Tag Archives: struggle

Camp in July: Motivation Stops Here

Camp Nanowrimo has famously been difficult for me, except for a couple of times. I do this to myself, of course, over and over, because I must be a masochist. Really, I’m just ambitious. After finding my groove with an older story again, wanting to finish and spurred on by my great energy with the revision of my erotica in April, I picked up where I left off.

And got firmly stuck in the mud, days later.

This has had to be my worst month. I didn’t really keep track of wordcount. I could barely get myself to write every day. I was avoiding the camp website. It was sticky and awful and kind of depressing, to be honest.

I was also having the hardest time trying to figure out why it was so hard for me. When I know there’s a goal in sight, I’m usually steadfast toward it, and make great strides and bounds. This time it was like my neck was craned back, staring up at a billboard that I thought was too high to climb, with a ladder right in front of me.

I refused to think it was motivation. I’ve wanted to write and finish this novel so badly. Inspiration was all there, I knew how to tap into more, how to get my mind going.

But there it was, at the eye of the storm. I wanted to write but I didn’t want to. Were my ideas good enough, was I making enough sense? Had I really read through the more crucial chapters again and actually gotten a feel for what was going on, so I knew the tone to start off with? How was my pacing?

Every question just came at me. I didn’t want to accept it, but I couldn’t deny it, either.

More commonly known as Writer’s Block, it sucks. And sometimes there’s really nothing you can do about it but let it pass and relax and not worry until it leaves you the hell alone. Trying to force it away may or may not do something for you.

Even now, I’m having a hard time getting through this. I question my credibility and my ability and whether or not I’m getting off topic or staying on track. Everything is questioned, because I don’t know if I should trust myself or not just by plowing through something. Quieting those questions can be harder because there’s always a nag at the back of your head wondering if you’re doing it right, and that you don’t want to have to overhaul it completely…

It’s the Hot Mess Express, and I’m the conductor, apparently.

But it makes sense, when I think about it boiling down to trust. Trusting myself and what I do and how I do it makes me less likely to move forward. Friend has been having a particularly nasty case of writer’s block as well, where he’s very uncertain of himself. Along the same lines, where he wants it to look good and be a long, great read, but it’s a lot of pressure. It’s a lot for him to live up to with every piece and he’s not trusting himself to simply write and come up with something, at all, that’s readable.

The big hurdle here is to let go of all of those insecurities and just do it. Forget everything holding you down and just go. But that is much easier said than done.

Hopefully my NaNoWriMo experience won’t be this terrible. I’m looking to do just as well as last year, if not better. I just have to find a story I want to write…

-The Novice Wordsmith

 

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Push and Shove

Reminder to self and followers: There is such a thing as pushing too hard. Stop doing it. You’re going to effing hurt yourself.

Sometimes, all it really takes is time off. Though you may not want to let your fingers rest on the keys or put the pen or pencil away, or even tuck the sneakers and exercise bag away, it is, at some point, going to be best that you do.

Relax.

As my own experience has taught me, shaped by perfectionism, completionism, and competitive spirits, as well as a fresh and lively fear of failure, you can go too far. You get sick or your head doesn’t work as well, creativity is down, but when you have a streak staring you down that you haven’t broken, and a chance to keep it going, you can become a slave to regulation and forget that you’re human. That you need time off sometimes to recoup and get better.

The story can wait. The words will come. Do not force it. The road is always going to be there, the gym, the laptop, the journal. The only person you are disappointing by not doing it that day because you know you can’t, is yourself.

When I was younger, on a swim team and at conferences, a popular phrase I’d hear is, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” I used to be kind of gray on how I felt about it, but recently, a friend has shown me that it’s the devil. It’s a clever way to force you past your limits and get you injured. The same can hold true for your writing, absolutely, but in different ways.

Stick with me…

On paper somewhere, post it notes or a notepad on your computer, an idea is sitting there waiting to be had, and you love it, you fell in love, which is why you had to write it down. Except, right now, you can’t get motivated, but you told yourself you’d do it, so you start…

Stop. It’s going to feel strained, your writing, your language is going to look like it’s not all there, like your heart isn’t totally in it, and it’s not, is it? When you throw yourself into a pit that you don’t have the strength to climb out of, you trap yourself.

