It sneaks up on you at the least expected times. You're working on revisions, or maybe writing something fresh, and then all of a sudden you get this crushing feeling. In other words, you get overwhelmed by the thought of all you have yet to do. As I revise, every little choice I make — whether to cut a scene or add a scene — has a ripple effect down the line. And that ripple effect is starting to scare me. 🙁
At moments like this, I take a step back and try to think my way through the problem. I also make sure I have a separate copy of the document as it is now before I start making those changes. What if I decide the changes aren't working and I want the original back? I never do, but at least I'm comforted by the thought I can go back.
I was searching for images that suggested overwhelm when I came across an article that, while not about writing, is absolutely spot on if you think of it in terms of your writing business. Go read The Five Things in Your Home That Can Kill Your Home Business and see what you think.
The guy talks about Time Termites, which I love. There are Busy Bugs, Doubt Daubers, and Clutter Leeches, among others. Awesome terms and really puts into perspective what happens as you try to run a business from your home (which is pretty much where we all write).
I know these things all get me at one time or another. Time Termites are the worst, though the others have been known to rear their ugly heads as well. Like Busy Bugs: it's much easier to pretend to be busy, than to really be busy doing the hard work the business requires.
Knowing is the first step in conquering, so I'm being honest with myself and trying to shove overwhelm (and all that comes with it) back into the closet where it belongs.
Are you being invaded by the Time Termites or Doubt Daubers? Are the Busy Bugs misdirecting you? Did Clutter Leeches attack your desk? Is overwhelm perching on your shoulder?
I have been hit by the Doubt Dauber and the clutter leech. Because of the weather, I have not been able to wash the clothing for a long time. I spent last week cutting down on the mountain …
I also need to get back into trusting my story. I quit writing on one of my books… I went into research mode for awhile. I need to stop research and go back into writing. LOL
I know you can relate.
Honey, that’s what I went through on Friday. It was crushing. I had to close the file and walk away. The words haven’t been coming lately because I’ve been plagued with brain fog so this was the last nail in the coffin. I’m hoping things will get better, but looking at the crap I wrote doesn’t help.
Cyn, remember what Stephen King says. Keep writing forward. Note where you need to research and keep going. Easier said than done, I know, and this is definitely a pot-kettle thing. 🙂
Doubt Daubers are never a good thing. 🙁 I was feeling the sting of one this weekend, but I’m over it now. I think. 🙂
Aw, hugs, Tanya! Sometimes, when the words aren’t coming, you have to walk away. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a break, so long as it doesn’t stretch out too long (and that’s the difficulty). 🙁
Maybe you need to work on something else for a little while. I’ve been so bogged down in revision, and second guessing myself right and left, that I finally opened a new file and began the story I want to do for the HP contest.
Suddenly, writing is fun again. I know I have to finish tackling those revisions, but I needed the perspective a fresh start can give me. 🙂
See, that’s the thing. I can’t walk away. I’ve done that too many times, so I just have to tough it out … somehow. I go through this every time.