Hello, writing fam!
I’d like to begin by saying thank you to the readers who’ve returned each week. I’d been on a long hiatus prior to diving into this past month of writing. It’s good to be back and I appreciate that you take time out of your day to pop in to my lil’ corner of the cyberverse. And to everyone else, welcome!
We’re in the final stretch of NaNoWriMo. Can you still feel your fingers? Or have they and other body parts, especially the posterior, gone numb from all that wordsmithing?
The month is drawing to a close and so is the chapter on this part of the writing journey. But it doesn’t mean the writing’s over. As any writer will tell you, it’s never over. We’re just getting started and working towards a steadier writing routine has lit a fire in me.
So, in the words of one Trixie Mattel, who paraphrased from the humorously outspoken Eric Andre, I’m about to say something controversial yet brave.
Now, read me out (because if you could hear me, that would be kinda awkward… And yes, I sometimes speak aloud as I type. What of it?). I’m not saying to shut it down completely. I’m talking about how to not burn out, which can happen when you’re eyeballs deep in your word count. Is it so hard to believe that doing non-writing things can benefit your writing?
Take today, for example. Despite social distancing rules (and courtesy, and health and safety, etc.), it’s been reported that many eager shoppers still partook in the annual consumerism deathmatch known as Black Friday–IN PERSON. <cue movie trailer guy voiceover> “In a world where online shopping is a thing…”
That’s not to say that online shopping is “safer” by any means. In fact, it can be even more dangerous because you’re not being bodychecked for a flat screen TV while perusing the latest deals. You could be tossing things in your virtual cart left and right from the comfort of your own home. Curiosity can lead to clicking. One ad, two, seven. Now you’re clicking through to items you didn’t even know you wanted or needed. You feel this added pressure, a fear of falling behind. Before you know it, you’re overwhelmed. The same thing can happen when you’ve been writing non-stop, say for a global writing challenge–or any writing challenge, for that matter. Writers write. I get that. But we can’t let it consume us, take us over, and affect us in such a way similar to how a massive annual sale can transform normally delightful people into complete savages. For a blender.
It’s important to step away from writing, every now and then. You can recharge the senses in order to keep going. I’ve been working with sleep specialists to help with the severe insomnia I’ve had going on two years now. Earlier this week, one doctor suggested going out for walks for overall health and to promote better sleep. Since the agoraphobia has improved (perhaps more on that another time), I’ve been able to go on three walks now. I used to think about my writing project non-stop. In the shower, brushing my teeth, cooking in the kitchen, staring at the ceiling when counting a million sheep did nothing to knock me out. My brain just won’t shut off.
When I went for these walks, I purposely put any thoughts of writing out of my mind. I focused on the fresh air and the fact that since I waited to go out until the early evening, I could get some exercise in while social distancing, as there were barely any people around at that time. So, I ventured out, masked up and everything and just let my mind wander a bit, as my feet took the lead. It really helped and gave me renewed energy when I got back home to sit down for another writing session.
So, how’s everything been going on your writing journey? Especially to the lovely people who keep coming back here, again, thank you. I’d also love to hear your thoughts down below.
NaNo is almost over for another year. Whatever your word count is on November 30, it’s okay. Take a breather. Any number that is more than zero, is a win to me. Just know that come December 1, you’re going to add more words and you’re going to keep going. Let’s do this!
Stay creative, stay weird, be kind to yourself and others.
Until next time,