Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bound to Happen

I'm pretty proud of myself for staying as focused as I did on my writing while my husband went through his medical ordeal that lasted for two months plus (and then there was the whole broken foot thing). I finished the novel, got it sent off, and dealt with everything else.

Now I think my brain is rebelling.

I've been working on my plot for the next novel and while I pretty much have it figured out, there's still some research I need to do before I start writing. But lately, I've been just going home, vegging on the couch, and reading. Granted, I'm reading books set in Italy to give me a better feel for things, but I still feel like I should be doing more.

In short, I don't feel too focused right now. I tend to think that this is a result of being so mentally focused on so many things for so long. Now that things are pretty much back to normal, I think my brain is down-shifting and being lazy.

Of course, I'm my own worst critic. It's not like I've been completely ignoring everything. I research on a daily basis. Of course, I haven't been writing. Maybe that's why I feel a bit of guilt.
I can't write right now because I'm not ready - I still have some critical research to do.

What about you? Do you feel guilty when you're not doing what you think you should be in regards to your writing?


  1. I don't have that luxury. I have to sit down and do it, whether I feel like it or not, because if I don't, the bills aren't paid.

    In your case, you are not on a contracted deadline with this novel, so you can cut yourself a break. You've been through a trauma, and you used the writing to hold together. Now, mentally and physically, you need to recharge.

    Here's something that I do and that recently helped a friend feeling unfocused -- take a scheduled break. You're not allowed to write for 14 days. You'll be surprised how much you want to after a day or two-- but you CAN'T for two weeks.

    When you sit back down, it'll all flow, because it's been building.

  2. I felt nothing but guilt this week about not getting done what I had planned even though I was working hard to get there. Then I let myself off the hook. Must be something in the air. There seems to be a lot of that going around. I think your brain lets you know when it needs a break to recharge. Probably best to listen.

  3. I do - but I also tell myself that while I love to write, want to write, and it's very, very important to me - it's not the only thing that I do.

    So right now, even though I've got the last big finally figured out (YAY) I have a little kiddo with the flu and a fever and I'm round the clock duty. And I can't kick myself for that.

    You've been through the wringer!! You got your ms off - I think it's very healthy to take a break and read and research.

    Besides, like Devon said, you might not (hopefully won't!) have that luxury in the future.

    Happy researching!

  4. Soon as you're ready, it'll all come back. You must be recharging or something.

  5. Sounds like you deserve a little 'me' time! Take it easy on yourself. If you are reading, that counts and when the story is ready, you'll be right back to your focused pace I bet!

  6. Totally! I've done NOTHING fiction writing wise for the last month. Nada, zip. And I'm now feeling like a total fraud. It's so bad that when I wrote my non-fiction article last week I was convinced it was total cr*p and that the editor would hate it. Sean even helped me with the last sentence.

    But as everyone else says, sometimes we have to give ourselves a break. Beating ourselves up certainly won't fill the creative well.


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