Just Keep Swimming
I’ve been a bit down in the dumps recently. Not, “Aaiiee!! The world is ending!” but more of, “Blah. Existing is hard work. I’d take a nap, but my brain takes that as a cue to jump its little bicycle chain and spin freely.”
This isn’t a major cause for concern. I’m making a couple of changes, working on administrivia that’s been left lying around for too long, and just generally trying to put things in order. And I’ve been writing. Only a little every day, but it’s better than nothing.
At least, I’m reminding myself to look at it that way. I was hoping to be putting down about 3000 words a day; right now it’s between 500 and 1000. And sometimes I can’t convince myself to work on one of the urgent projects, so I write something silly or pick at one of the books that should be on the back burner.
Because it all needs to be written eventually. The stories aren’t going away, and at this point, I have enough WIPs to last me a good long while. Every bit of work I do now is work I don’t have to do later. And even silly writing helps me practice putting thoughts into words.
I was raised with a type of work ethic that is becoming increasingly rare (or maybe it only seems that way). My mom in particular was big on slow, sustained effort, and imparted a lot of that wisdom to me. It makes sense for a writer- some very incredible people can write a book in two or three days, but for us mere mortals, it takes a month, or six months, or six years. Or whatever. And we have to be able to hold onto the plots, settings, and characters for the length of the novel, or continuity suffers.
And it’s a useful philosophy in times like this, when I’m feeling blah. I’ve been combining small amounts of writing with reminders that this won’t last forever, and though it’s not exactly raising my spirits, at least I’ll have something to show for it, something that wouldn’t exist if I just sat around and stared at the wall all day (that’s what I feel like doing lately).
Hmm. This is turning into yet another post on self-care. These seem to be reasonably frequent on MGC- not necessarily a bad thing, but worthy of notice. Perhaps it’s because the writing world is undergoing a period of rapid change, where people are busy chasing the trends, and have no time for themselves, so they need reminders of this type. Or maybe we, the contributors at MGC, find it easier to write down our goals and setbacks, and that sharing them with others makes the burden less onerous. Maybe we’re all nuts- I mean, we are writers.
Enough babble from me. Talk among yourselves: what do you do when the writing just won’t come, no matter what you do? Do you have better long-term results when you step away from the computer/typewriter/notebook, or is it better to keep taking baby steps toward your goal? Do you think we’re fostering a culture of too much work, not enough work, or work at the wrong places and times?
As proof that I am working, however slowly, here’s the link to my latest release: A Summer in Scarborough is a Pride and Prejudice sequel, featuring Anne de Bourgh.
Miss Anne de Bourgh was delighted to receive a letter from her cousin Georgiana, explaining that she would be spending the summer by the sea, and requesting the pleasure of her company. A glorious few months of balls, shopping, and walking by the sea awaits- a wonderfully diverting holiday for Anne, who has rarely left Rosings before.
But Anne is a de Bourgh, and life is never simple. Before long, she finds herself caught between the attentions of two very different men, and must choose if she will follow her heart or disoblige her family. One must be disappointed, and Anne has never been very practiced in the art of disobedience. Must she give up everything she has ever known, will she find the strength to search for happiness elsewhere?