For several days now I have struggled to get my work done. True, a visit yesterday to Caribou Coffee yielded a pretty good revision of a poem I’ve wanted to finish. Often a change of view will do that, give my battery a little jolt. This morning, though, I slogged through my journal, forced myself to the computer and did get a couple of time sensitive tasks finished. But there was no juice in any of them, only the minimal satisfaction of crossing them off the to-do list. What the h*&^?
Then it dawns on me: as my own boss, I don’t acknowledge my employee’s need for a vacation, even a long weekend. What an ass. Tonight I have a writing event, tomorrow morning another and Sunday afternoon another. Who schedules that much work on the weekend? Writers. Because many of us are otherwise employed, our writing and associated events take place after the daily grind and on weekends. Do I need to take my weekend in the middle? No, there are things in the middle of the week that I won’t miss. But maybe it’s okay to enjoy a game of computer mahjong or six between my daily work.
What do you, as a writer, do to recharge?
2 responses to “Writer Fatigue”
I was thinking about this very thing when I ran across your blog. I read an interview with an artist who’s judging a photography show I submitted to and she said when she does portfolio reviews she always asks how the artists envision their careers, how they see themselves in relation to their art careers in, say, five years. I don’t think my answer would go over well, because I have no intention of making it a “career” or giving up my day job. When I had those aspirations with writing, the very act itself became a job and required too much time staring at a computer screen. I didn’t like being tied down to something that should have felt creative and somewhat spontaneous. Currently, I like making pretty pictures. I like getting recognition for them. I like being part of an artistic community. But a whole lot of my pictures wouldn’t exist if I didn’t work as a gardener, and I couldn’t exist in an artistic vacuum. It’s important, both for my art and my own emotional well-being, to diversify, take a break, stop stalking creativity and just let it come to me. I doubt my answer would impress the judge.
Thanks for this very thoughtful answer, Deb. I love writing “full time” but I think I want to redefine that. So today I plan to crochet, cook, read and watch the snow.