And the hardest thing I’ve had to teach myself is that it’s okay to fail. That it’s okay to stop for the day and let it slide. Don’t let it become habit, but let yourself move on to something else, and come back when your heart reaches for it. Like I’ve said in The Fires of Passion Part 1, and Part 2, if your heart is in it, it’ll be easier, you’ll know what turns and hooks you want to put in, you’ll dig in deeper and put your all in it.

I had a huge lesson smack me in the face about the time that I started this blog. That failure is a part of life and I need to stop running myself through when something doesn’t live up to my expectations. Or it doesn’t exceed expectations, or something disappoints me, or I don’t do well at all. To step back and say, okay, I’m okay with this.

I have gotten better, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and I have a long way to go. When you can see what you have or haven’t done in hard numbers, it becomes more difficult to give yourself a pass. You hold yourself accountable, you hold more against yourself, and you simply don’t let yourself off easy. It’s harder to relax.

Completion is most difficult because you see that you haven’t done something and you force yourself to do it all. I once did exercise on a day I knew was not good for it because I had taken rest days through the week already, and made myself sick for the majority of the day. April Camp Nano was struggled through and I forced myself to finish a chapter and put it in the book when I absolutely hated what I came up with.

Then you have the inspirational crap you see all day, on Facebook, on Tumblr. I personally see a lot of, “Suck it up and keep going,” not verbatim, but to that effect, and I’ve gotten to a point where it pushes me to get off my ass.

It is okay to stop. It is okay, natural, human nature, to feel frustrated and stuck, because it happens, but you know, at least you should, that it will not always be like that. Sometimes, you’re just not going to be able to write every single day, your head won’t be in it, you’ll have decreased motivation. It will happen, and it is okay.

I guess in a lot of ways this is a reminder to myself. Another step forward in seeing what I’ve been doing to myself and forcing myself, in better ways, to relax. To breathe, and to see that I’m human and sometimes, I can’t always do everything.

Progress is gradual, and slow. If running and writing have taught me anything, that would be it. You’re going to hate some things you put out, but someone else might love it. So write on, or feel free to stop. Pause. Recuperate. Breathe. Pushing yourself isn’t always going to be best or wisest. You know yourself and your body and your limits and your brain best, you make the rules, but don’t cut yourself short when you know you can do more, when you’re capable.

My favorite piece of advice I’ve had to myself is that, hard work looks ugly. It’s not all smiling models, it’s gritted teeth and tongues sticking out in thought, it’s hunched over the keyboard and hair a mess. It’s natural and normal and life. Don’t let the pictures fool you. Sweat. Pour your soul in. Let it out, unleash, and without hesitation.

Just be careful of overdoing it. It’s possible.

The Novice Wordsmith

Guest Post: Getting By With a Little Help from My Friends

Writing a blog is a daunting task. Everyone and anyone can have a good idea, but past the initial ‘hey this is cool’ aura, a public blog lives and dies by its readership and authorship. But not in the way you might think.
Authors are driven by two opposing forces; writing and being read.

Some of us are heavily on the ‘writing’ side, where we can churn out mountains of text, some of it looking like snowy peaks, and others like coal mines with smoke pouring out of them, or the occasional volcano of a novel that blows up in the middle and spews ashen destruction everywhere.

Others are deeply moved to write by a need to  share writing with other people. To teach, to entertain, to be loved for your art of the amazing prose.

Writers block hits both types just as hard.

For a writer-side person, all it takes is a good kick of inspiration.

For a read-me type person, a little outside help is what’s helpful.

So here ya are, Novice Wordsmith.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to read your work, and to inspire you to write things. No matter what you do with this blog, you will always be a writer, and you will always have a fan in me, as long as I can see, and tell you just how far you’ve come along from where you were writing story fragments and leaning on cliches to where you are now, spinning worlds and universes and coming up with ideas and plot twists on the spur of a moment. I love the fact that you’ve chosen to share your love of writing with the rest of the universe of the ‘net, whether they care or not; you want to show others that writing is for everyone, writing is a passion, and with passion comes power.

