Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Burn out vs. wimp out

I haven't posted in too long; been busy working on my writing momentum. I find that sometimes I'm on a knife's edge between burnout and wimping out. For the first part of this month, I was definitely burned out. I'd done two novels back to back in six months and was in that anti-honeymoon stage when everything I've worked on looks like garbage. When I first got into writing seriously, I didn't let myself believe in burnout. I berated myself and forced myself to keep on writing, even when it was all I could do not to cry when I looked at the computer screen. It wasn't until I joined Critical Mass and had other, professional authors say things to me like, "this looks forced; maybe you should take a break" that I realized I wasn't always just being a wimp. Now I know that if I feel overexhausted, if writing is painful to the point that I am actively hating it, those are the warning signs for burnout. Some time off to recover always fixes it, but the more burned out I make myself, the longer the recovery time. It's best to take the time off at the first sign.

Taking time off can lead to wimping out, though. I know I've got wimpout when I just would rather goof off than write. I don't hate writing, I just find myself staring out the window instead of doing it. My World of Warcraft character has more gold than she ought to at the end of the day and my wordcount is dismally low. So the past few days I've been digging in a little harder on my novel rewrite, making sure I don't give in to wimpout.

My first chapter's gotten reworked and reworked because I can now see that it's key to everything. If I can just get all the exact elements I want to focus on introduced there, the rest will fly. Still, it feels a little silly somedays to be putting so much effort into such a small patch of ms real estate. Kind of feels like painting the front door over and over again when the whole home needs a renovation.

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