November 16, 2017 in Dag

Getting back up on that horse

Well, it happened again.

A few months ago, I posted about how, despite the unsettling effect of starting a new job, I was determined not to put a hold on my writing. I pushed myself really hard for the first couple of months, making consistent progress on my current work in progress.

But there came a point when I had to give myself a rest. The pressure of sitting through a day at work, especially in a new and unfamiliar role, and then coming home to push out 500 words (my daily goal – I know it doesn’t sound like much, but believe me it was more than enough), in addition to dealing with the rest of the at-home stuff, was becoming too much. I needed a bit of time to breathe.

So I decided to take a bit of time off – maybe a month or so. I convinced myself that it wouldn’t be wasted time. I had some ideas for new projects brewing in my head, so I thought I could see if I could make some progress on those instead.

Well, a month quickly turned into two months, and then more. Did I make any progress on those new projects? Well yes, if all progress consists of is a couple of pages of scribbled notes. But certainly nothing substantial. Mostly, I just used the time to take a load off, letting myself catch up with life a bit (and there was plenty of life to catch up with).

Time well used? I think so. I definitely couldn’t keep up with the rate I was pushing myself. I needed the break, and even if I didn’t get any other ideas up and running, it still represented productive use of time to me. But enough was enough. I knew that the longer I spent doing nothing much on my writing, the harder it would be to make a start again.

So, the time came at last for me to give myself another kick. With the year rolling towards an end, I really wanted to see more progress on my novel. I couldn’t wait any longer.

It was difficult at first. I spent a bit of time staring at the screen, reading and re-reading the final lines I’d written and trying to figure out what they led on to. Eventually, I typed a couple of sentences. I wasn’t convinced they worked particularly well, but I had to get something out didn’t I. Funny thing was, once those initial words appeared, I found the rest flowed quite quickly and I was able to achieve my 500 words without much trouble. I’m sure when I’ve finished all my redrafting, not many of those words will remain, but for the time being, it felt like progress.

It felt good to get back on that horse again.


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