Writer’s Journal: Book Hangovers

Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!


Do you know what a “book hangover” is? I’m guessing you do, since you’re probably either a reader or a writer if you’re reading my journal. For those of you who maybe don’t know, a book hangover is that tired dragginess one gets from staying up all night (or even just late) to finish a book. It’s something akin to an alcohol hangover, but generally without the furry tongue.

I’m betting your next question is, “Why is she writing about book hangovers? What do they have to do with writing?” Answer: A lot, it turns out.

You see, I mentioned last week that I had moved on to the race book and put the Regency on the shelf for a bit. I managed, in four days, to write well over 7,000 words. To be precise, I wrote 7,621 words in those four days. I wrote more than 2,000 words on three of those days, and 402 on the other.

My reason for only writing 402 words that one day (which was a Wednesday, no less) was that I had stayed up until midnight the night before to finish reading a book. I had a book hangover, with disastrous results for my word count.

Had I not given in to the temptation the book seduced me with, I’d have written 10,000 words or more that week. Like any good sinner who falls into temptation, I can’t even tell you which book it was that drew me in. I was reading one every couple days there for a while, and I’m a whale reader. I consume books like I do food, often being unable afterward to cite title or author.

Was it worth it? On one hand, I can enthusiastically say, “Oh, heck, yes!”

I used to indulge at least once a week, but now that I’ve largely grown up (well, out, at least,) I rarely do. I’m usually very good about putting the e-reader down at a decent hour. On the other hand, no, it wasn’t, because I’m a day behind.

Normally, I’d be more worried than I currently am about not hitting my word count for that day. However, this book has flowed so well that I’m not in fear of not finishing it soon. As a matter of fact, it’s probably going to be longer than I had planned for. I’m going to try to keep it novella-length so it fits in with the rest of the series, but it may tip over into the novel arena. Plus, I’m already way behind in my release schedule and had to drop out of the Common Elements project I was supposed to be in.

Another reason for me not to worry overmuch about the “lost” writing day is that my creative well was filled by all that reading, including the all-nighter. I often need to read to relax, which is also why I read romance. The happily ever after is guaranteed in a romance, and I need that HEA. When I opened the race book, I was calm and happy and that’s a big ingredient that’s needed to write a book.

How often do you have book hangovers? How do they affect your productivity?

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3


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