It’s been hard to write. Not because I’m not inspired or engaged by the story I’m writing, but more because I feel burned out. Imagine getting up at eight every morning so that you can do your math homework because by twelve you will have class which is nearly forty minutes away and forty minutes back. Most of the brainstorming and planning for Pray for armistice in the hour and twenty minutes I spend driving every day getting to class and going to work where I spend my time until 11pm answering questions for Verizon customers.
If you’re in college or have been to college you know the feeling I’m about to describe. You wake up, just to make it back to bed. You finish one thing to start another. You eat so that you can make it until your next meal. There is no sense of completion, just progression. Then you hit a wall, and suddenly even the feeling of progression disappears. You sit with a sour expression, wondering why you can’t change your mood the way you usually can. You splurge on a good meal to refresh your palette, you go to bed thinking rest is what you need, but you still wake up feeling sewn to your bed–puffy eyed as you stare at the ceiling. Wrapped in the warmth of a comforter that doesn’t do its name justice, you let the seconds pass. A noose briefly hangs from the ceiling and disappears.
After a few days your realize it’s not a noose but a leash. That if you get up today, you will not get a chance to stop until everything is done. Except you know there is no such thing as “everything is done”, that there is always something else. Because this has happened before. You have felt this, you will feel it again. This feeling will pass and return. Because it’s not a block and it’s not an inability, it is your life demanding something more than what you have been barreling through everyday for months. Demanding to smell the roses, drink beer with your friends, and watch a movie.
In a way, the reason I don’t feel like writing is because I feel like living. The only tip, as far as writing is concerned, that I have religiously followed is one suggested by Chuck Palahniuk the author of Fight Club.
Even if someday you sell your work, no amount of money will compensate you for your time spent alone. So, take your “paycheck” up front, make writing an excuse to be around people. When you reach the end of your life – trust me, you won’t look back and savor the moments you spent alone.
I believe in this suggestion, purely because this applies to nearly anything anyone does. It’s a reminder that book are in the end about having an impact on people, so it may not be a bad idea to spend some time with them. After all, whether your an entrepreneur or writer your early customers will likely be your friends and family. So listen to Chuck, take a break and go hang out with other writers or just friends (or your first readers) that re-energize your. Live so you may breathe life into your stories. Also, read 13 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk it has twelve other pearls of wisdom from Chucky.
Calvin and Hobbes Comic by: Bill Watterson
Curious about my book “Pray for Armistice”? Here’s what to expect in the first chapter: “Ozymandias and the Colossus”