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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Overload...Preventing the Blue Screen of Writer Death

My life's been crazy lately. I know, join the club, right? Still...

On top teaching 8 hours a day, planning a wedding, writing a new novel and trying to get the last novel published, my mom has been increasingly ill. She's been in and out of the hospital all year; we're not sure how much longer she has. This weekend my brother and I sat down with her to go over her will...which is as depressing as you imagine it to be.

She also happens to live 2 hours away. So, on top of the emotional issue, I've been hopping on the highway after work so I can visit her. Then after driving home for another 2 hours I finally have time to turn to my writing. Usually around 11:00 p.m. I have time to  update the blog, tweet with some followers, do some writing and, maybe, eventually, get some sleep.


Yes. I've been a little overwhelmed.

Tonight after skyping with some friends I have some "free time". Immediately I thought of all the relaxing things I could do:

  • catch up on The Walking Dead, 
  • read a book, 
  • play Assassin's Creed, 
  • watch some movies from my ever growing Netflix Queue, 
  • write the review of David James' Light of the Moon (great book by the way), 
  • work on my novel....

Brain. Short-circuits. So much to do I actually just sat staring at the wall for awhile.

Then it came to me. The only way I was going to relax was to do the bloody work I needed to do. Nothing beats the feeling of being overwhelmed quite like being able to tick things off your "to-do" list. So I'm writing a few blog posts and scheduling them to be posted over the next few days.  After that I'll catch up on Walking Dead so I can cross that off the list too.

I've seen so many things about trying to get into the mood of writing. And every serious author will tell you there is no "mood" for writing. You write no matter what your mood.

So, the lesson, when you feel the overload, tackle one problem at a time, cross it off your list and move onto the next thing. Eventually, or so I'm told, the load will be lighter. And you'll feel better because you actually accomplished something.

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