The Fix Is In!

Had breakfast with my writing pals recently at our favourite diner.  It was wonderful to see everyone in one place at one time.  Summer is a tough season to find the time to get together.  A common thread, or bacon strip, emerged in the animated conversation:  none of us are satisfied with the amount of writing being accomplished.  As we delved deeper into the home fries and the lack of productivity, it became clear having one major writing project can weigh a writer down just as effectively as the breakfast special. 

Those BIG writing goals!

And, they have humongous writing goals – their memoirs!  I’m the only one in the group working on a novel and am grateful for the creative freedom fiction offers when I’m not buried in research.  However, if I spend too much time focussed on the novel, I get bored, productivity drops off dramatically and tension builds, a low-level vibration akin to too much caffeine.  Well maybe it is too much coffee, since wandering to the kitchen for a refill is an auto response to an empty cup.

Purposeful Release

The energy-soothing solution I’ve learned over time and from experience is regular forays into other kinds of writing, creative escapes!  Purposeful release from the tensions of the BIG writing project.  Of course, there are a couple of critical rules for harnessing the writing energy. 

These side trips must connect to writing in a way that develops my writing skills (journaling, photo essays, poetry, short stories, etc.).   Blogging has become a favourite!  I love interacting with, and learning from, the virtual community of writers I’ve met since I started blogging a little over a year ago.

And, there has to be a time limit or better yet, a deadline, even an arbitrary one.  When I stall in the writing groove, I negotiate with myself for a set block of escape time.   If I don’t set up a timeline, its scary how easily I slip into that unhappy and non-productive vortex of writer’s churn!  Churn in my world is also known as ‘tweaking’.  I will tweak and tweak and tweak whatever I’m working on until my eyeballs ache if I let myself get away with it.  Sometimes I beat the clock and return to the big writing project before my time is up.  When I don’t and my time is up, whatever I’m working on gets saved as a draft to be completed on the next purposeful release session.