Flat lines

The past few days have been difficult. I haven’t managed to write a single word for two days. I haven’t even had the decency to think about writing – except that one time, on the train into work, where I decided to read the newspaper instead. I don’t know what came over me: except that I’ve felt so tired this week that I just can’t be bothered with anything, not just writing.

It has been a tough week for me so far. Of course, everyone has their fair share of difficult times – some more difficult than others – and I have to admit that it hasn’t been a particularly terrible week: nothing awful has happened, no crises or drama occurred. It was just the typical dreariness of life that tucked itself into my mind and lured me away from my goal, making me tired and deflating my enthusiasm for anything but the action of routine. A period of ‘going through the motions’ if you will.

My bar chart shows this inactivity as two flat lines, which aptly describes the mood I have been in – flat lined, no peaks or troughs to prove I’m alive on that monitor assessing my pulse. I’ve been so tired that I haven’t even noticed the days gone by. I ploughed on ahead without stopping to think of the consequences and neglected myself, and thus my writing. Everyone seems busy this time of year; planning parties, visiting friends and family, buying presents, decorating trees, trying desperately to hurry through the work day until you get to that final day before Christmas where you let out a huge sigh of relief and let your shoulders drop and…relax.

Except, there is another week to go before that shoulder dropping moment and I could have done with it sooner. I forgot myself in the excitement of the season and thought I could do more than I can. That includes writing – which, when it came down to it, was immediately dropped from the list because it seems less important that work, or taking care of the dog, or ensuring the gifts are bought, or going to Xmas Pageants to watch someone sing a duet…

Despite the fact that writing makes me happy, it lets me escape and relaxes me: I somehow always let it slip away when life gets busy and I am tired. But, oddly, writing energises me. Writing reminds me that I’m following that dream I’ve always had and that I’m not afraid to try for it. Writing is fun for me and it’s where I always end up; writing is my comfort.

So, it’s back on the horse today; writing, despite everything that’s happened in a few short hours calling into question my abilities and skills elsewhere. I may have messed up by making a mistake at work, but I’m certainly not going to let that stop me from continuing my novel. My punishment for making that mistake will not be to prevent myself from writing – it’s the pressure of not having had time to write that possibly contributed to that mix up, it didn’t allow me time to think and relax and thus turned my brain into mush. Writing sharpens me, makes me believe in myself, helps to alleviate the stress and pressure I put myself under. Writing is my way of letting my shoulders drop as my fingers type away and allows me time to take that big deep breath in and then out again as I lose myself in the story I am creating.

After all, what can be more relaxing than escaping into a good book – most especially if you’re the one writing it?

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6 responses to “Flat lines

  1. Hey, Cat. Sounds like you are suffering a little burn out to me. After a big November, I’m sure you may be a little spent. Also, that lofty goal of finishing your novel by the end of the year may be exhausting your mental facilities. This is another reason why I don’t believe in writing everyday. Some days you need to recharge the batteries. Heck, even with our “normal” work, we give ourselves time off for weekends and holidays. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to flat line a little.

    • Ah, sage wisdom from my blogging pal. 8o)

      You’re right, we do need a little downtime now and then so I shouldn’t feel too bad. I think this was demonstrated by the fact that after two days of not writing I was able to jump right back in and have a really productive day.

      Thanks for the reminder to be kind to myself Dan: I’ll do my best. x

  2. (((((Hugs))))) 🙂

    I think we all have times like this, well, I know I do! Especially at this time if year (I haven’t written any fiction for 2 days, which doesn’t sound like a long time but it is for me as I usually write daily).

    Don’t beat yourself up honey…chill…read…relax and I promise you it will all come good 🙂

    Xx

  3. So sorry that it has been a tough week. Even with no pinpoint to tell you why. What ever happens remember people think about you. 🙂 take care hun, and here anytime.

    Dawn

    • Thanks hon. It’s always nice to know people out there care – sometimes, in the midst of a solitary act like writing, it’s easy to forget!
      Thanks for your comments: *hug*

      • The run-up to Christmas is always extremely enervating. It’s good to know that you’re not going to let life get in the way of the things that make you happy. It’s hard to put yourself first at this time of year, but if you really don’t have the energy to witness someone sing a duet or fluff their nativity lines, then bugger them. Put yourself first – no-one else will.xx

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