A couple weeks ago I finished a re-write on my current work in progress. In the past when I finish this stage, I have a beer, toast a completed manuscript, and allow myself to watch television. That usually leads to being less productive. A couple weeks off writing expands into a couple months. The doubt of if it’s all worth it seeps into my mind. It quickly turns into a funk versus a relaxation. Before I know it I’m wondering if I’ll ever get back to it. This time it changes. This time I’m managing the middle for success instead of letting it run over me.
First step, keep up the creativity. I’m keeping the creativity juices high with tapping into other areas of my mind. If I start to let one creative outlet slack, the others seem to follow. For some reason I think I do my best work when I remain in a high state of busy. It’s one of the things Hubs rolls his eyes at when I’m going five different directions on the weekend. Instead of writing, I’m painting. I took my red walled kitchen that Meredith Barnes complimented and turned it grey. A new look, a new point of view.
Second, blog it up. With some Airborne Toxic Event activity coming up, I should have plenty to talk about. Sure, I’ll make myself known to their security and have no chance of getting close for my good hair picture, but you’re worth it. Mikel’s lesson about writing ten thousand hours to get good (not his original thought, I know) reminds me to keep my fingers moving over the keyboard even if it’s not on a manuscript.
Third is to read, read, and read. Now is the perfect time to get some novels under my belt for the 25 per year goal. Reading is a great way to replenish my head with how a story is supposed to read. Taking in smartly crafted plots, fleshed out characters, and well-written sentences are the lessons needed to reinvigorate the writer’s soul.
Last, and most important, is to enjoy the people around me. This seems like something I shouldn’t have to list out. In fact for me, it comes quite comfortably. This is not the case for all writers. Most are introverts. Writing is a very solitary process. Every extra minute goes towards putting on headphones and blocking everyone else out. If I’m not writing, I’m brainstorming. I block out other people to think in my head about my characters and what they should do. The ironic part is to write successful characters, you need to be around people. This is the best time to spending quality time with friends and family and I’m going to take full advantage of it.