Make sure you schedule some slack; you need to refill the well as well as drain it doing all the responsible, productive things.
The last two years, I’ve had a resolution to write. 2020, it was to write every day. That produced a nasty flare of carpal tunnel syndrome not that many months later, and now I have a much more ergonomic workspace, hard splints for home and work when needed, and a healthy respect for why the L-rd told us to follow his example and take the Sabbath off.
2021, I decided to write 5 days a week. (Build in slack.) Sometimes I failed and wrote 7 days a week, sometimes I failed and didn’t write for weeks. I wore out the velcro on my wrist splints and had to replace them. And then I ran dry mid-August. The words weren’t there, and only came back in fits and spurts for the rest of the year, blocking often on longer stories and only giving little bits of unrelated scenes.
So I entered 2022 without a resolution to write. Instead, in December I informed all my friends that it’s a hobby, darn it, and I am not obligated to produce to professional standards of publication on a timeline. And I didn’t write, and I didn’t worry about it. Mostly. On the list of things to do this year, I have getting my float rating, but not publishing any books.
Of course, there’s always that one wag who points out that I do all my hobbies to professional standards, to say nothing of the precision I expect of myself when flying. You know who you are, and I’ve already thrown a paper airplane at you, so shut up.
Three weeks into 2022, having done nothing but read books, go on a road trip with friends, changed the internal layout and purpose of entire rooms in my house, and focusing on health, exercise, and having fun… the story started coming back. At first it was just realizing that the eventual outcome of the story wasn’t actually where I wanted it to go. Then tackling smaller, more individual problems, until I finally had a clear enough path ahead to do an extremely minor edit, and write the next chapter.
4 days later, I’m slowly writing the chapter after that, taking my time and talking over bits with my Calmer Half, and not stressing.
Well, mostly not stressing. The major stress comes from realizing that this book is only from AJ’s POV, which means if there’s a fight, AJ has to be there for it. Because reading someone else telling the main character about a fight is boring compared to the actual…
Yes, AJ’s going to have to go on another shopping trip with Jenna.
That poor man.
Oh, not the gunfire, no. He’s going shopping with his wife, his sisters, and his sister in law. (Surprising yet inevitable spoiler) will probably be something of a relief.