If you follow my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been feeling a little discouraged with my writing lately. I don’t know if it’s a combination of working too hard, gloomy gray weather, and my son’s bad sleeping phase, but I’ve been feeling very reluctant to start on my next novel. I’ve got a great idea (maybe the best one I’ve ever had) and yet I continue to put it off, finding a million things I “have” to do instead; cleaning, helping my husband put up a backsplash in the kitchen, exercising, reading, watching movies…
I think, for me anyway, that when I feel like this, it’s a message that I need to slow down and relax. I have a sort of type-A personality. I like to have answers to all my questions, I need to have everything planned out, and I need to stay busy. Sometimes, I even feel guilty if I sit down and read for a while.
Even though I haven’t brought in any income with my writing yet, I still regard it as my career. I work hard, everyday, busting my butt to try to make it work. I know I only have until my son (and our future kid(s)-fingers crossed) leave for kindergarten to get my writing career off the ground. At that point, I will probably go back to school, finish up my last year or so, and get my Bachelor’s degree in teaching or nursing. And so I work, getting up hours before my son, working during every naptime, staying up after everyone else has gone to bed. I put in the hours, collect the rejections, and try to make it work. So far, it’s been for nothing, and that can be discouraging. I’ve said it before here on my blog; yeah, it’s nice hobby to write, but I’m really writing because I want my stories to be read, to have people fall in love with them. It’s kind of hard for that to happen if they’re tucked away in my hard drive. Plus, if I just wanted a hobby, I’d knit.
So, the best thing for me to do right now is to recharge my writing batteries; try new things, go to museums, watch educational specials on PBS, read great books, watch great movies, go for long hikes (or snowshoes), cook new recipes, play with my son, spend time with my husband. I know it might feel like you’re not doing anything, but you are. You’re feeding the big idea center in your brain. It all goes into one big pot on the stove, and someday soon, you’ll turn on the heat, simmer it well, and have a delicious pot of stew (or a novel!).