It’s time for the Week 1 update for October’s Novel Push Initiative, but I’m still waiting on final word counts from a handful of people not in my timezone, so I’ll put that up a little bit later.  In the meantime, I want to talk about burnout.  Because I sure as hell am feeling it right now.  I spent an hour or more whining like an angsty teenager to Pot last night.  She was kind enough to listen to how I’m exhausted (illustration: I took a 3.5 hour NAP on Saturday and could easily have done it every day since), how I’m spread too thin, and how I feel like I just have nothing left right now.  It was a nice little pity party of the variety I don’t allow myself very often because they simply are not productive.  Pot suggested I take a week off, and God knows I need it (from LIFE, but that’s so not happening).  But of course here I am running this month’s Novel PI.  It looks very bad if the illustrious leader bails.  Particularly when there has been such serious ass kickage among the NPI participants (you’ll see when I post the numbers).

And I am woman enough to admit that I’m afraid of taking time off.  Whenever I take time off, it always takes me time to get back in–as if more than 24 hours away from writing causes me to freeze up and forget how the heck to do it.  And there’s a part of me that honestly feels like, hey this is a job.  The only way I will ever make it in this business is to treat it like a job in the midst of all the other actual jobs I do.  I don’t get to NOT perform at my other jobs, so why should I not perform at writing?  No matter how much it sucks.  That’s part of the point of NPI–pushing through and getting the words down no matter what.

But–you knew there was one of those coming, didn’t you?–I have been in a very serious funk about my writing since I finished the first draft of HiS.  I’m at that point in my relationship with that book that all I can see is its flaws and annoying habits–kind of that point you reach right before you break up with someone.  Not that I’m planning on abandoning it.  I’ve put way too much work in, and on an intellectual level, I know that this book has the makings of a good one.  It’s just not there yet.  But the stress of it is coloring everything else I touch writing wise.  I love the concept of this novella, but I can’t seem to find the love and joy in the writing of it just now.  Where writing is usually the fun part of my day, the part I look forward to, right now, it’s just another stress on a mountain of them.

I’ve been having nightmares all week about getting the things I need to accomplish at the Evil Day Job actually finished.  I’ve got a website to finish by next week.  There’s a lecture on Freud I’ve been needing to write since LAST week.  I haven’t, and I can’t seem to move forward on ANYTHING because I keep getting interrupted by my boss and having other crap dumped in my lap.  Today, I am locking my office door and putting up a sign “Do Not Disturb: Deadline”.   Then there’s the whole issue of the disaster area that is my house.  We clean it but it never stays that way more than 2 days.  The chaos is affecting my head.   The combination of the physical chaos along with the mental chaos my boss inspires in absolutely everyone she goes near has me strung out, stressed out, and cranky.  I need a mental health MONTH.

And okay, clearly I have allowed my pity party to carry over to here.  Sorry about that.  I think it’s about out of my system.

NPI reports will be up later today as soon as I hear back from my last few folks about yesterday’s words!

4 thoughts on “Burnout

  1. Kait,

    The funny part of this post is I have been dealing with some very similar stresses and frustrations, and the open call to participate in the NPI you’re sponsoring gave me the “excuse” I needed to rearrange a few of my priorities and bump writing up a bit higher on my list.

    I am not dealing with the let-down or the feeling that writing is another chore, but had it not been for this little project you are heading up, I’d be doing other things instead of getting words down most days this month.

    I hope it helps a little bit to know you gave me the push I needed.

  2. Even on a job you love there are sick days, vacation days, personal days. Maybe you need a few of those. You’ll remember the writing – like we readers would let you forget! – and you might miss it enough to make you anxious to start again. Sometimes you have to stop pulling water out of the well to let it reach a reasonable level again. I think my fellow NPIers would cut you some slack.

    I’ll also echo Shawn: I’ve felt overloaded since the semester started, both in the office and with homework, but I needed to get the pen moving again, and this has done that, so whether you have to bail for a bit or not, thank you for what it has already done for all of us.

  3. {{hugs}} Kait…

    I’m a SAHM and I can’t keep my house clean for more than an hour some days! I highly recommend the FlyLady, LOL, her methods keep me sane.

    Deep breaths and good luck.

    1. Ha, the great irony of that is that my CP runs the Flylady community on LJ. I am actually a really very organized, neat freak (no, I’m sure my obsessive plotting doesn’t indicate that at ALL)–but I’m fighting dogs and a spouse who is…not a neat freak and sometimes I’m just too tired to fight rather than emulate his bad habits.

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