Does this ever happen to you? Your day never quite seems to get going and when it does, everything happens in slow motion? Though you had the best of intentions, your creative motor never quite shifts into gear? You’re tempted to blame it on the heat, but in your heart of hearts you know that it’s not the weather outside, it’s your inner climate control that’s off kilter?
What to do, what to do? When a day of this kind hit me recently, I decided to try something different. Instead of resisting it, which is often my MO, and bravely soldiering on, I decided to let it take me where it wanted me to go. Instead of “seizing the day” I let “the day seize me” (many thanks to the wonderful, wistful film Boyhood for this new twist on an old phrase).
What this boiled down to was that I stopped trying to rev my motor and I just let it idle. I got as much writing done as I could squeeze out of myself and then I stopped. I went for a walk, and thought about my story instead of writing it. Then I came back and just read something enjoyable but not overtaxing.
In the midst of this, I saw pretty clearly that my brain was just feeling frazzled and needed a break. Maybe I blew a circuit or two working and reworking a tough section of my YA novel the day before. Maybe I had a weird dream and didn’t even remember it, but it was haunting me somehow. Who knows? Writing isn’t just a joy and a marathon, it’s also a mystery. Sometimes, we just have to remember this and be kind to ourselves when our well runs dry for a spell. And then “freelax” as Alex used to say and get a good night’s sleep. And then, energized and emboldened, we can write on!