I had a down day Saturday. I don’t mean the Amazon glitch where books are disappearing out of author pages and invisible when searching – though that did happen to one of mine. No, I mean I sat down to get ready to prewrite for sprints in the morning, and nothing was coming. I had a beautiful day, I had a clear schedule, and I had no words.
When I complained to another author, she asked “Usual self-care checklist?”
Sleep: 7 hours.
Food: not hungry yet, too early.
Caffeine: Yes. Coffee and Tea.
Hydration: Yes, one mug each (large) coffee and tea, and working on my third mug of tea as we typed.
Allergies: present, but not bad enough to need medication
Medications: Yes, all taken
Sunlight: Accomplished while checking on and watering herbs.
Burnout level: so complete I don’t even want to do grocery shopping today. All the strangers in the world can hie off with their required social interaction.
…oh, that might be the issue.
Work has been very people-intensive, without any of the usual downtime to recover. I had noticed the half-hour lunch was starting to feel like 5 minutes although it was the exact same amount of time as always. And the first day off of that, here I was, with my brain informing me that if it was any more burnt, there’d be a terrible stench in my nose.
So I took the day off. Aside from folding a load of laundry, all I did was read half an old favourite – MCA Hogarth’s Mindtouch – on the couch with a cat on my lap, and then finish it sitting outside in a camp chair getting daylight. Then I baked cookies, and took them to group dinner.
Only after coming home and taking a shower did my brain finally stir. Under the fall of hot water, it said, “You know, you need to go back in and layer in foreshadowing here and here for this thing in the latest chapter.” So I did that, and now I’m writing this post while it’s mulling over what my poor characters are going to get into next.
I may get more written – or I may go to bed. Either way, I’m not going to beat myself up about it, because it wouldn’t help.
Take it easy on yourself, you hear?