Midwest Musings: Recharge
Note the change in the headers above. I’ve added one for Driven to Matrimony, my new romance soon to be released by The Wild Rose Press.
Every so often, when I’ve been driving myself day after day on a certain project, there seems to come a time when my energy level drops. I reached that point this past week. It wasn’t exactly writer’s block; I found I was forcing myself to put new words on my computer screen just to keep going, not that they were really contributing to the story. Though I’m not a runner, I’ve heard how runners “push through” when they hit a similar stage in their races, a technique I also use in writing but can only take so far.
If you recall my last two posts, I’ve gone into great detail describing how I was approaching this stage of revision. What I learned is that I could only pursue this in-depth review so long before I hit the wall.
So I switched to another project, the sequel to The Sleepover Clause, which I hadn’t worked on for over a month. Well, well. What did we have here? I actually liked most of what I was reviewing, even though that didn’t prevent me from changing various words and phrases with new words and phrases. Moving on to a different project benefited me three ways. First, it was a shot in the arm to my ego, which had gone to that nasty place most writers visit every so often, self-doubt. It’s amazing how refocusing your brain on something you’ve written that you discover you really like can unlock those gray cells. A second benefit was that I made progress with this manuscript, adding several new pages once I read through what I’d already produced. Finally, this gave me a chance to “check in” with this project so we’re not strangers when I return to finish it later. Won’t prevent those “what was I thinking?” moods, but hopefully I’ll remember enough to actually answer that question.
I also realized it was time to rest the brain by briefly pursuing other activities. Fortunately, it was also time for my biweekly coffee with fellow retirees. We get together every two weeks and touch base with each other’s lives, now that we don’t see each other every day in the workplace. This time, I lingered a little longer (actually, we went about ninety minutes longer than usual), savoring the company and chitchat. (Writing can be sometimes be lonely.)
I also played Mah Jongg. Want to exercise the brain? Try this game. It requires memory, strategy, and luck. Even if luck isn’t with you at any particular sitting, each round you experience the thrill of the hunt.
As luck would have it, we already had a weekend trip scheduled, so my husband and I saw both our children and most of our grandchildren. Nothing recharges my brain better than family and a drive through the Iowa countryside when the corn is nearing harvest.
The Sleepover Clause
And He Cooks Too