Home » Creativity » Letting the Rest Roll

Letting the Rest Roll

Let it be known that I’ve been slacking off.  Really, I have.  I feel it.  Because I’ve needed to slack off, to be honest.

One, I’ve been tired a lot.  The last couple of nights I’ve taken sleeping pills–just one each night–to help me get through the night and not wake up at three-thirty AM with no chance of getting back to bed.  I’ve managed to get some sleep out of these nights, and even though I was awake at four AM needing to use the bathroom, I went right back to sleep and woke up only moments before the alarm went off.

Two, I’ve been distracted of late by wanting to do things, be it watch TV, read, get out of the house and travel–anything.  I’ve needed to change up my routine for some time now, and it’s great for recharging.  Tonight I’ll go out and do a little grocery shopping, and when that’s over I’m going to stop at Panera, get something to eat–probably a big bowl of soup–and then set up my computer and write.  I did this last week and plopped down a thousand words; I want to finish this scene I’m in, start on the next, and maybe finish it as well.  Because I’m moving ahead.

Annie's letting me know I better get her scene finished, because . . . well, because.

Annie’s letting me know I better get her scene finished, because . . . well, because.

And, admittedly, I enjoy the break.  Which leads into–

Three:  I’ve been feeling a lot burned out.  I’m two hundred and thirty thousand words into the novel, maybe two-thirds of the way through, and after ten months I’m ready for something else.  This is the doldrums part of the story, where you want to keep pushing, but you also want to do something else.  You’ve lived with these people for so long it’s like having guests who never go away, and just like you want the Guests Who Wouldn’t Leave to pack up their shit and move on, I’m ready for another project.

Not that I hate what I’m doing, but like anything else where you do it over and over every day, it starts to wear you down.  I feel that what may be needed is an adjustment of schedules.  Set aside the time I need to do something, and do it then.  I’m thinking Wednesday afternoon is going to become a new writing time for me for the next few months.  After that I’ll find something else to help with the time.

My fear is taking a break from writing for a week or two.  I’ve done that in the past, and when I have I’ve managed to take a month off and get back into things without a problem.  Then again, I’ve also taken a break that lasted years, and I don’t want that to happen.  Because I’ve got the story where I want it, and I don’t have time to take a year off from this project.  Sure, I might be able to get other things done, but I want to finish this story.

Let me correct that:  I need to finish this.

Because it’s too damn important to put to the side.  No matter how I feel right now.

24 thoughts on “Letting the Rest Roll

  1. I love how you consider 500 words a night, consistently, as a form of slacking off. Yes, I know your regular output is much, much higher, but let me point out the fact that it is rare you don’t put words to this epic tale on the daily, provides some justification for taking a minute or two of down time here and there ;-).

    • I know; I’m strange that way. I think the reason I’m like that is because in the past I would get into a story, and then think, “Oh, I’ll just stop here and pick it up later,” and then two years have pasted and I’ve not done a thing. That’s one of the reasons the first novel I tried to write took twenty years to finish.

      I’m sort of running on fear in the sense I may not ever come back to the story if I take a week off. It’s a legitimate fear, too.

  2. I applaud you for 1. Realizing that you’re getting burned out and so that you don’t put aside your novel you’re doing things for yourself, changing things up a bit…We all need that refresher time, that me time. 2. That regardless of how you’ve felt you’ve consistently written. 3. How far you’ve come in this epic tale, and what a wonderful tale it is.
    When I read your posts about your novel, your scenes, your editing and writing…It inspires me to keep on keeping on with my novel…Like you, I’ve put several novels aside, thinking I’ll come back to them later, and (as I shake my head thinking about it) haven’t and that was because of fear. When I realized I was letting fear interfere with my dreams,I made a decision to take one of those ideas and run with it. The other one I will come back to when I finish this one. I am not running with it. And your posts keep me writing, posting, thinking about the next scene, the next chapter, outlining, etc. I still can’t use the Aeon timeline worth a crap, but I’m writing out a timeline by hand, but at least I tried it. And if it hadn’t been for your posts about your novel and characters and the timeline I wouldn’t have realized how important it was.
    So thanks. And if you need a nudge I’m here…because your posts are usually just the nudge I need to get back to my novel.

    • It’s not just my first novel that I walked away from for twenty years, but I’ve had other stories for which I’ve done the same. In some cases the story was crap and going nowhere, so it wasn’t that bad, but a few years ago I came across some old stories that were maybe a third done and I’d just left them because I was too depressed go continued.

      And I never did.

      I think there’s some writer’s doubt popping up inside as well, the fear that you’ve put aside almost a year of your life and what you’re producing is crap. I have to remind myself that George R. R. Martin has the same fears, and he’s got people waiting for his novels.

      • Writer’s doubt… I have that and it’s a bitch. I’m not sure there are any writer’s out there who don’t suffer from it in some way.
        My biggest fear is that I won’t actually finish, that I’ll hear that voice in my head that says “This is shit” so loudly that I’ll keep putting novels aside, one by one, and be the writer who never finished a novel. I stopped writing stories all together more than ten years ago. A long hiatus from writing because of a variety of things in my life, including depression, the unhealthy relationship I was in, fear, etc. But over the past 2 years I think I was working through the residue of those things. Trying to find not only my voice again, but the confidence and inspiration, as well as the motivation and determination to put aside all those fears, and just write. I had to remind myself that it’s never to late to pursue your dream, that the fear is just that–fear, fear of failure and fear of success. If I succeed and finish my novel then I have to face editing it, sending it out, etc… and what if it does get picked up and then I have to face the fact that I wasted all those years not writing, or being afraid that I wasn’t good enough…OR what if I do all that work and and even my revised and edited novel is still SHIT and no one wants it?
        I could go round and round, but the simple truth is I’d rather get it done, finish the damn thing and accomplish that, and never have it published than to have not done it at all. I’d rather face the rejection of it being SHIT, than to give up because I’m afraid. And I’m too stubborn and hardheaded, and too determined, to give up because of fear.
        Your characters are your babies. They know you’re around. They speak to you. They are there with you. And I think that changing things up might be just what you and your characters need.

        • I hear “This is shit” all the time in my head, and then remember what Whoopie Goldburg said: “If it’s crap, if it sucks, it’s still mine.” That’s the way to go: you gotta own it and keep going. Otherwise you just kill your dream.

  3. Congrats on recognizing that your burning out! I never know that until the project I’m working on has come to a screeching halt. Since losing some flash drive content, I’ve slowed down on writing and am working on prioritizing (which I needed to do again anyway) and working through other kinks in my life (mostly mental and financial). It’s actually been sorta-kinda-not-exactly a blessing in disguise… If you can see around the bad. 🙂

    Honestly, even if you were to SAY you’d quit writing for a week, I don’t see you actually doing that. Not with how much time and effort you’ve already thrown into this novel and all the people who know about it who would be badgering you to finish. *cough, cough* Me. *cough, cough*

    Sometimes, the batteries need recharging, so don’t worry that you aren’t cranking out your normal word counts. You’ll get back into the swing once yours are at full capacity again. 😀

    • I think I’m in a metal low state right now–have been for a couple of weeks–and it’s really catching me now. So I’m trying to change things up, throw some differences into the routine, anything to get the juices flowing again.

      And you’re like the sixth person who’s mentioned they wouldn’t let me quit at this point. 😉

  4. Sounds like you’ve got a good handle on what you need to do. A balance between other things and writing helps avoid burning out and you can still get words down on the page.
    Quietly cheering for you from my corner of the internet. 🙂

I Want to be Part of the Craziness! Let Me Say This:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.