Crash and reset

You may have noticed a sudden and dramatic reduction of my blogging over the last week. The truth is I’m having a sudden and dramatic reduction in everything. I think this is connected to DH going back to work, although Youngest being ill and me still being sleep deprived after May Day are also factors that are not helping.

I’m between novels at the moment and can’t think of a new idea I want to write. I would like to think it’s just my brain telling me that OK, I’ve worked pretty hard at creating output since September last year and I need a holiday to recharge. But naturally my brain is also telling me that this is it. I will never get up again. If I don’t push myself to do something now, I will never write again. I’ve run out of things to write about. I am a damp rag twisted to the point where no water is left to be squeezed out, and now there’s nothing left but to lie around being limp and parched for ever more.

Don’t you just hate the artistic temperament sometimes?

Anyway. I am telling myself that it’s fine. I can have the rest of today and the weekend off, and we (my brain and I) will start work again on Monday. Despite the fact that I told myself the same thing last Friday, I’m trying to believe it this time.

Does this happen to any of you? Most people I talk to seem to have more ideas than they have time to work on them. Is it really only me who has to wait for the next one to come along?


Comments (12)

Cari ZMay 4th, 2013 at 12:53 am

Oh hon, time to differentiate between quantity and quality. It’s perfectly fine to take time off and let the brain recharge, especially when you tend to have such stellar ideas and execution.

This is not me pandering, this is me telling the truth. Better to wait for that spark of inspiration than force yourself to write something that just isn’t you. Anyway, have a nice, relaxing weekend. Whatever comes next is surely worth the wait.

CarolynMay 4th, 2013 at 2:12 am

I know it helps to be told this from someone else, especially when you’re stuck in your own head, so I’ll say it: It’s all going to be alright. Our bodies and brains do things to protect us, and maybe right now, your body is telling your brain it just wants a rest, or vice versa. You have worked hard, and you do create such wonderful stories, that I know you won’t stay away from creating for very long. You are definitely not the only one who has to wait for the idea to spark, and I have no doubt it will strike just when you need it to. Or you will decide you don’t want to wait and go out and find it.

For now, enjoy a bit of a holiday, let things in your world settle, and we will all be happy to read the blog post where you describe (as you so beautifully do) how the words are flowing out almost faster than you can capture them.

Anne LyleMay 4th, 2013 at 5:00 am

No, it’s not just you! I’m always in awe of friends who have more ideas than they have time to write – I have to drag mine kicking and screaming into the light of day.

Maybe you just need to refill the well? I find that two things help:

1. Doing something creative that doesn’t involve the written word: drawing, sewing, etc. Or if you have the time, visit a museum or art gallery or castle. When I did “The Artist’s Way” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Artist's_Way) for a while, I was introduced to the idea of the “artist date” and it really clicked with me.

2. Reading non-fiction, preferably something that interests me but I don’t know a lot about. My strongest story ideas have come out of reading books like “Guns, Germs and Steel” that are thought-provoking as well as informative.

Good luck with the dry spell!

Liam LiamMay 4th, 2013 at 7:39 am

I think in whatever job you’re doing, and writing is definitely a job, you need time off.
Have a full week off without guilt, is the important thing and:
Read some books
Watch a really good box set
See friends and family

In my experience something will prick your attention and spark an idea which you can work on after your week off.
Good luck Liam

Alex BeecroftMay 5th, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Cari! It may not be pandering but it’s really nice to hear :) When I get like this I do wonder if it would really be such a tragedy to just stop altogether. I don’t actually think I could, but it’s really nice to know you wouldn’t want me to.

It’s a bank holiday here on Monday, and DH’s birthday on Tuesday, so perhaps I’ll give myself until Wednesday and get back to it then. It’s nice to have a plan :)

Alex BeecroftMay 5th, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Thank you, Carolyn! That is good to hear. I feel quite reassured to find that over the past few days I’ve also been down with head and throat pain, so possibly all this is is just a case of tiredness meets virus, and the writing will come back when the illness leaves. Something you’ve been doing on and off since you were 11 isn’t usually something that just ups and leaves one day. But I’m looking forward to making that blog post you suggest. Any day now, I hope :)

Alex BeecroftMay 5th, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I’m glad it’s not just me. Some of the people whose blogs I read seem to never suffer from spots where they don’t know what to write at all. I wish I did have more ideas than I could use, but the shift from romance to fantasy has reduced even what I did have. (At least with Romance it’s a lot easier to come up with a new idea because you largely have the structure of the story already and you only have to plug in variants rather than reinventing everything from the start.

That Artist’s Way thing looks interesting. I must check that out. And I totally agree about non-fiction. There’s nothing like it for inspiration. Maybe I should go to the local library and trawl through their archaeology section – see what they’ve got. Something is sure to be interesting there. Thank you!

Alex BeecroftMay 5th, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Thanks, Liam! And you’re right, you wouldn’t be expected to do any other desk job without an occasional holiday. I’m hoping that someone will buy me the Stargate Universe box sets for seasons 1 & 2. I was thinking for my birthday in June, but perhaps if I drop enough hints I can get them early ;) And I’m seeing my sister for lunch tomorrow. I’ll be raring to get back to normal after that. Thank you! :)

Lillian FrancisMay 6th, 2013 at 5:26 am

I’m afraid I’m one of those people with more ideas than I’ll ever have time to write, doesn’t make them any good though. I always take at least a week off between finishing one draft and starting the next. I read, catch up with the tv I’ve been missing, anything other than write.

I’m sure something will spark your interest soon enough.

HJMay 6th, 2013 at 7:21 am

I’m so pleased to see that DH is back to work, and I think that this has more to do with your “crash” than you might realise. You’ve been worrying, and keeping going knowing that you have to do so. Now the reaction is setting in. So, take a deliberate holiday – do something mindless like gardening or walking, or learn some new music. Just take a break!

Alex BeecroftMay 6th, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Thanks Lillian :) I think I should have been sensible and taken breaks between finishing one project and starting another. I didn’t do that, and now it seems that I’m being forced to. I will be a bit more rationed in my efforts in future. Thank you!

Alex BeecroftMay 6th, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Thanks HJ, and I think you’re absolutely right. It was more stressful than I was really aware of at the time and now the stress is over I think I’m having a reaction in the comparative safety. Learning some new tunes sounds like a great idea. I have a massive book full of morris tunes to choose from, and I should really learn “Blue Eyed Stranger” before I finish the story of the same name :) Thank you!

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