Everyone has a novel inside of them. Whether finished or not, the more important part is the Idea, the Character, the constant Struggle to Succeed that they go through, and life — yours in particular — is a novel that is unfinished. You’re writing the hard chapter now, where the heroine is at loose ends and looking at a seemingly insurmountable obstacle in front of her.

In the novel, the hero or heroine can’t always solve things on their own. You learned as a writer to develop good supporting characters, whether foils, confidantes, staunch allies, comic relief, or constant reminders of why they do what they do.

You learned that obstacles make you stronger when you defeat them – and the hero or heroine (almost) always succeeds in the end by …what?

NEVER GIVING UP.

I’ve written blogs before. Advice blogs. Writing blogs. Ways to help me connect with friends and strangers, and strangers who became friends. Eventually I left those blogs behind, but they’re still there, as a reminder of who I was then, who I met at that time, and a smile or twenty of good memories because I lived through that part of the story, and though the folks I crossed paths with there have moved on, and so have I, sometimes I peek back at what I’ve done and remember. And say…

“…I wrote THAT?”

Exercise of whether it was good or bad is up to the reader. Hindsight is everything, concentration is often what’s lacking, and inspiration comes of being able to accept that not all ideas look good on the surface, but sometimes start as obnoxiously ugly first drafts.

And sometimes, as you’ve found, it takes a little help from a friend to get things going again. Of being able to fall back to where you were before you were this awesome, giving yourself permission to be bad for a little while so you can find the good parts in the brain-muck that is writer’s block.

Some of the best novels have come out of horrible ideas.

Some of the worst novels started out amazing but ran out of steam or premise.

Some of them have even been published.

Quit worrying about being perfect today. That’s what editing is for.

Give yourself permission to write badly. But write something. Nobody judges painters when they create misshapen faces, bleeding clocks, or crayon drawings — some of them even get paid for it, too. Perhaps you’re trying to beat out the writing of some literary idol you aspire to be like, and you shouldn’t — because they have editors too.

Wordsmith, you have people who like your stuff here. And others will find it in time. For being someone who doesn’t market herself much at all, you have a following — and even if they aren’t a legion, it only takes one fan to make you realize that someone likes your stuff.

Hi. Can I be your number one fan?

Whether you accept it or not, I’m here to help you out (for her amazing fans, I’m giving her a break so she can get her writing chops back under her — don’t worry, she’ll be back, but you could speed up the process by leaving her a note or giving her a like or something….).

Beware! I am invading your blog with bizarre ideas that are not your own!

…um… prompt, please?

Recovery

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

Updates!

It’s been a more sparse week than usual, so I wanted to apologize for that, but I have news and some upcoming things happening!

In an attempt for variety and exposure, a couple new items will be added to the posts. I’ve been wondering how to do this for a little while and I think I know what I want to do now. One of the regular posts will be a follower/followed spotlight, for those blogs that are writing based, and some that aren’t. Which, another reason for this, is to vary up what I put on this blog, and to give more than just advice and prompts.

I want to be a font of knowledge, but I got worried that I was being too narrow and limiting myself by only writing posts of what I encounter and not taking from the already wide world of information that’s before me. That comes in the form of other, more successful bloggers (in many senses), and their own experiences, so I would start doing some reblogging as well, which I have always been very apprehensive about. It feels sort of like a cop out, but it is genuinely about expanding the blog.

So, actually reblogging things, and giving a showcase of blogs that I follow or of those that follow me! Also likely that I’ll start posting on Fridays again. Pending how busy the week is for me.

I am enjoying not having to write 1700+ words every day, though, and being able to take a short break from heavy duty writing feels good. I did manage to hit 50k on the 26th, but kept writing, albeit slowly and not as much, until the 30th. Like I said in an earlier post, I rewarded my struggle and efforts on the last day with a massive chocolate cupcake that was way too decadent and rich but so delicious.

