Monday, April 19, 2010
When I'm Not Writing...
After a particularly harsh period in my writing journey, I decided that I needed some time off. Last week, I didn’t write at all. Not a single word. And it taught me a few things about myself:
1. I used to have a lot more time on my hands. Once upon a time, I wasn’t writing, or thinking about writing and I had an incredible amount of empty time. Returning to that this week felt weird, and sometimes I wandered around the house trying to determine what to do with myself.
2. I can only read, and watch television, so much. I’ve drifted through an entire season of CSI, a couple of movies, and an episode of Castle. I also devoured 5 books, but finally got bored with that too.
3. Depression is, well, depressing, and boredom doesn’t help. I’m used to having so much on my To Do list that I’m overwhelmed. This week, I deliberately didn’t keep a list and didn’t agree to do anything. Hell, I didn’t even clean the house until I got so tired of watching television that I had to have SOMETHING to do (voluntarily washing dishes tells you how truly desperate I was…).
4. When I’m bored, I organize. There have been a couple of times in my life when I’ve been incapacitated for a week or more while recuperating, and usually found myself dreaming up ways to reorganize or redecorate my house. This week, in an effort to feel productive, I spent time organizing materials for the raffle baskets for the upcoming HOD Luncheon, redid my daily planner, and cleaned out files on my computer.
5. No matter how much you might wish it, the characters in your head just NEVER SHUT UP! And this is the crux of the matter. I almost wish they would be quiet, so I’d have an excuse not to write anymore. But they won’t. I hope that is a sign I’m a real writer and that with time and hard work I can reconnect with my creativity on a level that is fulfilling and productive.
I haven’t started writing again yet. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, or maybe next week. Right now, I’m simply playing with the characters in my head, just like I did the first time my very own characters showed up. Not characters from someone else’s books, but my own. And I’m also trying to accustom myself to the idea that I’m about to start a book for which I have no avenues for submission, no ideas what will happen to it when I’m done. It’s scary, intriguing, and necessary. Here’s hoping I learn whatever lesson the universe is trying to teach me. ;)
So tell me, what immersion tactic do you choose when you are “avoiding”? Television? Reading (usually my diversion of choice, but for some reason wasn’t working for me this week)? Scrubbing grout?
On Friday, April 23, author Cara Summers makes a visit to the Playground!