The Importance of Slacking Off

I worked incredibly hard on my writing last year. Novels, blog, reviews, articles, short stories, competitions, developing and producing a podcast - I did it all.

And I’m incredibly proud of what I achieved. I saw my work in print and online. I got great feedback from editors and readers. I got paid. And I got offered a contract for my first novel.

But, by the time Christmas rolled around, I was absolutely knackered.

At heart, I’m actually quite a lazy person. It takes a great deal of energy and effort for me to motivate myself to get things done. And I don’t always enjoy the process, even if I feel better afterwards than if I hadn’t bothered.

I’ve always struggled with short term temptations and had difficulty with the concept of delayed gratification. And, at the moment, my productivity engine is very low on fuel.

I have no intention of giving up on my writing. And I do still have important and exciting goals for 2020. But I’m definitely taking a step back from my usual crazy schedule. I may not make my habit pledge for Get Your Words Out this year. And that’s fine.

Top priority are the novels. I’m currently proofreading Artisan before sending it back to the publisher at the end of February, after which they will send through my contract and we’ll see what happens from there. I’m surprised and gratified that I’m really enjoying reading it again, so there will be no problem with me hitting that deadline.

I also want to get Colours to the point where I can send it to the publisher for consideration, in the hopes that they will want to publish that too. There’s still quite a lot of work to do on it, but I have a clear plan and I’m chipping away at it bit by bit, making sure it doesn’t drop off my radar.

There’s also revision to do on my novella, Beneath the Tree, and I’m looking forward to getting back into that once I get some more reader feedback.

But that’s about it. I’m submitting entries to a weekly competition when the prompt fits something I already have written. And I’m considering other submission opportunities as and when they come up. I only had one I really wanted to do at the start of the year, and I did come up with the bare bones of an idea for it, but it just feels like too much to try and get a whole story done and the approaching deadline was starting to stress me out. So, I deleted it off my list and I’m not going to worry about it.

And that’s okay, too.

I don’t feel disappointed in my lack of progress or effort. I know what I’m doing with the projects that are important to me. And I’m letting the rest of it go. For now.

And that’s okay.

 

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