Today marks the end of the first full week I’ve been able to devote to writing this summer and I’ve realized something important: even with this self-imposed deadline of August 6, I am going to have to pace myself. Writing every day can be (for someone who is out of the habit, anyway) exhausting; writing memoir can be painful, and writing memoir every day about a fraught, sometimes painful relationship that also happens to be one of the most formative of one’s life as one approaches the 20th anniversary of that person’s death, is exhausting and really painful.
This is not news, I realize. But this week I’ve felt all of the above so acutely that it’s caused me to re-think my daily schedule. I am still going to devote three to four hours M-F to my writing, but I am going to build in breathers so the memoir material doesn’t suck me too deeply into the vortex. My mood is already fragile and labile under the best circumstances. I don’t need to give it any more help.
Thank goodness I have to sell and promote the upcoming chapbook. Thank goodness I still have poems and essays sitting around unpublished. I figure I will write toward finishing the memoir (and I really am so close!) MWF and work on promoting and publishing poems on the other days. This week I screwed that up, hence (at least in part) my lousy state of mind. Really, I am a grouch. Ask my family, those poor souls.
But today I am going to drink coffee and work on submissions and plan my garden and look forward to our trip to Florida at the start of next month.
I’ll meet my father back here on Monday.
One thought on “Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself”
Thanks for this post — I’m glad I read it today of all days. I’m struggling with balancing writing with twincare and I, too, have to pace myself. Maybe I’ll try the coffee-and-planning approach this afternoon (instead of rushing through a query letter and cramming some revisions). And since it’s Friday, perhaps a latte …