My Unexpected Six-Month Break

Hi there!

Thanks for coming back to the blog after my unexpected six-month break. It’s crazy to think it’s been that long since my last writing-related post!

So, you’re probably wondering what the hell happened. Especially after everything was going so well. A quick recap of what was going so great: I’d finished writing Running the Asset way ahead of schedule, racking up insane daily word counts, and then I decided to dive straight into the editing stage.

Yeah, you’ve probably guessed what happened. If you followed my daily updates, you could probably see it coming.

Me, nope… well… even if I did, I ignored it.

The Dreaded Burnout

Until I burnt out hard, even though I didn’t want to admit it at the time. I’d pushed myself so hard during the final stretch of writing and editing that my body gave out. I had a major Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) flare-up that made it impossible for me to even look at my planner, let alone do any work. But, eventually, the flare-up subsided…

But I still couldn’t get the work done. No matter how the guilt of not getting any writing done ate at me, I couldn’t make myself write. Instead, I sank all my energies (the same level of energy I’d put into finishing the manuscript early) into the household things I’d put off or ignored when I’d been focused on writing. I was convinced that once I’d caught up on all the household chores I’d been neglecting, I’d be itching to get back to work.

But that didn’t exactly go according to plan.

The Worst Flu Ever and Etsy

My body had other ideas… enter the flu. I’d never felt so terrible in my life as I did during that bout of the flu. I decided that the best way to get better, faster, was to keep myself occupied for the month I was sick. I’ve always enjoyed using Canva (a graphic design app from Australia), so I played around with that… and might have gone a bit daft with it.

When I say “a bit daft,” I mean full-on obsessed to the point that I had enough designs to open an Etsy shop. And, yes, I did open an Etsy shop—the sole aim is to raise some funds to pay for Running the Asset’s editing.

My Timing Sucks!

As much as I enjoyed working on the shop, my characters were calling to me.

I’d ask Siri to play music, and then bam, songs from the soundtrack to Running the Asset would fill the room. Teasing me. (Yes, I’ve got a soundtrack for the book. And, yes, it’s fucking awesome—if you love hard rock, metal, and a wee dash of alternative rock.) Or, I’d be looking for some lost notebook and find Adam’s character sheet staring back at me.

That was it.

I was finally mentally ready to get back to work.

I’d had enough time away from the story.

That’s what I’d needed, wasn’t it?

But, my timing being what it is, I had to put the desire to write on hold for a few days as we were going on our first trip away in three years. It was just a few days away, to the beach town of Kirkcaldy (Kirkcaudy in Scots). I welcomed the changI’df scenery and promised myself that I’d do nothing work related—no writing, designing, or shop admin—and just enjoy a complete break.

It was great. For the first time in years, I could leave work behind and focus on enjoying the scenery and the sound of the waves lapping the shore as we walked for miles each day.

The Worstestest Flu Ever

And then, just as I thought things were finally turning around, I got hit with the flu again. This time it was the kind that made that ‘worst flu ever’ seem like a mild cold. I lost all sense of smell and taste, and my hearing went with them. No amount of testing said that it was COVID, but I’ve avoided being near others.

I’m happy to report that I’m on my way out of it now. I can taste things with a strong flavour, and if something is shoved under my nose, I can smell it in one nostril, and my hearing is starting to clear up.

The Break is Over. I’m Ready!

During this time, I’ve come to believe the universe was telling me to slow down and take a physical break. That just changing where I unleash my crazy laser focus isn’t how to take a rest. So, instead of diving into a full schedule of rewrites and edits, I’m easing back into working on Running the Asset–allowing myself a bit longer to get each stage done and taking days off to physically and mentally relax and recharge.

Thank You

I’m going to end this post with a big thank you for your messages asking how I was while I was AWOL. They really meant a lot, and hopefully, I’ve responded to you all personally by now, but if I haven’t (I’m sorry), thank you for your messages.

I’ll be back with a new post on Monday. Remember to hit the follow button to get updates and to see my posts in your Reader feed.

Until then, have a great day!

Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband,, and our squirrel army.​

16 thoughts on “My Unexpected Six-Month Break

  1. etikser says:

    Welcome back, and I hope it’s the last of the flu for you, at least for a good long while. I had a bout of terrible flu like that a number of years ago (long before covid), had fevers everyday for so long I began to think I wasn’t going to make it. And the whole thing lasted way too long, many weeks. I assumed you were busy working on your book, but good to have you back. Maybe, for every thing there is a season.

    1. Thanks, Etikser! Your bout with the flu sounds terrible. I hope we can both avoid it for a good long time, too. 🤗

      1. etikser says:


  2. bushboy says:

    Glad you are back on the mend Susan. Looking forward to seeing more from you this year 🤗❤️

    1. Thanks, Brian. I’m hoping to add a new post series this year, but it’ll probably be a once a fortnight/month for that one. 💗

  3. Chris Hall says:

    A roller-coaster ride, you and me, both. 🤭💖

    1. Hi Chris! It certainly has been, but I think your’s has extra loops and drops. I hope you’re having a good day. 💖🤗

  4. Oh, dear… I can so relate.
    First comes the tunnel focus, then the burnout. And then a thousand things get in the way before it is possible to get back on track.

    I am glad you took the time you needed so that you could recuperate.
    And it is really good to see you are back.

    Much Love!

    1. Thank you, Steffi! It’s great to be back 💖

  5. Welcome back Susan! So sorry that you had to go throught the terrible flu! Glad you are better now! Take good care my friend!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m feeling much better now. It was a rough, but I’m glad it’s behind me.

      1. Great 🤗

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