I will probably never have one of those again because holy crap that’s unhealthy, but I was glad to indulge. Pictures were taken to document its enormity, even! I’ll put those up soon because cupcake. As soon as I learn how to resize them…

As always, if you have questions, comments or suggestions, they’re all welcome! Thank you for your patience with me this week!

-The Novice Wordsmith

Reward Yourself

When you work anywhere that gets you exposure to a lot of people every day you’re there, you’re bound to run in to some interesting people. Last year, among all of the others that I encountered, I got the chance to meet and be on a first name basis with one of my city’s top weight loss gurus.

The most memorable thing about talking to him wasn’t anything he said to me, it was something I saw on his Facebook page.

“Eating is emotional. When you reward yourself for certain accomplishments with food, you’re perpetuating a problem in your eating habits that is to eat your feelings and then you end up with extra weight.”

Okay, pause.

One of the most common things I see as motivation for people to achieve something is the incentive of a new dress to wear at a goal weight, or a beer at the end of a marathon, or a hot, delicious meal after a long day. Giving yourself a pat on the back somehow, something positive to look forward to, has been with us for probably about as long as we’ve had brain function (No, don’t worry, there’s no evolution and progression speech waiting here in this post). When you take that away, what happens?

The idea, I think, is that once you start rewarding yourself for something, anything, it’ll devolve into smaller things and you won’t be able to stop. It will create a problem for you, because you’re not putting in enough effort to be able to earn that reward.

But by god, if you want to reward yourself with a huge ass cupcake for getting through the month of November, writing 50,000 words and struggling through most of it, you should not feel bad for doing so! (I have pictures, too!)

Don’t get caught up in the rewards. Get caught up in what you’re doing, and when you accomplish something especially difficult, then feel free. Play a game, get lost in a book, head out and see a movie.

That’s something different too, small rewards compared to big rewards. Finishing a deadline and getting something done that you wanted, you can relax, and do it how you want. When you overdo it, you’re going into excess without really accomplishing much, rewarding yourself big for little things and throwing off the balance.

Obviously, there’s a difference between off time spending and rewarding yourself, but the point I’m trying to make is not to lose sight of what you really want versus the other exciting things. Don’t let something else cloud your vision. With a lot of work comes the ability to play, but you need to put the work in first to earn it, otherwise you may be at a risk of falling off track.

Typically, the only rewards I give myself are to play a game for a while, totally veg out, but sometimes, like last night, I wanted something to make the last day of a hard month sweeter.

As always, use caution and moderation, but enjoy what you can, when you can.

-The Novice Wordsmith

NaNoWriMo 2014 Weeks 3 and 4 Update: Struggles and Cruises

This month has been an enormous rollercoaster for me and I don’t like really any of it.

Thursday, I soared ahead, nabbing 5.2k words and going from 39k to 44k, and I could have done more that night, but instead I calmed my frenzy down and I did some yoga. The next day was alright, but not as good. The day after I didn’t even turn in a word count, and the following day I was just 100 words shy from 2k. Yesterday was 800 words and today I barely have written 50 so far.

This is how it goes every week. I struggle, and then I somehow break through and manage to get back to my normal self of soaring through the wordcount and just plowing into the story. The other week, I was restless all day up until about 9 at night, and then I forced myself to get with it and hit 2.5k by the end of it all.

I am frustrated. I have no idea why it’s this difficult for me, and looking back at last year, it’s a little upsetting. The minute that the validation for winning came up last year I was on top of it, and I won with minutes into midnight (of the 20th). This time last year, I was hedging 84-86k, and now I’m somewhere around 48k and trying to find some way to kick my ass into gear and win it already.

I’m trying not to let it rule me, but it’s hard. Comparing my progress is a bad habit I’ve done for years now, for better or worse, and this time it’s coming out as worse. I know this month is about daily writing more than it is about winning, but I have five more days and 2k left to win.

In a way, I’m just glad it’s going to be over so I can stop struggling. So I can stop doing incredibly one day and then sink to the bottom the next. I know there are excuses, but I’m not accepting them. I should be doing better. Just because I want to play games doesn’t mean I can’t do that and write at the same time. I’ve done it before.

