Burnout, or How I really messed up this whole writing thing

Burnout.

We’ve all been there, when we’ve just had enough to the point where even the mention of the task sends us running in the other direction.

That’s where I’ve been, running.

When I finished my first draft, I wanted to just get the editing out of the way and get closer to finishing my book. Yet, so much as opening the document was a chore, and I kept putting it off and off and off..

There came a point where I no longer opened it, nor checked my emails, nor checked this blog. I just wanted nothing to do with my book. And to be honest, it terrified me. The thought of putting all this work into a book and then just giving up on it. It’s not me, I’m too stubborn to give up. This all felt far too familiar, taking me back to my highschool days where I would stare at my math homework for hours and not take a single number in. That’s when I realised I had burnt out.

And so, I decided to just go with the flow and leave my work alone, hoping my love for writing would rekindle. Sure enough, here I am! Ready to send my characters on more ridiculous adventures as my writing journey continues.

Now comes the time for reflection, and I have to ask: Why did I burn out?

It hit me in that place where many realisations come: the shower. What did I do the moment I started writing? I researched how professional authors write, and started doing what they did.

“But Ari,” you might say, “isn’t that a good idea?”

It’s a brilliant idea, as long as you take others methods as advice and not law as I did. Silly me assumed that because it worked for others, it would work for me too.

I know I hate deadlines, it’s why I hate setting goals, or dreams with a time limit as I like to call them. So why on Earth did I think giving myself a year to write my first draft would be a good idea? And then I forced myself to write everyday, regulary update my blog and Instagram, keep my book on my mind 24/7.

In my mind, writing changed from a hobby to a job. I forgot why I was writing a book in the first place, because I want to tell a story, because it’s fun.

This time around, no more daily word limits, no more set times to finish certain tasks, and no more forcing myself to write. From now on, I write when I feel like it.

Only took me far too long to figure this all out. I blame the caffine and lack of sleep, it messes with my mind 😛

 

~~ Ari

🙂

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Finishing a book is hard!

I know exactly what I need to write, I know how the final scene has to play out and what each character will do and say. Yet, I’m writing at a snails pace.

Had a bit of a setback last week where I realised what I had written didn’t quite work. There was a scene involving a building being blown up, which wasn’t an issue until I was informed that the explosives weren’t positioned in such a way that the building would come down.

One tiny mistake ended up forcing me to cut and rewrite a large chunk of that chapter because now it didn’t make sense for the characters to end up where they did. Although I’m still not happy with what I wrote, it’ll do for now. I’ll attack it again in draft 2.

I’m so close to finishing, if I could get out more than a couple hundred words a day, I’d easily finish by the end of the week.

Ugh.

~~ Ari

 

A Little Idea I Had

Today, while going through some old documents, I came across an old story I wrote. It was one I was intending to turn into a book, and got around 10000 words into before I realised it was terribly cliche and I just wasn’t invested. The previous draft was just 25000 words long, and quite rushed. I had intended to rewrite it, but well, never happened.

The interesting thing is, I tend to reuse characters I like. And this book had several that reappear in my current writing. For the most part, it’s just names, but a few have similar descriptions and personalities. And as I’m currently pushing through writers block, I had a brilliant idea.

Less than an hour later, my random idea ended up being over 1000 words long. And for someone who struggles to get 500 down within a few hours, it’s surprising.

Basically, I thought: what if my current book characters read this old story and saw what they used to be?

So I wrote a little scene of them attending a book club and reading it. They were all very offended. It didn’t go anywhere, and I’m not going to use the scene. But hey, I wrote something, and that’s good.

One day I will post my random writings, but I want to get my first book written first to see where my characters end up.

~~ Ari

🙂

When books inspire me

This seems to happen quite often, I read a good book, then want to write something with similar themes and ideas. Usually I write a few thousand words just to get it out of my system, then leave what I’ve done and return to my actual book.

However, I’ve been sitting on an idea for months. Which isn’t helped by the fact that many of the books I read involve it. However, if I was to pursue this idea, I would essentially need to write an entirely different book. And, considering I haven’t even got my first draft of my first book done, this really isn’t helping.

Given how much my mind wanders, I’ll be lucky to get anything published.

However, after draft 1 is finished, I’ll have to put it aside for a month or so anyway, as I’ll need a fresh perspective when returning to it. In the meantime, I’ll be starting something else, and then, well, I guess we’ll see what’s on my mind.

I have far too many book ideas written down, and neither the time nor patience to write them all. I honestly have no idea how writers can churn out a couple books per year. If you’re one of those people, I only have the greatest admiration for your ability to write so much.

Now I better stop procrastinating and get to work.

~~Ari

🙂

I almost made a terrible mistake…

I almost wrote something in just because I thought it belonged there, not because it worked in the story. What is this near mistake that would have been so utterly terrible if I stuck to my original plan and left it in? A romance.

Yep, a romance. I knew that two of my characters were to end up together, so I thought: hey, let’s make it happen in book 1. Then yesterday, while reviewing my plan, I realised that there’s no way it can work out. Hence, I pushed it back to book 2, where it actually makes sense.

Basically, I wasn’t giving my characters enough time to develop realistic chemistry. I was jumping from initial encounter straight to sexual tension. Problem. I hate reading books where a romance comes out of nowhere, and I was about to do it in my own writing!

Now that it’s been pushed back to the sequel, I can give them time to actually bond, have a friendship beforehand. It’s kind of a relief I caught myself before I started developing their relationship any further.

On a different note, I have an odd habit of getting attached to completely random side characters who only appear a couple times in the book. Which makes it problematic if anyone needs to get killed off.

~~Ari

🙂