • Follow your instincts, they are well honed by now, if you need to recharge your batteries, then do so, if you need to spend more time with the family, then do so. you only have a responsibility to your readers(us) AFTER your family,obviously, trust your instincts, and we will be here waiting for your next opus if it is in the universal plan, but know that what has come before will always stand and carry through. thank you terry and god bless.

  2. Ugh, sickness is miserable, especially the kind where you just have to ride it out ’til it’s over.

    I am perfectly happy being stuck with you, Terry, your stories have brought me so much joy over the years. Do what you gotta do, and always be true to yourself.

  3. Even great Druids took advantage of the Druid Sleep. Since we hold them in such high esteem, we should heed their wisdom and make sure that we have time and energy to protect (and write about!) the Races.

  4. i do hope u feel better Terry, with that said. you better not stop writing. i am currently freaking out because i just finished the Measure of the Magic, and there is no new material. and i am beside my self with no Terry. u are the absolute King of Fantasy and as the King, you have a duty to your loyal subjects. your mind would be a terrible thing to waste on “hanging out”
    thanks so much for all of your wonderful books. i started reading you when i was 15. took a break due to ignorance and a lack of knowing there were new books to be read right after talismans. I picked the series up again last february, reading all of your work in writing order from start to finish. its amazing. i have my friends all reading you now, too. dont ever stop. well come to your house, all of us and start picketing for more Shannara! i feel like a wronk. mindless and numb waiting for indomitable and wards of faerie!

  5. We (your fans) will still be here when you get back!! Take some time off. Relax, recourperate, spend some time with your family, do what you need to do for “me” time. You’ll come back stronger than ever, I know it.

  6. The world is a better place because of your stories. That being said, you’ve earned a rest period of your choosing. So, what… 5 minutes and back to it? 😉

  7. Hi Terry, I think you should take a little break and recharge the batteries. All your fans will understand, I think you deserve it after 35 years at the top of your game. Although I’m really glad you’ll continue to write.

  8. I’m going to be a little selfish here…I think you should take a break too, recharge the batteries. Everyone needs time off including the President of the USA but please, don’t do it in the middle of trilogies. We have so many authors out there that start a series and it’s years before we hear from them again.

    Don’t get me wrong, if they were stand alone novels I don’t think most people would mind if there were delays between novels but it’s out of control in some cases with the continued series or trilogies.

    Like I said, I’m being a little selfish.

    Take care Terry!

  9. I agree with Colin. A little druid’s sleep may do you good. Your fans will still be here and we know some new books are coming soon. Been following you for a long time Terry and your books have been a big part of and influence on my life. Thanks and get well soon!

  10. Judine wouldn’t REALLY walk you off a cliff, would she? I mean, she would probably leave a net for you to fall into, or something, right? Nothing like a good scare/rush of adrenaline/near murder to bring one back into the writing mood! After all, isn’t that how Stephen King’s wife got him to write so many novels with scary plots? 😉

  11. Even a great Druid such as yourself needs to get out of the druid’s keep every once in a while and explore the four lands and beyond, or just take advantage of the druid sleep and relax.

  12. You can’t quit, take a hiatus, etc… I am 53 and have been reading your books since the beginning. I cannot imagine not having another one of your books to look forward to. You have brightened my life at times when I felt there was nothing left to look forward to. Your books have helped me make it through tough times. Also have made good times better. Thank you for being you. In my book you are a great and wonderful writer/auther.

  13. Lots of vitamins, garlic, ginger, sleep, soup…. Honestly, Terry, once you feel better, if you need a break, everyone will understand. Writer, heal thyself. Then you can go back to writing with a clear head and heart.

  14. What if they hook a 4g devise up to your neurons, that way you could rest, take a vaction and writer simultaneously. If that doesn’t work I’d go for a hot tub, mulled wine and voice recognition software.

