Executive Decision

It’s the 8th.  There is exactly 1 week left in the Sweat.  I’m at 87% total words, at 40% on my current WIP.  I still have 12k to write in the next week if I’m to make it, and I’m going to be honest with you: I’m not going to do it.

Here’s why.

  1. My second job is teaching online college classes.  The semester begins on Monday, my school has totally changed the system, and I have massive revisions and updates to my class that MUST be done by 2:00 on Friday.  It’s a very time and labor intensive project.  The more I do now, the more time I should have later on this semester because a lot of this is an effort to automate certain processes.
  2. I am in the process of learning an entirely new software package for my primary job, revising a curriculum, and generally hitting the ground running with the new year.  We’re REALLY busy!  I simply cannot afford to write during work for any length of time.
  3. I am at an absolute blank standstill on what to write next even though I technically know what comes next.  I don’t have time for another straight read-through, which is my normal answer to “now what?”  I’d rather not write crap, so I need to let things marinate for a while.
  4. I haven’t read anything in…um…well since Blood Brothers came out.  So a month at least.  Frankly, I need to refill the well. This is particularly salient to me in light of JoLeigh’s recent post.  I want to love my characters that much–ALL of them and I’m not quite there right now.
  5. My house is a disaster–the last of the Christmas stuff needs taking down and putting in the attic, the home gym needs assembling (we’re waiting on missing parts to arrive), and the whole thing needs cleaning and organizing.
  6. I’m leaving town the 18th for several days to visit a friend, and I don’t expect to get much done other than my required class stuff while I’m there.

So I am making the executive decision to call this the end of my Sweat (unless I happen to get some sort of brilliant inspiration in the meantime) and take some time off from writing until after I return on the 22nd.  I plan to catch up on everything, work through the necessary changes on my class, deal with the inevitable beginning of the semester bumps (you would be amazed how many computer illiterate people try to take online classes), get the house organized, the gym assembled, my travels completed, and generally clear all the clutter out of my physical and mental space.  That will leave me in much better position to tackle what needs to be tackled when I come back from it.  It may be that I come back sooner, but I’m not scheduling the daily writing again until then.  I know that some folks don’t like making excuses and taking time off because it’s hard to come back and easier to make more excuses not to write.  I don’t tend to have that problem.  It’s my me time, my sanity inducer.  And I’m not too concerned with the Sweat.  I have definitely proven over the last 8 months that I don’t need a challenge to keep me on a daily writing schedule.  It’s a self-reinforcing behavior (wish my diet was).  Anyway, to all those Sweaters who remain–keep chugging!  It’s almost over!  And to those who didn’t make their goals, tomorrow is another day.  Don’t give up.  Just pick yourself up and start again.

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