I’ve learned in January that, despite the forward momentum I want to maintain, and despite how cool it is to get 20k written in 2-3 weeks, I cannot maintain it. At least, I cannot maintain it and still continue to love what I’m doing.
I default into wanting hard absolutes. I don’t know if that’s the Libra influence or the Virgo influence (yay cusps!). I say things like, “I’m going to do XXX words a night,” and I leave myself no leeway. I tried to battle that by instead setting monthly goals rather than weekly ones, except doing that allowed me the freedom to write a huge bulk of my work on 3-4 days out of a three week period (Yes. around 18k in 3-4 days. Are we surprised I burned out?) while also allowing me to trick myself into thinking I’d been slacking off the whole time and accomplishing nothing. When I look at the
numbers words, I’m actually on track.
I can’t work at the day job full time and then come home and write full time and not go insane. I have other interests. I want cuddle time with the critters, I want time to walk the dog. Nice long leisurely walks while the sun is shining (for that whole second) and while it’s not raining (oh, wait). I want to have the freedom to knit and to gorge on my reading stack and to work on letters (yes, I do correspond on paper. I have lots of paper) and study and meditate. I can’t do it all every day, but treating my writing as a second full time job isn’t working. It worked for a month (20k!) but now it’s a week later and I’m only starting to get excited about the project again. Three weeks on one week off is not my idea of sustainable.
The new attempt is: 300 to 1500 words a day, 4-5 days a week. Huge, huge number range there, and the cap is so that I can’t spend a few days churning out 4k plus and then render my arms and hands useless. Also, the flow depends a bit on . . . well. It’s like making sourdough. I need to leave some starter behind, for the next bit. If I write all I know about that particular bit, it can’t brew and steep and germinate. And so. Three hundred measely words means that even when I’ve got a pounding migraine I can trick my mind into accepting that I accomplished something.
Mind games. It’s all about mind games.