Monday Mayhem – Pacing myself

I finally feel like I’m reaching the top of this burnout hole I’ve been in. I’ve been reading a lot – fiction and non-fiction – and watching a good chunk of PBS and Netflix programming. And college football, though my teams are not doing much to excite the fan-base.

I’ve also been making notes. The books, articles, and coaching sessions have helped me see some place I might improve my stalled work in progress, and breathe more life and purpose into the characters.

So, yeah, that’s where I’m at as of today.

But seeing the light at the top of the hole also scares me. If I want to get back in the swing of things, I’m going to have to step out there again. And the one thing I fear more than failing, it’s burning out again.

I don’t want to feel the same level of anger, frustration, and futility I’ve been marinating in for the last year or so.

So. I’ve given myself the month of October to ramp up. In November, I will dive back into the work. I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo this year. I don’t think I have it in me. For the first time in over a decade, I will not be spending November sweating word count totals.

Because I’ve come to realize that I want to write for the long haul, and for here on out, I will be treating my publishing career as a marathon, and not a sprint.

4 Replies to “Monday Mayhem – Pacing myself”

  1. you are very wise, Maggie, and I’m right there with you. I took the summer ‘off’ from deadline-induced panic, and while it may not have been great timing-wise, it was good for my writer soul. I loved Becca Syme’s book, and have read a couple others. This month I’m writing because I need to get something out to my editor. I’m taking November to do a self-led coaching exercise to prep for 2020…so we’re kind of flip-flopped. But I’m excited for the first time in a long time. Excited and a little bit scared, too, because putting myself out there is just … nerve-wracking. Even though I’ve been ‘out there’ before. I don’t want to fall into the same traps, you know?

  2. I’m glad you have found some tools to help you get back into the swing of things. I always want it to be something that you want to do. As Luke would say, “Take all the time you need.”

  3. I think you’re doing exactly what you need to do and approaching writing from a much healthier mindset. There’s no timeline. This is the kind of marathon I can fully support, and I am 100% in your corner, Maggie Wells! xoxo

  4. Someone I know insists that writing is not a ‘should’ or ‘have to’ mindset; that you write because you want to or it brings you joy. (The Marie Kondo approach to writing.) Yeah, sure – no one believes that, but it’s good advice, right? I think skipping the November marathon this year sounds sensible. We want you here for a long time to come!

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