You wouldn’t believe how hard it is at the start for me to do nothing. Especially after four straight months of always on, always working. But I did it. Other than a couple of notes on stray thoughts, I did NOTHING yesterday that was writing related. It was fantastic once I got into it. I feel surprisingly recharged, other than the irritation of having to stop doing nothing and go to work today. That sucked.
The funny thing about all that nothing is that it seemed to have allowed me to de-stress enough and stop thinking about The Nine enough to let my brain make some progress in the background on it. I’ve a basic idea of how I want to handle a bunch of things, including one of the knottier issues I was facing, and I don’t feel nearly as pressured about this being the close of the trilogy anymore. Hell, I was joking about it today, and for those of you who don’t know me all that well, that means I’m not worried about it. It’s when I lose any ability to tell jokes about a subject that you know I’m suffering some serious angst about it.
So yeah, slowly building out the story for The Nine while I let Possession sit in the magical drawer (folder on my computer). I expect to be ready for outlining at least, if not already started that stage, by the time I pull Possession back out and reread it. I may read back through DM again beforehand, just to regain the perspective of “here’s where people will be when they come into the story.” We’ll see.
I really do feel better about a lot of things that had begun to irritate me in general, work, writing, self, all of it. I’m starting to think that maybe working 7 days a week is bad for you or something 😮 I know, you’re all as shocked by that as I am. Or maybe just shocked by my admitting it. Okay, yes, I’ve been pushing myself a little too hard, and had a wee bit of trouble taking the foot off the gas when I needed to, desperately needed to in fact. I’m starting to think that, when it comes time to write The Nine, I’m going to need to build a 6-day a week schedule, rather than say that I will write every day for hours. I won’t necessarily take that day off (hey, I’m being honest here, don’t throw things at me), but I will at least feel like I’m allowed to when I have a day that I can’t seem to dial into the story, or I’m tired, or whatever. I think giving myself permission to do that might be important to finding that balance I keep going on about.
I’ve also given a fair bit of thought on why I’ve been pushing myself so hard. I’m not going to blame Tavis (he’s not nearly as pushy as, oh say, Devan), and I’m not even going to let myself off by saying the story was flowing and I just went with it. That was the case for most of Possession, no doubt about that, but the ending was like pulling teeth and I’m not happy with it, yet I pretty literally forced myself to it anyway, rather than doing the sensible thing and letting myself have that day off that I had definitely earned. So why did I do that to myself (stupidly) and risk burn out? I think the easiest way to explain it is to admit that I feel guilty some days. Maybe that seems silly to some, especially in light of what I’ve managed to accomplish in the last four months, but it’s true.
Remember how I said that I discovered writing when I was 16? I’m almost 34 now. Almost 18 years have passed since I realized that writing is very much part of who I am and what I want to be doing with my life, and what have I been doing? Mostly not writing, that’s what. I feel like I have severely wasted my time because I was scared, miserable, tired, the list goes on, but they were all excuses, really. I think I’ve proven that’s all they were. I could have been writing for the last 18 years, but I didn’t, and I sometimes wonder where I would be, skill-wise, if I had been writing. Maybe I needed that time to gain a greater perspective on life, people, feelings, the world, all the kinds of things that get woven into stories, even when you write Fantasy like I do (or maybe it’s especially when you write Fantasy and have some seriously bizarre elements in the world). But mostly I feel like I let myself down and now I have to make it up to myself, and make the most of every minute I have for writing. Man, that sounds stupid to me as I type it, but it’s still my feelings on the matter. I feel like I have to make up for all that time I wasted when I should have been writing, so I drive myself mercilessly. I have to get a handle on this, though, or I’ll do myself some serious damage.
I’ve decided that I’m going to dial back the 30-day goal when it comes time to start that process with The Nine. Yes, I know, I beat pace every day when writing both of the novels I’ve completed, but I’m on to me there too. I’m going to tell myself that pace is okay (rather than a starting point), that 3k is amazing, and to quit for the day while I still have brain cells that function and am somewhat awake. I’m going to keep reminding myself of that as many times as I have to until I have it pounded through my seriously thick skull. There is no point in making myself brain dead for my writing. I’m not good enough for it to be worth that price, and even if I were that awesome, it still wouldn’t be worth it.
It’s amazing the perspective a day of not immersing yourself in your chosen obsession can give you. And for anyone who might be wondering why I’m saying all of this here, it’s for the same reason I announce my writing goals here. I’m trying to keep myself honest, and not let myself sidle away from it. I’m good at it, trust me, but knowing that I have told people, that I have staked out specifically what I’m going to do keeps me from twisting my own words, or telling myself I didn’t really mean it, or that halfway is enough. It gives me something to live up to, and I’m noticing time and again that it’s working for me.
In other news, I think Sketh and Devan are going to end up having a duel or something for my time when I finish the trilogy. Now they BOTH won’t leave me alone. I’d be irritated, but we all know I am entirely happy to have a million ideas rolling around in my head. If they’d only stop waking me up in the middle of the night, I’d delightedly tell them to get comfy. Inconsiderate bastards, these necromancers and mercenaries, keeping a lady up at night. 🙂
Yes, I know, I still haven’t done my Tag post or the two awards I’ve received, but I’ll be honest, writing and photography and thoughts about those things are always going to come first on this blog. It’s just who I am. I’ll get to those, though, really, I will.
Finally, before my fingers drop off or Tavis gets impatient, tonight’s picture: