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!