Bah. I will finish this month, I will get through it, however I make that possible. I hope, if you’re also having trouble, that you know you can make it through, too.

-The Novice Wordsmith

NaNoWriMo 2014 Week 2 Update: Smooth Sailing

So after struggling all of last week, and even harder toward the end of it, somehow I kicked into high gear and managed to find the motivation and drive to push forward hard. Sunday night, I think it was, I was writing like I hadn’t in a while, and it felt so good to just lose myself in the story again.

So after dropping down to about a 1700 wordcount average, after about Wednesday, I’m working my way back up to the 3-4k average that I usually tout. Hit 20k last night, might try for 25k today, but that’s a long shot, even if I can just pull myself down into the dregs of the novel and not come up for air for a while. I, unfortunately, still have stuff to do every day or I’d be glued to my desk, writing all day.

I went to a write-in on Wednesday, and one of the people there had told me that she wrote 13k in the first day and was teetering off and I was like, what!? In ONE DAY?

It’s not too hard to believe, but seeing someone pull that off is still pretty remarkable. I was able to write 10k in two days once, just committing to the project, but I’m still trying to find how you can pump out so much in just 24 hours. She did say that she was basically just sleeping and writing and taking small breaks, so I guess that would have something to do with it, just writing all day…

As much as I’d love to be one of those people to get out a premium amount of wordcount, 150-200k, it’s a very intimidating prospect. Being someone who just blows away the requirements and does their own thing, soaring above the average, that would feel great to me, but I don’t know if I’d ever really have the time to give it. Maybe it’s not the time so much as it’s the constant writing, writing, writing.

Friend, like I said back in July, managed about 15k in one day to hit 50k, though our goals were 25k. His fingers hurt like crazy at the end of it and he had managed to burn himself out, but he caught the goal he wanted.

Though on the other hand, I’ve found that there are still a lot of other people struggling to keep up as well, through engagements and work and school and whatever else they have going on, so being able to be a few thousand above the curve feels good.

You’re going to have people on all three sides of the spectrum, I realize. Those lagging behind, those who straddle the line and stay on task, and those who reach far and away what they want, early, and then keep reaching. None of them are bad for the month, because every single one of them is trying, some better than others, but I’m not going to lie: it feels great to be able to say you wrote every single day, and hit the target wordcount or went above it. In my fear-of-failure eyes, not seeing the target hit  sucks, but I’m working on accepting that the goal for the month, most basically, is to write, every day.

An undeniable part of us says that winning feels good, and it does, it’s why we strive for it so hard, in everything we do. We can pep talk ourselves to accept what we did if we didn’t win, but I think we’re still going to be even a fraction let down by ourselves if we don’t reach the goal we intended to get.

Just because I tell you how great it is that you wrote daily, doesn’t mean you’re going to feel any less bad about not getting that 50k at the end of the month.

But daily writing is crucial, which I think I’ve mentioned before in another blog post; when you get a routine down, and you write every single day, you’re creating positive habits that help you and your creativity. So really, that is the key to this month, writing every single day, and making the time for it. If you can keep it up outside of NaNoWriMo, the better. It’s a great feeling.

Even if 50k still feels good, so does being able to say that you write daily anyway.

We’ve passed week 1. We’re reaching mid November already and it’s coming up fast, but don’t let it intimidate you. Good luck, and keep going! I’m on the sidelines for you with pompoms made of old book page strips!

-The Novice Wordsmith

Putting your Hero Through Their Paces

Also known as: Deliberately Doing Mean Things to your Hero.

One thing that got me when I was reading one of Friend’s stories, about one of his characters meeting him, was that the character asked, “Why are you doing this?”

His response was, “It makes a good story.”

Which, if I were that character, would make me feel very forlorn. Why is my creator putting me through all of these rigors if they know what it will do to me? Don’t they love me? What the hell did I do to deserve this?

Thinking about it, probably all of my characters would ask me that.

The reason is the story. It is the rigors and the hardships and the tough, stress, anger, sorrow that makes everything so real and so tangible, it puts more life into the character, it is another way to relate and fall in love with them. If they experienced nothing traumatic or alarming, nothing heartfelt or upsetting, wouldn’t you feel even more distanced from them?

