writing rengeek magpie mind

November 2014

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a dream within a trail of sparks

It always amazes me how getting a couple of big, mentally taxing projects (like, say, a major novelette commission and the Very Important Third Book Of A Trilogy) squared away opens out the horizons. There are suddenly more hours in the day, and more energy to get stuff done in those hours.

Creative work is really emotionally taxing. The more ambitious it is, the more taxing. I've been struggling, the past couple of months, to get the basics done--dishes washed, bills paid, exercise exercised. Now that the book and one of May's two novelettes are done, suddenly my head is full of room.

Case in point: after yesterday's marathon work session, I'm achy and exhausted and this morning's run was kinda brutal (and truncated by two families of geese, who I was unwilling to disturb in order to run along the trail they were hanging out on) but I still got All The Procrastinated Errands Done this morning, and more will happen this afternoon.

And I've reread what I have on the month's other novelette, which is actually probably going to be a short novella, and I like it! It's good!

I just have to figure out the twist and the rest of the caper, and I'm good to go.
Brave companions of the road: one of two families of feathered dinosaurs encountered on this morning's jog. The other was a two-parent household with younger goslings, still in the mottled yellow and brown stage. I decided to let them have the path, preferring my arms unbroken.

Excelsior!

Comments

Do you find that you get your head room back right away after finishing projects, or do you get a little worse for a while afterward?

Signed,
Taxed to breaking
It depends. Novels, there's usually a week or two or three of feeling like my head is a big empty room with dust bunnies blowing through it.

Shorter stuff, it's just the relief of not having the deadline hanging over me any more.

However, the better I get at this writing gig, the longer it takes to think stuff up in the first place. :-P
Having seen this story http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/canada-geese-attack-university-warwick-3573521 I think you were wise to advise those geese!
When I ran at college, in Davis, CA, we had to worry about the geese on the trail. They were bad-tempered and aggressive. You had to cut a wide swath around them or risk being nipped. A hard goose nip is nothing to laugh about either.
Creative work is really emotionally taxing. The more ambitious it is, the more taxing.

Thank you, I needed that reminder today, having just recently completed a document release myself and feeling a wee bit crispy around the edges.

Your insights into the writing process are just one of the reasons I have lurked your blog as long as I have. We do different types of writing (I'm a technical writer) but there are many similarities for those of us who head off to the word mines every day. (BTW, "word mines" is one of my favorite phrases of yours. So true!) We mine different veins of words, fiction and non-fiction, but some of the skills are similar and the labor is much the same.
Excelsior.
You wouldn't think you'd get all that tired from "just sitting and typing" (or standing and typing, as the case may be). What wears you out is all the thinking. While the brain accounts for only around 2% of your total body weight, it consumes 20% of the body's energy output, 20% of the body's oxygen intake -- that's on average -- and 15% of the heart's blood output. And the brain's cut of everything comes off the top; the body gets whatever's left. When you're hard at work writing, the brain's energy and oxygen consumption go up. By the end of the day, those little grey cells are pooped. All they want to do is lie on the couch and vege, and they've hogged so much energy that by then your body agrees with them!