The past year has felt a bit like being a on a treadmill to me. I went from a full-time writing and editing schedule, which dovetailed with a part-time office job and full time parenting to a full time office job, writing, editing and parenting. In order to save my sanity, I cut back on freelance editing and made the decision to only work on one writing project for the year. Unfortunately the project I decided to work on involved writing twelve novellas – or the equivalent of three full-length novels.
I’m two-thirds of the way through the project, and my energy is zapped. Normally the summer months drain me, and I don’t get much done, but I look forward to autumn. The cooler weather tends to energize me and I’m able to get back on track. So far, this year though, it hasn’t happened. The frustration of rewrites slowed down my progress, and I decided it was okay to take a break to recharge my batteries.
Problem: I don’t feel recharged yet, and I’m starting to enjoy goofing off. I used to feel very guilty when I wasn’t writing or editing or formatting or researching or doing something involving with my books – [as a last ditch effort, sometimes I would even mange to feel guilty for not doing enough promo!] but somehow, during the course of trying to structure a less stressful schedule for myself, I’ve actually started to thrive on the lack of stress. [Well, maybe not lack as much as less stress]. I have no ambition to go back to twelve-hour days where I had to pry my fingers off the keyboard and force myself to rest for an hour or two, weekends where every waking moment was spent staring at Word document, eating breakfast and lunch at the computer and cooking dinner in between editing chapters.
I’m not sure how I used to do it…but now that I haven’t for a while, I know I can’t do it anymore.
I’ve heard the story about Nora Roberts and how she writes every day because she never wants to lose her momentum. That’s partly what kept me on the writer’s treadmill. Don’t stop because you may not want to start again.
And therein lies my dilemma.
Have you ever slowed down only to discover you can’t speed up again? Were you able to break out of it? Did you want to? How did you do it?