Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Perils of Pushing Too Hard

One of the things that is keeping this whole carpel tunnel thing from being too frustrating is the fact that I have also managed to burn myself out. I had a bunch of personal and professional deadlines that hit all at once and lord; I am still flat lined from that.

So it’s a good thing that this week all I’m really doing is working on finalizing a revision for Beastologist 3 and proofing the galleys for Beastologist 2. I’m giving myself permission to be burnt out until Friday, and then—ready or not—I will dive back into my projects. (This is the discipline part of being a working writer.)

And since this blog is a total reflection of what I’m absorbed with in my writing life, it will return to it’s more craft/writing related format then.

Another post-burnout activity I’m working on is hunting and gathering the research materials I’ll need for Theo 4. While Theo visited Egypt before, it was a very quick trip with a very narrow focus. This time, the whole book will take place there, so there is a lot more research.

When I manage to work myself to a nub and run my well dry, one of my favorite resuscitation techniques is reading. It’s also when I’m most likely able to lose myself in a book, because my own projects aren’t calling to me at all, let alone loudly.

I read a pretty amazing book this weekend—WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead. It seems like a quiet book, but the author does a fabulous job of creating this underlying urgent thread that imbues the narrative with this terrific tension. Of course, the problem with that is always whether or not the pay off will live up to the build up, but in this case it absolutely did. I am not ashamed to say I cried—in a wholly satisfied way. Loved that book. Go find it, read it, then donate it to your local library.


Mary Hershey said...

Can't wait to read Rebecca's new book! And great idea to Read & Donate. I'm in the queue at the Library for it, but maybe I'll just buy it and give it to them. They obviously need more copies!

Hope to help restore you a bit today!

Kiki Hamilton said...

It comes in waves, doesn't it? Enough, then too much...then we're overwhelmed. Good for you for listening to what your body and mind are telling you.

Take a break and I'll bet you come back refreshed and full of new ideas!

Anonymous said...

I really liked When You Reach me, also. I'm not sure how she did it, but it almost felt like a L'engle world--not so much the world of Wrinkle in Time, but the New York of Arm of the Starfish, maybe. But not forced or fake. Lovely. And, yes, the tension built till...whew!

Glad you're taking it easy (although even your "easy" sounds like a decent stack of work!)