I still remember another friend giggling madly as he thought up embarrassing situations to put his character in. It amuses us, and there’s a point to it. It helps development, it helps move plot, it helps us see the dimensions of not only the story but the character themselves.

Tossing a villain at them that they can’t kill right away, shoving them into a situation where they struggle, forcing them to find a way out, putting them in the face of adversity, it is all for the sake of the story. It is what we do as story-tellers. We love our characters, we want to see them flourish, we want them to go above and beyond, and we put them in these situations because we know they can find a way out, and because it will help them in the long run, to get to the point we want them to be at.

One thing I will say is that you shouldn’t just throw something at them just to do it, and if you end up not liking what you did, you CAN go back and change it. Do not put them in something that you don’t like, and unless it’s your intention, that you want, that will aid the story, don’t put them in something without a way out in mind.

It is probably one of my favorite things, to find new things to put them up against, because of how dynamic it makes the story. Action, suspense, thrill. It keeps the reader on the edge (and sometimes the writer), hooks them in and shows them something unexpected.

Your character might think you’re a sadist, but– actually, I’m not gonna finish that statement, that sounds really awful.

Don’t be afraid to do mean things, if you like where it takes your hero. Remember, they’re on a journey, and you decide where it goes, but it should always contribute to the story in some way. You can apologize later with some good karma, if it works out.

-The Novice Wordsmith

Pushing It

Something that gets faced a lot in physical sports and activities is that line of “can I keep going on this pain/annoyance, or should I slow down to recover?” It is something I’ve struggled with in running when I up the ante, and it seems to translate to writing in different ways.

You know the days, slow, sluggish, your head is cloudy and you can’t get the picture right. There’s too much fuzz on your mental television and you can’t tune it in just right to see correctly. Maybe it’s just a bad day, or you’re out of sorts, but you still need to get your writing done for the day, and you do still want to make progress on something.

Except, you can’t. You’re stalled out mentally. So when do you keep pushing, to try and make something happen, and when do you call it a mental health day and walk away from it until you can see better?

When it becomes an all-out struggle, I stop, to breathe and try to calm down. It’s easy to get frustrated when you feel like you can’t get any details right. Likewise, it’s hard to get anything right when you’re flustered. I’ve had a BIG problem with this recently, and it’s the cause of a few month-long pause on a project I’ve been wanting to work on very badly.

Funks and grooves are easy to get into sometimes, when things have been thrown off, but the best thing to do sometimes is to wait until it feels okay. Do what you can to alleviate some frustration, whether it be outlining or getting fresh ideas for the scene, or rethinking what you’ve done so far. Don’t count yourself out completely.

Then there are times where you force yourself to finish it, no matter what, you have to get to the finish line. The point here is that you can go back and revise what you did. You can even re-write it, if you really feel like you have to, but if there’s a need for you to finish now, don’t worry about revision. Write. Come back to it later, look it over, you may yet like what you wrote when your head’s a bit more clear.

In some situations, forcing it to happen may make it worse. It can get you to put characters in situations you don’t like, or say things that aren’t true to their personalities, and the list goes on. Complications feed complications, and sometimes it’s easier to see what’s going wrong, and others can be harder to tell.

If it’s mild, try to do what you can, but you know your limits best. Don’t make something happen if it doesn’t feel right. It’s okay to take breaks. Up against a deadline? Pause, breathe, and go forward as you can.

If it’s severe, it’s better to reset your head. Wait for it. Take it slow.

What I hear a lot of is that taking rest days from an injury often deters training for a race. It’s the same in that, if you have a deadline with your publisher or a personal deadline to reach, having to stop creates a lot of stale chaos for you. Bury yourself in “homework:” if you can’t write, read, or watch a movie related to what you’re writing, or a television show. Something will come up. Something will spark.

Everything takes time, though. Pace yourself. Relax. Look at what’s going on and see what the best course of action is. Don’t panic, there’s a way. There always is.

-The Novice Wordsmith