I realized recently that there is a fine line between “taking a break” and “nearly abandoning a project.” I mean, you read it all the time in blogs and in books, the advice that says to stick with one project until it’s completely done. I’m not the kind of person that abides by the rules and guidelines so I blithely ignored this sage wisdom.
In a previous blog I reported that I took a break from my latest book endeavor because I started to lose the forest through the trees. Everything was starting to jumble up and I was losing focus of the main ideas. What was the point of the novel? Why did I want to write it? How far should I go with it? What the hell is this drivel I’ve been writing?! All these questions overwhelmed me so I took a few steps back. More than that, looking back at that decision now. Apparently I..fled from the manuscript. Running. Screaming into a rainbow corner filled with crafts, costumes and baking.
I failed NaNo. I’m not broken up about it. It’s a tool, not a competition. This year the tool didn’t work for me and that’s okay. What DOES bother me is that when I went back to the story I was writing for it, I felt like I was looking at something that wasn’t even mine.
One one hand, if the story is complete, that is what’s supposed to happen. You’re supposed to see it with new eyes so the editing process is streamlined. You can see inconsistencies better.
On the other hand, if you haven’t finished it and only have a smattering of notes to guide you, everything seems alien and wrong. I tried reading what little of the rough draft I’d typed and I couldn’t even stomach it. Amateur hour at its worst.
I encouraged the readers, and myself, to take breaks from writing. I said this with the time line of a few hours, or even a few days to rest the brain. I didn’t even take my own advice, something I’m notoriously good at (even when it’s this obvious and good). Something I am also notorious for is telling everyone to TRUST THEIR INSTINCTS. If you ignore them, you get spanked karmically. This is me getting spanked.
I implore you, friends, artists, scientists, SAHM…FINISH YOUR WORK. Don’t deviate. The amount of time it takes to finish is irrelevant at the moment (unless you’re on a deadline). Just stick with it, no matter how much you want to table flip and quit. FINISH YOUR WORK. Love it a long time. Love it in good times and bad. Give yourself something to edit. There’s a million motivational posters out there. Buy one, pin one, use it as a computer wall paper.
Don’t get karmically spanked. (Sorry the blog this week was whack. My cheeks are still sore 😉 )