November is at an end…

…and we are once again at the start of a fresh new month. And hopefully the new month will also bring along some new much-needed energy as well. Not to sound too repetitive, but things at work has been absolutely crazy and I am completely exhausted. As a result , I have been neglecting my writing. Outside of a few exercises for the writing workshop, I have not done any writing at all. Even my blog has been devoid of any new content for weeks, the first time this happened since I started this blog. Obviously, NaNoWriMo has been a colossal failure, as I ended with only a couple of hundred words I wrote in the beginning, and which I will discard anyway.

I did feel guilty and slightly ashamed about it, but the truth is, as much as I love to write, writing is also very stressful for me. It’s not something I do to relax and it often keeps me awake at night while thinking about it. With the way things are going at work, I really had to temporarily step away from writing if I didn’t want to have a burn-out. Well, you can accuse me for giving more priority to work above writing, but that’s the choice I’ve made. I can live with that, as long as I remember to return to writing once things return to more normal. I’m starting to feel slightly better again since yesterday, so the tone of this post is actually somewhat positive. If I had written this post a week ago, it would have taken on a decidedly whiny tone instead, and I would have been spewing my displeasure about lots of different stuff.

So now what’s the plan for the following months? I will take it easy for work for the remainder of the week, which in my case means working 9 hours a day, and try not to think about it at all once I’m home. I actually decided that just an hour ago, as I wanted to work again tonight, but I felt that I need to start writing again, even if it is as nonsensical as writing about not writing. I hope to sustain that feeling for the next couple of days, just to get back into the habit again, especially now that the workshop has ended (I still need to post the last exercise, which is a revision). I thought about doing an individual NoWriMo this month, but I decided that’s probably not a good idea. I think I will take one some of the exercises I’ve done instead, and turn them into a short story. There are a few of them that I really do like, so it will be interesting to see where I can take them without worrying too much about what’s in the exercise.

After this week? It’s back to full steam ahead mode at work until the end of the year, and then a couple of weeks of normal mode before going on holidays. Hopefully when I’m back, I will be able to welcome some new colleagues who will replace the ones who have left recently, and obviously I will then spend a lot of time at work again. My aim is that by the end of March next year, I will have accomplished most of what I set out to do, after which things will calm down again, or as close to calming as possible, as my personal experience is that things never completely calm down within the telecoms industry.

This does not mean I plan to neglect my writing again until the end of March. Now that I’m slowly getting back on track, I have to make sure it doesn’t slip away again. It probably requires a better scheduling than what I’m used to, but then again, we’ll see how it goes. I find that things normally turn out better anyway if I don’t worry too much about it.

Oh, by the way, I want to congratulate everyone who did manage to write 50,000 or more words in November. You guys are my heroes!


Filed under Musings

5 responses to “November is at an end…

  1. Thaumaturgist

    You really shouldn’t feel “guilty” about the way NaNoWriMo went. If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t. Also it makes more sense to give priority to your work and health. I don’t know why but it just does. So does writing about not writing. And as much as it is the right thing to take writing “seriously” and stay up all night to make sure it makes sense, I find it good for the mental health to sometimes just take it easy. If writing would stress you all the time then isn’t it so much like reality? Maybe I am not making sense (last time I am using this word in this comment) but sometimes when you are all stressed out and everything, why not just write for the sake of un-stressing?
    BTW if you do decide to have your own NoWriMo, can you post about it? I am sure lots of people (or maybe just me) would love to join in.

  2. Ishana

    As Thaumaturgist said, there’s no need to feel guilty or ashamed for letting the rest of your life take priority over writing. Stress is a terrible, ugly monster that should be kept out of your life if at all possible. Though I do wonder why writing stresses you out quite so much. Regardless, if you want to schedule writing into your week, why not start with something simple, like one hour a week during the weekend?

    I have a bit of a writing exercise planned for Jan/Feb if you would like to join in with a short story. That goes for everyone, of course. How does writing a short story in two months sound? Certainly less daunting than a full novel.

  3. Hi Thaumaturgist & Ishana,

    Thanks for your comments! They really make me feel much better. I don’t know for sure why writing gives me so much stress. There’s just this underlying fear which I can’t really explain. It’s nothing like full-blown panic or anything like that, just this constant gnawing feeling of doubt. Pfff… I wonder how I managed that whole writing without fear thing when I was a child.

    Writing short stories for now would be great. I think I’m not ready yet for a full novel. I might take one of the exercises I’ve done, or I might use a writing prompt similar to what Thaumaturgist has come up with for the writing challenge, or maybe even work out what I’ve written for the challenge into a full story. And writing together would definitely be nice. I found that sharing writing interests with like-minded people like you two does give me a measure of peace and joy. I think I would have a much harder time to keep up with this blog if it weren’t for you (sorry for getting so sentimental, but that’s just how I feel…).

    • Thaumaturgist

      Awww. I think it is a universal feeling; blogging is so much more appealing when you have got like-minded people around. I think I am very lucky to have found your, Ishana’s and Shard’s (and a few more) blogs. No exaggeration.
      O and I just noticed my previous comment had awesome timing (11.11).

    • Ishana

      Everything is better with friends. Blogging is no different.

      Writing without fear is easy when you accept that you are learning and will make mistakes. You are your own worst critic. Once you give yourself permission to write imperfect prose, your fear and stress will lesson and you’ll write more freely.

      I say this when I’m utterly frustrated with writing. Have too much on my mind to worry about plots and subplots right now. In that respect, I can completely understand how writing can be stressful.

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