• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

The Pause Between

https://i1.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/uriel-sob... 300w, https://i1.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/uriel-sob... 768w, https://i1.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/uriel-sob... 2000w, https://i1.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/uriel-sob... 3000w" sizes="(max-width: 525px) 100vw, 525px" data-recalc-dims="1" />I am restless today. It’s been three weeks since I emailed a draft of my new book to my editor and agent.  I’ve been dreaming in plots for a few days now, and I have done all the things I said I would do “when I finished the book.”  Well, not all of them.  Turns out I don’t always want to be in the garden.
I want to write.  That’s pretty much what I always want to do. Write books, columns, essays, journals, ideas, plans—whatever. Writing is my natural state.
But just now, I can’t really get my mind to settle into anything. I can only write this piece because I’m observing my own process. Like Vaughn last week, I’ve started and abandoned several columns, unable to stick with any of them. One has potential and maybe I’ll get back to it, but  I just don’t have the wherewithal to do it justice right now.
This is what I’ve got today:
I’m creatively exhausted. The final push for the most recent book was brutal, mostly because the subject matter was so intense that the girls in the basement arranged for me to only know everything in the final three weeks of the book, which means I lived a bunch of revelations and reversals right along with my characters and wore myself out physically as well as emotionally.
That’s fine. It’s just that now I don’t quite know what to do with myself. I take long walks and listen to podcasts. I play with the dogs. I read. Paint. I’m taking a watercolor class online which has a fair amount of homework, and that allows me to indulge in some kind of creativity.
It’s been three weeks. That seems like a long time. In terms of the outside world, a three week vacation is a very nice break indeed.
Clearly not long enough.
Realistically, however, I’d like to get going again soon.  How can I help the girls in the basement get the renewal they need? I’ve decided to give them one more week of intensive well-filling.
I’m going to read. Non-fiction about things that have nothing to do with my work, and fiction unconnected to anything I’d write. I’ll watch another three or four movies, I suppose, even though I’ve started to feel like a sloth over all the watching I’ve been doing. It’s a fast, direct way to mainline a lot of story.
This would be a good week to browse garden shops before they close for the season, just to get an injection of color and peace. Maybe see what’s showing at the museums here and in Denver. See my friends. Take a lot of photographs of the trees changing and then paint them. Listen to music.
One big thing I’m going to do is nail down the details of the trip to India I am finally going to take after Christmas. There’s a lot to dream about, a lot to arrange, and I am both thrilled and slightly nervous. More on that later, but planning a trip is a great way to fill the well.  Even imagining other places is a healing activity (for me, anyway. Obviously if you don’t like travel, it wouldn’t work for you.).
I can also give myself the joy of moving—some extra tai chi classes, swimming, hiking. Moving the body heals the mind, after all. The puppies will be more than happy to assist me in this pursuit.
It also appears I’m going to sleep a lot. It makes me feel guilty sometimes, but this week, I’m just going with it. If my body wants chocolate, I’m going with a bit of that, too.
What I will not do is feel guilty about any of it. Producing creative work is a very intense process. It’s magical and strange and beautiful—and taxing. To respect the work, I have to respect the pauses in-between as well. If I get to the end of this week and I still need another, I’m going to brace myself–and take it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a movie to watch.
Do you feel guilty taking down time?  What do you do when you’re creatively exhausted? 

Wish you could buy this author a cup of joe?

Now, thanks to tinyCoffee and PayPal, you can!

 
Photo by Uriel Soberanes on Unsplash

About Barbara O'NealBarbara O'Neal has written a number of highly acclaimed novels, including 2012 RITA winner, How To Bake A Perfect Life, which landed her in the RWA Hall of Fame and was a Target Club Pick. She is a highly respected teacher who also publishes material for writers at Patreon.com/barbaraoneal.

She is at work on her next novel to be published by Lake Union in July.

A complete backlist is available here.Web | Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

"I am not the editor of a newspaper and shall always try to do right and be good so that God will not make me one."
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • You know that clients are missing out by not hiring you. But how do you convince them you are the writer to choose? The easiest way is to convince them before you've even met, and this article explains exactly how to do that.
  • Caleb’s Crossing is by a writer whose output to date has been small, but bears the mark of quality. Those who enjoy her work might notice a comparison between her and Marilynne Robinson, who also tends to favour ecumenical and religious themes, for example, in Home. In Caleb’s Crossing, Brooks goes back to colonial America and the 1660s. The period is not particularly familiar to many Americans and still less so to European readers, although both might be amused by the location, as much of the narrative is set on what is now Martha’s Vineyard, but was then called the Island. In the 1660s, it...
  • random blogging
  • You already must have read it in some e-books, articles etc. that amongst various sites for submission only some are good and others are not good. But there are chances that one may not actually know what does this mean and also do not understand any scientific reason behind this. It is for sure that some sites always have a greater number of visitors who read the submitted articles and have a better chance to be selected by ezine editors thus giving higher exposure. But this alone can not explain it. There are also chances for some features not being advertised and you need to know how...
  • This week's selections include poetry, Mexican fiction, and the memoir of a lost Holocaust childhood. Out of Their Minds, fiction by Luis Humberto Crosthwaite, Cinco Puntos Press "Hey, what's up, come a little closer, I have something to tell you," God said to Cornelio. The deal was simple: God would be the silent partner in the norteño band that Cornelio had started with his best friend

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

Fast fact about writing

Writers not writing for a living often find enjoyment and small payouts from Web sites seeking material to raise their sites higher in the search engine rankings. Although this is a legitimate practice, the writing being published on the Web can often be less than professional. This lack of professionalism distorts the line between qualified and amateur writers. Writing standards are often not the highest priority as Web sites seek to drive traffic to gain advertising exposure. It seems as if readers are not as concerned about the writing quality, as long as they find a relevant account on a particular topic.