A New Lease on Writing
A New Lease on Writing
The week ahead of vacation is when I typically like to wrap up the part of a project I am working on. This way, I don’t spend the entire time thinking about what I have to do when I come back to my desk. I get a fresh start after a week off.
This time, that wasn’t the case. Due to various reasons, I had fallen behind on my schedule. Halloween, Hexes & Handcuffs’ first draft should have been completed but was only a little over halfway. The outline I was working on for a new series should have been ready to start writing, but instead, I still needed to figure out a third of the book. Revisions on another personal project should have been wrapped up and ready to go but hadn’t been looked at in days. There was no way I was going to have all of that completed by the time I turned off my computer yesterday. I had to take a good hard look at my writing process.
And taking the time to reflect, I realized that I have been starting to feel burnt out. Lately, I found it harder and harder to come to my desk. The dread of the multiple words, chapters, and outlines being completed each day, was pulling me away from the joy I always felt when I thought about my writing. The process had been working for the past few years, but it was time to face the fact…. it wasn’t working anymore.
There was a time when I would be excited to get my hands on the keyboard and put the images floating around in my head onto the screen. The problem with working on so many different novels at one time is that I don’t have that time to be planning a scene in my head in between the times on the keyboard. My mind is focused on all the other things I need to get done.
This meant, figuring out a way to make my love of writing come back.
The weird thing is that it was an 80s movie that I have watched probably over 100 times that made me realize what I needed to do.
Instead of getting words on the screen, I had been fussing with a new schedule. This started last week. I made changes to how I did things and was finding some improvement, but it still wasn’t enough. The frustration set in to the point, I turned off my computer and curled up on the couch.
First, I lost myself on social media. One of the people I follow on Instagram posts video clips of 80s movies. And one of the clips was of a movie I LOVED! Maybe what I needed was to dive into this movie that I knew word for word and give my mind a break. But instead, I found myself remembering how after watching this movie, I would write little screenplays. Nothing I would ever show anyone else but was for fun. It was what brought me to my love of writing.
I would spend days and weeks on these screenplays. It would be my sole focus until I had it exactly where I wanted it to be. Thinking about that, I could feel the thrill I used to feel while thinking about a scene while I drifted off to sleep at night. The eagerness to open up my notebook and get back to work would pull at me all day until I could actually do it. And then I realized…. My problem isn’t that I lost my love for writing, but the love of focusing on one project at a time. Instead of juggling all these novels at one time, I need to focus on only one!!
Throughout the rest of the night, I went back and forth about if this could work. Would I be able to meet my deadlines if I would only see one novel through the process of drafting to getting ready for publication? I teetered back and forth. Finally, I pulled out my calendar.
After a long few hours, I realized I could make it work!!! I could focus on one novel at a time and lose myself in the creative process again. I will still work on outlines while focusing on only one project, but that is doable. I may even get a little ahead on outlines and not feels stressed about getting it done in time. My days will be centered around my writing, not thinking about what else I have to get done. I will be able to think about scenes, allowing myself to feel the joy I felt all those years ago when I first fell in love with writing.
I’m excited about this new journey in my writing career. And I hope it will produce books that you, the reader, will enjoy even more.