Isn’t that always how it goes – you start getting on a roll, then things fall apart. Only in my case it was more of a slow, gradual decline. It started right away on Monday; I came out of the gate on fire, but found myself flagging hard by the end of the day and continuing to struggle on Tuesday and Wednesday. What was going on here? Fears of burnout began to raise their ugly head: too much too soon, turning a fun thing into drudgery, another year of hiding from my passion. It’s happened before, and so of course that’s the first fear that strikes when something like this starts to occur. It’s one hell of a fear, and I tend to run in these cycles: feast, feast, feast until the thing becomes passe. It’s not even a matter of hating the thing (writing, playing music, what have you), it’s just that it elicits absolutely no emotion at all, a terrifying form of inertia. This is the first time since my youth that I’ve managed to avoid the boom-bust cycle, so naturally it was in the back of my mind.
By Thursday morning, however, it was becoming clear that something else was going on here: sniffles, coughs, aches. Dizziness. An inability to concentrate on anything. Even the simplest mental task was agony. I was sent home from work early. The very thought of writing was agony – how could I concentrate on writing and its intricacies when just walking and keeping my head upright was a major effort? It was time to accept the inevitable: writing was not going to happen until the brain-fog was gone, whenever that might be. Thankfully, I still made some progress: the voice recorder became my best friend, and I managed to make good progress on plotting things out.
An aside for a moment – how great is the WordPress tag recommendation engine? The previous two paragraphs resulted in a suggestion for “Cognitive Dysfunction”. How apropos is that? Oh, also Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Intriguing.
Anyway, everyday I woke up hopeful that the brain-fog would be wiped out, and everyday it was not to be so. At least, not until this morning. This morning I woke up with a headful of steam and desire to get back to it. The slate was clean. A new week and soon to be a new month. Just get back on the horse and ride again. And, of course, plenty of new information to add to the novel. Story-wise, at least in my head, I’ve explained the prime conceit behind the story, hinted at something much larger, and almost gotten the party from Eureka, California to Bakersfield. Seems about right, as Bakersfield is where the story shifts gears.
Now, I do have a more technical post readied about first-person perspective and the perils of using it, but I don’t think today is quite the time to unleash that monster. I’m getting better, but I’m not quite to 100%. That will come soon.
Today’s link is to a great community site called Fuel Your Writing. The site offers a steady stream of articles and tips on writing, inspiration, reviews of new tools, and ways to contact other writers. Check it out!