This weekend, my brother-in-law asked what I’m working on. Friday, I had a book due. It doesn’t help that it was a contracted confidential job. Sometimes when nonwriters ask what I’m working on, I blank.
“That wasn’t a trick question, Sue.”
But it was. Because I had just finished a huge project and hadn’t yet shifted to anything else. Sure, I know I’m finishing the class I’m teaching and the class I’m taking. I’m going to get back into my middle grade novel. I know this. But I hadn’t done it yet.
When you find yourself off in the fog like this, it is probaby a sign that you are tiny bit fatigued and maybe, just maybe, you need to take a break. That’s what I’m planning to do.
YES, I’m going to get the things I mentioned above done and I’m going to reread what I’ve written on my MG but I’m going to take a few days to more-or-less just be.
I’m planning to crochet. Maybe do some lettering. We’ve got left over bread from Thanksgiving so I don’t have an excuse to bake again but if the bananas go I’ll have an excuse to make muffins.
When you finish a project and you’re eager to move on to the next big thing, do it! You don’t have to fiddle around and do nothing much for several days. But if you feel the need to goof off, then do it!
As a society, we focus a bit much on tasks completed and goals. As a goal oriented person, I feel I can say this firmly and without apology. Sometimes we just need to be. Do something that isn’t writing related. Do something that no one else is going to get excited about or pat you on the back for doing. Put up your feet, drink tea and read.
Or, if you are like my brother-in-law, rebuild the fence. What can I say, physical labor relaxes him. Sitting stresses him out.
Take some time and when an idea starts bugging you, sit down and write. That way, at Christmas, when someone asks what you are working on, you’ll have an answer.
Or at least that’s my plan.