Friday, August 11, 2006


Yesterday we generated quite a bit of excellent discussion about what fiction should be: deep or entertainment? Fortunately the consensus seems to be that we need both around, AND that everyone takes something different from a story. What's deep and meaningful for one person is fluff for another, and vice versa.

Thank goodness for diversity.

I feel like ranting about something, but since the true target of my dissatisfaction is work politics (*&$%#), it wouldn't really be fair to just pick a random subject merely to vent. So instead I'll go for honesty today.

I seem to have temporarily fallen off the work bandwagon. For a couple years there I was doing really well with persistence, and schedule; I worked every lunch-but-one during the week no matter what, and crammed it in elsewhere when I could. But for the past couple of weeks I've been guilty of doing exactly what I often rant about: talking about writing, even thinking about it, but not actually doing it.

I'm not sure what my problem is. Well, if I analyze I think there are several: I am struggling to get into writing an all-new book for the first time in oh, about 6 years; the submission process is not going as well as I'd hoped, so I'm feeling a little down about writing; and it's beautiful weather outside (our 4 weeks or so of beautiful weather), and my husband seems perfectly willing to indulge me in meeting up and going out to nice lunches several times a week. So I have written maybe 500 words this week, which is AWFUL. {groan}

I know, I know. I am the queen of getting on other people who slack, and here I am. "My name is Susan, and I am a slacker..."

But. At least I'm finally aware of what I'm doing, which is Step 1. Yes, I am going out to a nice lunch in the sun again today. But next week I am dragging out the chains, and chaining myself to my desk every day-but-one. I will re-gain my work ethic!

Medieval Word of the Day: hell-hound: A fiend; a fiendish person: as a term of execration.


Lorraine said...

Susan, darling, have you considered that perhaps your poor muse simply needs a break from the culmination of six years work finally being finished? That in of itself is a huge accomplishment, let alone submitting that puppy and getting it out. Our creative sides needs breaks, too, often called filling the well.

If it were me, I would tell myself I couldn't write for two weeks. Make it a forced vacation, if necessary, and just do other enrichhing things; play with the husband and child, let myself experience the gorgeous weather (after all, the memory has to last for eleven more months, right?) It sounds like you're always pretty busy, and with the juggling you've been doing because of childcare issues, not to mention the loss you just experience, well, my heartfelt advice would be to cut yourself a slack and just take a well deserved break.

Oh, and I'd bet dollars for donuts that if you TOLD yourself you couldn't write for two weeks, the urge to write would be burbling up inside you within a week and a half. Muses are contrary things!

Susan Adrian said...


Hum. A break? {tilting head sideways}

No, I hadn't really considered giving myself that. {g} Well, I DID have a 1 or 2-week break after finishing TMT, then I did some researching/not writing (which did make me desperately want to write!). It's only recently I've tried to jump back in the saddle. I guess I'm finding it harder than I thought.

But, see, I don't want to be one of those people who gives up when it's hard...

Hum. A break. I shall think about that.



Lorraine said...

Well, first of all, taking a break isn't even remotely the same as giving up when things get hard. Not even close. But I'm guessing you know that. (g)

However, oddly enough my post on my blog this morning (before I'd read yours) dealt with how I trick myself into going forward when I can't actually get the voices to come. You might see if there's anything there you can use.

But mostly here's hoping the Motivation Fairy sprinkles some dust in your direction soon!

Cindy said...

Dear Suze:
What Lorraine said. How about a spa day for your muse?

It can't hurt to recharge those batteries, or cleanse your writing palate, if you prefer! Either way, I recommend chocolate ice cream...(g)

And dinna fash, if your support system detects any slacking on your corner, you will get a subtle hint!! (I'm non-confrontational, it's where I have to start...)

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone. Take the four weeks of nice weather and endulge yourself. Enjoy your family and spoil your husband. Then get a fresh start when the weather is not as inviting. You're taking a rest, not slacking. You have too many in your corner to allow that. Go, enjoy, and don't feel guilty. :)

Mrs. Mitty said...

Oh, silly you! You are way too hard on yourself. I'll second (or sixth or whatever we're up to...) what the others have said! Take a breather. Get out in the world and play a little. Try something you've never done before. You know, have some fun. *Then* get back at it. :)

Beth said...


You are _not_ a slacker.

Sometimes we need is a break. Sometimes we get stale. Our brains gets tired. The tank needs refilling.

So--take a vacation from writing. Entirely. Read good books. Read any books. Watch movies. Allow yourself to _not_ write. Forbid yourself to write. Forbid yourself to feel guilty about not writing. _Enjoy_ not writing.

Come back to your writing in two weeks, refreshed and ready to go again.

This can work. Honest. But only if you give yourself permission to do it.

~Beth (been there, done that)

Susan Adrian said...

Thanks, everybody!! I listened. {s}