Category Archives: Facts of Life

Writer Burnout & Pandas

Happy New Year!! 😀

Ohmigosh, you guys! This time last year feels like it was so long ago. A lot of things changed last year, most of them internal, but when I think about it all, it really reminds me of how long a year is and how much time we truly have to make changes and reach goals. This time last year, my hair was straight, I had two books out in the world, and I still ate dairy once in a while – something I’m quite allergic to so I suffered on the regular. Now I’m curly haired for the first time since I was like ten or something, I have four books out, I’m dairy-free, and I have a beautiful new bookshelf in my living room that’s encouraging me to collect more books! ^_^

Speaking of books – I have lots of reading on the agenda this year, especially this month. Reading seems to be the cure for being burnt out with writing. I didn’t think I was burnt out last fall when my fourth book was published. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the burn out I experienced the year before. But as the months dragged on, and I continued to feel like I never wanted to write again, I finally accepted that I had worn myself out. It wasn’t the writing itself, per se, that wore me out. It was that in combination with being horribly tired and a general basket case.

I spent most of 2017 and 2018 quite sleep-deprived. I couldn’t fall asleep mostly, for hours, but when I did, I woke up feeling wrecked. Luckily, I discovered that I write more subconsciously than consciously, but there were quite a bit of tiny and medium-sized things that were falling apart as a result of going that long without good sleep. And this was on top of the several years of on and off again insomnia that came before it. Sure, I had a few nights here and there, but for over a year, I couldn’t sleep well for more than a couple of days at a time to save my actual life.

It might go without saying, but it’s extremely hard to think when you’re sleep-deprived. Like, I thought I was sleep-deprived before, and I was, but this was like uncharted territory kind of sleep-deprivation. My siblings both had kids for the first time last year – and new parents are often really tired for a while – and I was like, Yeah, that’s what I feel like every day. Honestly, it’s been mildly funny watching them struggle through this, because for years no one understood why it was so hard for me to function. I’m not gonna lie – didn’t have as much pity as you’d think. Welcome to Sleep Hell. 🙂

The good news is, I’m sleeping much better now! Thanks in part to kicking dairy completely in the ditch. I did try before, I really did, but I swear there are drugs in that stuff, and it’s hidden in so many places! Yeah, I’d read ingredient labels, but I found out one of my ex-favorite restaurants cooks half of everything in butter, so that explained a lot.

In any case, I did set a deadline of March 31st for the work-in-progress. I’m not really confident it’s going to happen, because I still don’t feel very up to writing. But reading gave me fuel last year, so maybe with some tiny attempts from me to write a paragraph or two every couple of days, and a lot of reading, maybe I’ll get some of my creative energy back? There’s no pressure, so if I don’t meet my deadline, I’m not going to pitch a fit. But as I like to say, there’s a fine line between needing a break and being lazy. 😉

Anyway, Happy 2019! Happy Writing! Happy Reading! Happy Life. 😀

Here are some happy pandas because I love pandas! ^_^

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Late Autumn Rambling

A few weeks ago, I woke up to an email from a non-fiction author about how he gets lazy this year (#same), and that to counteract this, he was going to add a long list of things to accomplish by the end of the year, in addition to whatever else he has to do. At… Continue Reading