Equilibrium

April 7, 2016 Writing  No comments

I currently find myself at the beginning of the 2nd revision of my current WIP. The 3rd draft.

It’s become clear to me throughout the writing process of this book and the last, that I have periods of intense work followed by periods of needing to be anywhere but at my computer.

I seesaw between one extreme and the other.

Literally, I go from being this book reading-writer-nerd who is more than content to live in my apartment and surround myself with worlds that are entirely fictional, to being convinced I need to go buy a farm out on 50 acres of land and be a homesteader.

Only to work that out of my system in a months time and return back towards equilibrium.

Regression towards the mean.

For months at a time, I’m consumed with my work. I get lost for hours, sometimes days, down the rabbit hole of plotting and character development and words on paper.

When I’m in the middle of writing or revising, it’s all I think about. The DVR gets full. The house falls into disrepair. Any random housekeeping to-do’s get shoved into the corner. Social contact with the outside world dwindles. Complete tunnel vision.

The only thing I routinely keep up with while I’m writing is exercising, and that’s because I need those breaks where nothing exists but the vibration of music and my body moving through space.

But then, when I’ve completed the next milestone, the next draft, and it’s time for a break (either self-imposed or because I have to wait for someone to get back to me), I have this complete one-eighty shift where I can’t even think about my work in progress. Where I just need to be active in the physical realm.

I find myself wanting to can my own food and hang up all those pictures that are leaning against the wall, collecting dust on their frames. Feel compelled to deep clean my house. I want to grow a garden. I want to go on adventures in the woods. Go kayaking. Hang out with people. I want to be doing anything in the real world that has absolutely nothing to do with my imaginary world.

And then, after a while of indulging myself in those fantasies, I realize I live in an apartment for a reason, and that, maybe, I don’t actually want to raise chickens and live in the middle of nowhere. (Because I like things like food delivery services and having time to do things like read and binge on Netflix. Because I’m a #Millennial damnit and that’s what we do.)

It was like this for my last book. And it’s proving to be true for my current work. It tends to look something like three months on, one month off. (Not entirely true, it’s been all over the damn place but there have been some extenuating life circumstances.)

I don’t fight this. But I do wonder if maybe I could find a way to make it a little more sustainable.

Not that I haven’t tried. I’ve created schedules where my mornings are for writing, and my afternoons are for dealing with real world shit. There are days when this works. Sometimes my brain just isn’t working and after two hours I’m done and ready to walk away for the day.

But more often than not, once I start going and get sucked into my own world, it’s nearly impossible for me to resurface. Unless the real world is imposing itself on me via appointments and responsibilities others are holding me accountable for, etc. But if left to my own devices? Forget it. I’m gone, lost in a world of my own creation.

I wonder if maybe I could be more stern with myself—to avoid getting to the point of burn out and exhaustion. Get to a place where writing and the real world exist in a more sustainable way.

Something I plan to experiment with a little more with my next book.

Until then, I’ll be off, lost down the rabbit hole. Falling off balance.

Until next time, farewell & may your life never cease to be filled with wonder and curiosity.

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