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March Month Round-up

March has been an interesting month in many writing ways. I finished the draft of Evermore Archives on March 2nd, and the days after that were kinda strange. I had been working on the novel constantly, and I knew I had to take a break. Even though I love writing it's also something that exhausts me.

(I love being with my kids, too, but that can be exhausting as well. Interestingly, it's two different states--drafting is intense, in-depth concentration for me, whereas being with the kids is multitasking, reacting to demands and questions with ultra-short deadlines.)

Anyway: I knew I'd probably get back to the other novel after Easter, and in the meantime I had a lot of different projects I wanted to get through. Short stories I had written or wanted to write, and a couple of essays I had on my plate as well, and something for my blog, and more tweets, and...

So I didn't take a break from writing after all. I'm not very good at taking breaks. By mid-March I was feeling down, and I had the kids alone over the weekend and a couple of weekdays, and the thought of that drained me too. I started wondering--as I do at such times--whether I shouldn't stop freelancing and find a full-time job and forget all about a career as an author.

In the end, it wasn't a break from writing that got me in a better mood, but the realization that I actually like what I'm doing. I love writing stories. The fact that I had a too many ideas to write down is a good thing, not a reason for stress, but a privilege.  

So, in the end I just sat down and wrote, happy that I could do this without needing a full-time job. I finished a strange short story I drafted in the fall, another that had been rolling around in my head for a long while, and a political essay for a local newspaper that I've wanted to write for a long time.

Today I sent out a third story, and that one was a blast to write. It started as a question: Since feelings are rooted in the brain and limbic system, what feelings would you find in a man with an augmented brain?

A good question, but not much of a story. So I just started writing what I imagined about his feelings, and the story fell out of my mind and onto the page in a jumble--disjointed, with a strange continuity, in very short scenes. I got it onto paper in a day and a half, something I've never before managed with a 3,200-word story . And it worked, at least in the way that fragmented form described the feelings just the way I wanted them to.

Clearly my mind has responded well to the reminder that I'm doing something I like. I wonder if it'll be just as pleased about revising the novel when I get the last pieces of feedback after Easter.

Until then, I'm taking a break. Seriously.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
j_cheney
Apr. 2nd, 2012 08:16 am (UTC)
Sometimes a break really is necessary!
jakobdrud
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:51 am (UTC)
Yup. Plus the kids are home for the next week, and they really want their dad around. Who am I to say no to that :-)
j_cheney
Apr. 2nd, 2012 11:53 am (UTC)
Sounds too good to pass up ;o)
maryjdal
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:04 am (UTC)
Congrats on a successful writing month :) You deserve a break.
jakobdrud
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:51 am (UTC)
Thanks. I'll try to do stay away from the keyboard, really :-)
bogwitch64
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:40 am (UTC)
Oh, dear--you should know there's not taking a break from writing. It's always there, bubbling away in the back of the brain. I haven't written new words in--gads, months now. But I've been writing continuously. Editing is writing. Planning is writing. Livejournaling is writing! Writing is life, and life is writing. That's out lot!
jakobdrud
Apr. 2nd, 2012 09:50 am (UTC)
Oh, don't I know it... The hardest periods I've had as a writer where the ones where I didn't have the energy to write. I kept thinking I should do it, but there just wasn't enough time or energy in the world for it.
However, planning to not sit down and produce consistently every day makes me relax more about not working. It's not the same as turning my mind off, but I'll take what I can get :-)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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