The past couple of Decembers have been the same for me in that I usually take them to do less writing than I did in November. After writing 50k+ words in a single month, even if I’m in love with the piece, I need a break.
Whether it’s hours on a game or watching movies, shows, and doing something mindless, or maybe reading, I indulge all sorts of different stimuli. Though I still manage to write– trying to keep up daily– it dwindles in quantity by a bit to accommodate my tiredness. Whatever it takes to recoup.
Which, after looking at it that way, sounds a lot like burnout. And that is a dangerous, awful little devil thing, but it happens, and sometimes it’s hard to avoid.
Setting my hands down is a hard thing to do. Keeping myself from running because I’ve pushed too hard a few days in a row is also very difficult, but they are the same in essence: recovery. You need to pause and rebuild to be able to go again.
Another thing is being able to write other stuff, which, NaNoWriMo, unless you decide to do more than one 50k novel a piece, then you’re stuck for 30 days with an idea, no matter how much you like it. That on its own can be a huge drain. Not having the pure freedom to move around and do something else feels like a lock, even if, like I said, you really enjoy the topic: sometimes you just have to let your mind wander elsewhere.
Days of frustration and restlessness and calamity and loud and blocked off can also be lumped in the category of things to recover from, though, from my experience, those take much less time. Bad days can still have an effect, and sometimes you just need to keep from pushing.
If you ask me, however, getting over writer’s block can be as simple as filling your head with new stimuli or as difficult as trying to figure out how to keep from feeling like writing is a huge chore. I have absolutely had friends who spent months not writing because they couldn’t get over their block, and part of me still wonders if they were even trying.
Some of these options require work, and some don’t. It depends on what ails you, really. It also depends on what you want to do.
I know I will never be part of the group that simply waits out the block instead of doing something about it, though, and I am very okay with that. As long as I get time to kick back when I don’t have to be in a frenzy.
-The Novice Wordsmith