Not a Chapter

I took a couple days off writing to de-stress, then returned and even though distressing was successful, and the writing I did immediately afterwards was fun in a way, I re-stressed immediately with a single day writing three chapters when I returned.

I work a full time job as well as writing Symbiote.  Even though I am blessed by a need for little sleep, needing less than 4 hours per night to be fully functional, for weeks at a time if need be, writing 20-30 hours per week on top of my 40hour job with 45 minute one way commute and an extra hour or so per day on average in the office was making it a bit harder for me to actually deal with stress at work.

So I had to stay away for a while.  Even so, the problem is not gone.  Now that I recognize it, I have to respect it.

The problem I had was… How do I say I need to stay away again, after I said I had de-stressed and was coming back to write again?  I struggled with that a bit, and procrastinated.  Then I procrastinated some more, and before I knew it a week had passed. ACK!

I am not done writing.  Updates will resume.  I won’t say they will be as regular as they were before, and I may drop my lower word limit down a bit.

Sorry folks.  I’m almost afraid to read my responses for the last week, because I figure there will be some that are going to make me feel like a weasel, but I will.  If this sense of disappointing one’s readership is anything like what a successful writer feels when they can’t write for whatever reason, I now have a taste of that feeling.  Even if I am by no stretch of the imagination a successful writer in any way other than that I enjoy writing and that I am improving, I think.

The whole concept of something enjoyable contributing to stress in my life was inconceivable before now.  I apologize to anyone who was concerned or irritated while I dealt with learning this.

10 comments

  1. underwhelmingforce

    Hey, don’t sweat it. I hit that point a while back and put off writing for four months. That’s why I stick with a comfortable once-a-week schedule now. As long as I hit my minimum length during that time, I’m set. Plus, it gives me time to plan, do research, and do some editing to boot.

    If doing something fun starts to feel routine, you gotta step back and figure out what you can do differently to make it interesting again. If it’s not fun, it might be because it’s gotten stale- mix up your technique a bit, try some new tools. In your case, maybe try drafting or working with a buffer. Try doing a short plot line with a pre-planned plot. These are just examples based on what I know of how you write now, but it could be anything; try writing in Dvorak, for example.

    Dunno if it’s helpful, but it’s a place to start.

    • farmerbob1

      I have considered using different writing techniques, but I’m going to finish this book the way I started writing it, or there’s likely to be a shift in style that might drive me a bit batty.

      Dvorak? LOL. Like Bob, my right hand has seen better days. I can type at a decent pace now, after nearly twenty years with a hand injury, but put me on a Dvorak keyboard and you will see some truly spectacular spelling errors.

      This whole idea of writing in a structured format bears some looking into, though I am wary of it. I respect the possibility of structure improving my writing though, so I’ll certainly look at it 🙂

      • underwhelmingforce

        No worries. My point wasn’t so much about using a more structured format as just trying something different.

        If you haven’t seen them already, look up Brandon Sanderson’s lectures. They’re uploaded by someone called “write about dragons” who pretty much just filmed several entire years of this guy’s writing class. Has some awesome ideas and tools, and I’ve not been able to stop watching them. There’s so much stuff I want to try now.

    • farmerbob1

      I didn’t mind terribly that I took a break. It bothered me more that I kept putting off telling people that I was taking a break. Nobody is depending on me here for anything other than entertainment, but I still felt, and feel, that I let you all down in some small way.

      That doesn’t mean I’ll beat myself up over it for more than a day or two though. Learn from it. Move on.

  2. Patrick Reitz (@dreamfarer)

    Short version: What Underwhelming and Tempest said!

    I’m in a similar boat work-wise, so I went into it with the thought of limiting myself to only two 2,000 word chapters a week. Cranking them out daily like you’ve done is something I’ve only tried for NaNoWriMo and it was definitely not a sustainable sort of thing for me. My suggestion therefor (like Underwhelming’s) is to pick a schedule that should be doable even under normal “busy” workloads.

    If you’re feeling up for writing more, great, you can always build up a buffer or write side stories (or unrelated ones) as the mood strikes you.

    • farmerbob1

      The idea of a buffer does have it’s attractions, I must admit. It’s one of the things that I am strongly considering for the next book. If I can actually combine a buffer with a little more writing structure, I might be able to write smaller bits.

      However that will take away from part of what I am trying to do here. Every day’s writing has been an effort to paint a single aspect of the story, even all the way at the beginning. Almost every post is moderately self contained and ends with a hook or some sort of lead into the next part of the story.

      If I break things into smaller pieces, the story will be more fragmented? Would I be better served by writing larger pieces less frequently to maintain the style?

      That’s something I’m going to need to consider carefully. There are definitely going to be changes, but I am very cautious when dealing with changes that might have a downside.

  3. farmerbob1

    Wow. Apparently Symbiote got the eye of some folks over at the Sennadar Forums http://forums.sennadar.com/

    I stopped writing for a week, and felt like a heel for not even logging in to see what people were saying. When I finally finished checking responses, and replying where I felt it was appropriate, I looked over at my stats page, expecting readership to have tanked. Not so.

    Sure, it’s a new audience, and my pre-existing audience probably did suffer some, but it was surely a welcome surprise to see a readership spike rather than a trough.

    Thank you, Sennadar forum-goers!

  4. murphaticlaw

    Hey I’m a new reader & my attitude is to tell the hater’s to put up or shut up
    If they can write the quality that you can then let them take up the slack, but until then they should zip it.
    Take all the time you need, your story’s worth waiting for.

    • farmerbob1

      There have been no haters as far as I know. They appear to all be in my head, which is probably for the best. I appreciate the support. Provided all goes well with a couple things today, I plan on a chapter tomorrow.

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