  15. Well, Terry, you and I both got our start at writing back in our hometown of Sterling. I was in Laurie’s high school class and we lived not that far from you. My mom and dad still leave on 17th Avenue, close to 17th Street, I stayed with my “other career” lots longer than you and only started writing for long period everyday about seven years ago. Still searching for a publisher for a couple novels, and presently working on a futuristic adventure novel and its screenplay. I hope you get through the illness, and I understand your thoughts about maybe a break would be nice, but not. On a side note, I still talk by phone with our 7th grade English teacher, Mrs Harriet Wylie, about every 2 weeks or so. She’s 96 and still going strong living in Florida. Water and homemade chicken soup with rest does it for me. Hang in there, buddy.

  16. Absolutely take a rest if you need it Terry. Fantasy readers are used to waiting a couple years between books from more than one author. One book a year is great, but I’m sure your books will be best if you enjoy writing them on your own time.

    Get well and Happy Springtime/ Easter.

  17. It is more than amazing how you could keep having a novel ready to be published each and every year for decades!
    No reasonable reader (not saying that we’re all reasonable!!!) could possibly begrudge you a well-deserved time-out to recharge batteries. In fact, your past ‘publishing performance’ should reassure readers that a hiatus of a year (should it even take that long) would mean that you “lost it”. Compared to waiting times that readers need to endure for other authors’ next installments, we are absolutely spoiled. Taking some time off after the current writing marathon (3 novels in 1½ years) is quite legit, I’d say. If you take a break after finishing up book 3 (I understand that’s the one you currently work on) we wouldn’t even be left hanging in the middle of a sub-series. 😀

  18. Sorry to hear you were sick hopefully you are fine now. I love being stuck with you.
    I treasure each and every page of every book you have written. If writing is what you love doing then keep doing it. This life is too short to be doing things you don’t want to do.

  19. FINISH SHANNARA IN THE NEXT DECADE!!!!?? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Rest for some days or weeks. Take your notepad to write your new ideas. It will not be a real writing action, but your mind will still be stimulated. And you will be happy with it.

    I understand what you are feeling, I had the same feeling when I was sick and that my job (in high IT domains) was all my life for me.

    If you need to take a break, take it. But with your notepad aside. You will be “lost” without it. And, who knows, you could write the Shannara Epic Saga for years to come because it is in you. it is a part of your life. The writing process is in your DNA, and you simply can not go against it. It is your nature, your true yourself.

    Do not fight against yourself, rest some days or weeks as I have said, or you may finish like myself: nervous breakdown and no more pleasant feeling about what was/is/will be your life.

    Continue to write. Discover new horizons. Why not to write a book on the many folklorish stories in the Shannara world? It could help you to take some rest, take your time to put your ideas for the next trilogy in order, and you will still stay in the Shannara world, but at its roots.

    I wish that the Genesis Trilogy hardcover book will be published soon!! I already have the HC single books, but I love these big monstrous on my shelves!!!

    Friendly yours,
    A fan from nearly 10 years ago!!!

  21. I hope you feel better soon, Terry, but I hope you keep writing for a long time to come as well. You have been a great inspiration to me in my life. And I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see so many Terry Brooks releases on the calendar! But that said, it’s still important to rest and take some time to let yourself enjoy the world.

  22. Honestly Terry, I felt like you gave us all more than we deserved after finishing The Talismans of Shannara! Seriously, if all I had to read from this point forward was a copy of The Druid, I’d be happy! Just a fantastic book in every respect. Everything since that time has been bonus material to me. I have loved it all since I skipped school as a junior to read the last half of the Sword!!!

    In any event, you need to look out for numero uno first. If you don’t do what you need most, your family will suffer and likely your writing as well. Creativity can’t be forced – even by a publisher! Take a break. They work! You will either find your self rested and rejuvenated to keep writing a lot more or, possibly, you decide it’s time to lay the quill down for good. Whatever you may decide, your fans will support and we will always be grateful for the plethora of fantastic stories you have chosen to share with us.

    I DO hope you keep writing. But if you don’t, you should rest well knowing that your fans are satisfied with the library you’ve left us. Good luck with your decision!

Leave a Reply