Friday, June 27, 2008

June 27, 2008: Heather needs help (seriously)

Just read a blog post from Lauren McLaughlin (written back in April) in which she talks about needing time off, needing a six-week vacation.

I commented to Mr. W this morning that, while I am still loving Raoul, I'm finding it harder and harder to drop myself into that chair and make it happen. Once I'm there, it's great (really... I love the writing process) but getting there is tough. I HAVE been getting there, haven't missed a session, but the crowbar required to get me there is getting larger and larger.

I expect Raoul to be done by the end of July, and then I'd planned to spend August working on finding the next book. But what if I took a break instead?

I have been writing full-time since 2005. I finally dealt with a crippling fear of success/failure (not entirely sure it wasn't both) in early 2006, and since then there's been no time off. Since 2006, I have:
- completed the two half novels I had been stuck on (Polar Bear and a children's book I wrote for the volleyball team at the last school I worked)
- written four full first draft novels (Seven, Seven's ancestor, one that's never seen the light of day codenamed Gillian, and "The House of Her Dreams", a moderately creepy suspense I wrote for my sister). All of these also had a planning phase of 1-2 months beforehand.
- revised Polar Bear at least ten times (possibly more like 15)
- revised Seven's ancestor twice
- revised Seven twice
- spent a month fighting for Raoul's concept
- written half of Raoul's first draft

That's basically 1.5 years. I feel a wide variety of emotions re-reading this list: a little pride, mixed with awe, sprinkled with shock. HOW can I still not feel like I'm getting enough done?

Because I haven't sold yet? I don't think that's why. I've come to terms with the fact that the selling part isn't under my control and I accept that I'm writing the books first for me because I love them, and second for however many readers I can get. That's how I fixed the 2005 fears, and it's been working.

I do need a vacation. But I genuinely don't know what I'd do with myself for all that time. Taking a trip someplace for the month is not an option for a variety of reasons, so I'd be here. And how would I be here and not working?

Would reading and re-reading writing books, and taking courses, be a vacation?

How can I possibly not know what would constitute a vacation?

But I don't.

If you do, especially if you're another crazy-driven type like myself, let me know. Because I need one. Badly. Or at some point, the brain and creativity will give out and then I'll have nothing.

I get the rest concept on the exercise front. Training for marathon running makes it painfully clear - you can't just keep building. But here it feels different.

Here, I feel afraid. Afraid of what, I don't know. But deeply afraid.

Feedback, please. Here or on facebook or via email or via carrier pigeon or even by phone if you must. But I needs the helps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you afraid that if you get up from the desk, so to speak, you'll never get back in the groove? You'll lose focus and never return? I agree that you need a plan for your time off...your head may blow off if you try to sit and do nothing. Hey, you can come paint my house!!! Babysit my kids while I paint my house? Help me unpack? No??? Lazy a@@!!! Get back to work!


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