Learning to Pace Myself
I’ve finished the second draft of my next novel, Centralia, and now plan to let it simmer for a couple weeks before going over it a third and final time with the hope that I’ll look at it through fresh eyes and make further improvements. So now the question is what to do with my time? For the past five months all my writing time has been spent working on Centralia, weaving the plot, creating the characters, tweaking this and re-writing that. And now there’s nothing, a void.
And I wrestle with guilt. Why? Because I feel like I should be doing something. There are so many projects I could be working on. Stories to begin, articles to write, speeches to craft. I could revamp pages on my website . . . again. I could write a short story. I could work on a writing craft book and self-publish it. I could write a bunch of blog posts for future use.
But here’s the problem . . . while my head is saying yes, go for it, be productive, get moving! my heart just doesn’t feel like it.
And so I sit and stare at a screen or mindlessly scroll through Facebook or begin writing something and scrap it . . . and feel guilty about all the time I’m “wasting.”
I’m an overachiever, see?
What I need to do is follow my heart and take some time off from my own writing. Take a true break. Let my mind rest. Push out a couple blog posts here and there, maybe work on a speech as the inspiration comes, update a website page as needed, but don’t pressure myself to be productive every second of every free moment. I don’t need that.
Sometimes, you have to know when to slow down, you have to know how to pace yourself. That’s one of the things I want to work on this year: pacing myself. I tend to rush, rush, hurry and write as much as I can, post as much as I can, be as involved in social media as I can and then burn out.
So how about you? What’s one thing you tend to get too gung-ho about that you need to learn to pace yourself in?