Happiness, Writing Discussion

Post Turkey Day Lethargy

It was a splendid weekend. I was looking forward to thanksgiving dinner(s) all week, and have a fridge full of leftovers to carry on with thanksgiving for the rest of this one.

I’ve been a bit grumpy the last few weeks. Life kept getting in the way, despite my best efforts, and my deadline kept looking less and less viable. It was driving me nuts, but life always gets in the way that will never change. I can plan as much as I like, but I can’t control everything.

I needed to figure out how to deal with it.

One thing I noticed is that when I’m in a good mood I’m more productive, no matter how busy a day I might be having. I realized I’d gotten so focused on what I needed to do, that I’d forgotten how to enjoy the process. No matter what the destination, the journey’s the thing isn’t it?

So from now on, I intend to make each writing session as enjoyable as I can, to turn it into time I look forward to, whether I am editing or writing something new.

For me that means turning up the music, and taking breaks to dance like a fool between sections of story. It means, dashing away from my laptop grinning like a crazy person, and kissing my husband’s cheek at random intervals. It means joking with the characters in my head, even if no one else in the world understands why I’m laughing. It means indulging in a bit of chocolate now and again. It means, taking myself a lot less seriously, and remembering this is work, but that the writing still can bring so much joy.

Do you enjoy the process? What do you like most about writing?

23 Comments to “Post Turkey Day Lethargy”

  1. Tessa, you read my freaking mind. No really! I fell into the same kind of slump, had a similar realization, and was planning to blog about it soon. Lol. I guess the reassuring thing about that is, it’s normal.

    So yeah, I’m trying to bring a bit of play and joy back into my writing too. (Which isn’t to say that what I write isn’t fun, or is dull/serious. Just that writing it isn’t always fun for me lately.)

    Reading a good book always help me!

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      Yes it is normal! Most of the time the writing has been fun, but lately it’s been pretty terrible for me. Thankfully, it looks like terrible is over, and for you too, I hope!

  2. Heh, this made me laugh. 😀

    For me, the thrill of writing comes from discovering new things–unexpected character quirks, random setting developments, or even coming across some interesting tidbit that I decide to research along the way. It’s not so thrilling when you’re halfway in and only then realize you have no idea what you are doing, lol; in that case you know you’ve got your work cut out for you.

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      Those things you mention are usually what fuel me through the first draft. It’s kind of wonderful being surprised by the story and the characters isn’t it? That mid point is usually when full out panic sets in! LOL

  3. Dance whenever you can, TS! You never know when you won’t be able to anymore.

    In college one of my professors, Jen Hyatt, gave us two articles to read. The first was by Tom Clancy, in which he described how every day at the writing desk was like going to the tree at Christmas. We all knew his stigma as an entertainment writer with little or no intellectual and artistic merit. The second article was from an award-winning literary author who described the agony of composition, the tedium of editing, and the dread of all things prose. She couldn’t even say she liked writing, only that she liked having written.

    Around then, I aimed to work in-between the two stereotypes. I ought to enjoy my work, while making sure I was actually working. It can be arduous to hit the minimums for the day. But as I observe what I actually love about writing and usher myself to foster it, it also makes me a better person and can be quite enjoyable.

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      True! (about dancing)

      Mmm I think it’s impossible that it’s fun all the time. Sometimes writing can be just as frustrating as it can be joyful. I wouldn’t however want it to be full out agony every time, or I don’t see the point of doing. There are easier ways to make money.

      I also think it makes me a better person, or at least a more balanced person 😉

  4. Great post! I think the challenge for me is finding the energy to write after a long evening of doing homework. I try to think of it as a reward for finishing, but sometimes there’s too much on my mind and I can’t relax and let the writing take me where it will. I like that you dance at random intervals! Maybe I’ll try that when I’m doing homework (and when I’m writing, too) 🙂

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      Yeah that can be tough! Usually after homework I didn’t have any energy left. I think it can be a great reward though (same with the dancing – it also helped get rid of some back problems I was having).

  5. I had one of my most productive days of work ever recently. I took regular dance-like-a-fool breaks. Because sometimes “Magic Dance” from Labyrinth comes up on my place list, or something else like that… and then you just gotta do what you gotta do.

    On the other hand, I had some terribly unproductive days last week. One of the problems: I wasn’t listening to my music… and Dear Wife had a show on… and even though I coudln’t see it I found myself listening to the dialog.

    So earbuds and music it is. They are helping tremendously.

      1. T. S. Bazelli Author

        Well you know, the harvest ends earlier at these Northern Latitudes! Also it’s nice having a holiday in October. 😉

        I find myself doing the same thing. If the TV’s on, I will listen to it instead of paying attention to writing. Music and ear buds work for me too!

  6. Brad

    Sounds like a mild case of seasonal affected disorder. I get the same way this time of year with the shorter days and lack of sunlight. This year I found an effective antidote: an advanced fiction writing class at the university. Our first class was last night. Talk about an effective way to get back into the mood of writing — surround yourself with 30 burgeoning novelists some of which are having success querying out their manuscripts.

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      You could be right about that. I can count the number of sunny days in the last few weeks with one hand. Nothing like other people’s enthusiasm to get you going again, eh? That sounds like a good mix of students.

  7. Um, is Thanksgiving in Canada on a different day than Thanksgiving in the USA? I’m confused, or seriously just missed one of my favorite holidays. Lol 🙂

    Do you find that when you read & write more, you feel more fulfilled too? And you can tend to be sort of not yourself when you fall out of the habit?

    1. Yes, Thanksgiving happens the 2nd week of October here 🙂 Sometimes I like to go visit my relatives in the States, to go celebrate it twice *grins*.

      I do, definitely when it comes to writing. I notice a difference when I start writing again even after a short break. I feel more like myself 😉 With reading, it depends on the book! hehe

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