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?

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on January 13, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. This reminded me of my own struggle and Peterson’s translation in The Message of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30: 28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

    I love the part: learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

    Praying you find that rhythm and that grace.

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  2. katywaltersreviews

    Such a true reflection. I am coming to that stage and then know there will be a void.Pehjaps I will go down to the beach hut and just contemplate the waves.:))

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  3. Oops sorry for the typo – just stress!!

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  4. Absolutely agree on the break thing. With all the possible distractions these days, we’ve forgotten the value in silence and “boredom.” Tyranny of the urgent can be overwhelming The mind needs time to catch its breath.

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  5. As I read your message I hear “Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God” If we become so busy doing when do we have time to wait and listen? That is the hardest part of my walk is to be still and just realize that everything I need and that I am is right hear if I take the time to “be still.”

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  6. Sometimes it just feels like life in general…. It seems to move so fast until you are in a whirlwind, and everything just seems to be going out of control. I have learned that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and everything takes time. You need to just Be once in awhile. We are only 1 person… and everyone just needs time to stop and take a deep breath and know that it is ok to take a break!!

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  7. Speaking of being still and knowing God, I took some time today to study II Chronicles chapter 20. Moab and Ammon came against Jehoshaphat. V. 3 He feared and set himself to seek God, who told him not to be afraid, to STAND STILL and see the salvation of the Lord V. 17, to believe in God and be established. V. 20. When they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against their enemies v.22. The outcome was that Jehoshaphat’s realm was quiet and God gave him rest all about. Sometimes I get so busy doing and fearing that I forget to stand still, trust God with praise and song…sometimes, restful sleep, and really see the salvation He gives…that things work out for my good and God’s glory.

    Like when Elijah ran from Jezebel, after such a great victory on Mount Carmel, sometimes God just has His angels minister to us, and lets us sleep, drink and eat. (I Kings 19:4-8) When we are able to pay attention, he speaks to us in His still small voice. I believe Elijah was physically and emotionally and spiritually exhausted. He lost his purpose and wanted to die. God ministered to Elijah’s needs, whispered to him, and gave him new insight into his life’s purpose and priorities.

    “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” Ovid

    Elijah went on to anoint and teach Elisha, who was given a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. (II Kings 2:9-12) Elijah has 7 recorded miracles and Elisha, 14. An amazing thing is that Elijah was so overwhelmed he wanted to die–but God had better plans for Elijah’s home going, a chariot of fire in a whirlwind.

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