Thinking of taking a break.

Now that I’m getting back into the groove of an overtime schedule my writing is starting to pick up slightly. I still need to keep myself sitting still to write more words a day than I have been lately. Is my attention span too short to write enough a day? Do I need to stop trying to be so healthy and energetic all of the time? Do I need to take myself out of the apartment so I don’t have the familiar distractions of home? Is it that I’m just trying to make up excuses? I’ve covered all of this before. In terms of writing I’ve been more productive over the last couple of years than I have been in the preceding decade. Merely wanting to write and jotting down a few lines now and then doesn’t necessarily make me a writer. It could be that the above questions are mere distractions as well. For example, writing at a coffee shop may be more productive from time to time but the drive to Portsmouth, looking for a parking space and then walking to the coffee shop all takes time. (It looks like there’s a new place opening soon in Kittery that would be easier to get to but that’s besides the point.)

If it’s a matter of diligence then what do I do? I can all I want to force myself to sit down and write but that means I’m distracting myself by how much I’m beating myself up over my “laziness.” Then my writing suffers as a result. What I’m thinking about doing is taking a break from writing altogether except for this blog and the occasional poem that comes to me. It might sound even more like laziness but it makes sense. I might have to “reset” my brain in order for it to be productive. I remember back when I took two months off from writing earlier this year. The first month was to make the last Shadows of Immurement album while the next month was just a break altogether. The album may not have sounded perfect and then the following month wasn’t so productive but when I came back from it I banged out a new short story.

I can’t guarantee that’s going to happen if I take a break. To add to that I’m already feeling guilty thinking about it. Is it really an idea to be more productive or am I in the process of giving up? Is it too soon to take another break, even if I resolve to take a shorter one than last time? For that matter, I could just be too hard on myself. Even what little writing I do is still accomplishing something. As it’s not my main job I have little time to dedicate to it. It would be a lot easier if I didn’t also feel the need to create music as well. By the way, everything I’m saying in this blog post refers to that as well, although I might still continue practicing some pieces on guitar for the same reasons I would still write for this blog.

Then again, the fact that I’m beating myself up over this so much might mean that I’m still passionate about what it is what I’m trying to do. I’m disappointed with myself for not producing so much because I expect more from myself. I expect more for myself because I know I can do better. This doesn’t alleviate any sense of guilt over taking a break. It simply means that I’m still dedicated to what I’m doing, even if I’m going through a slow period. If I did take a break I would know that I’m going back to writing as soon as the break is over. I should take the attitude that I’m taking a break in order to improve what I do, not as a relief from the stress of what I do.

It would help if I tried getting feedback for the works of writing that I produce. I should post more excerpts from what I’m doing here. I tried doing that when my blog was on Blogger but I seem to have more readers here on WordPress. I’ve tried showing what I’m doing to friends but if they even read any of it the usual response runs along the lines of “You’re a good writer.” Thanks, but I’m sure I could improve what I showed you. I’ve been warned throughout school that I shouldn’t try showing what I write to friends that aren’t also writers if I expect critical feedback. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind showing the work to them. I also like the ego boost when they do give me that kind of response as they do appear to be sincere. But it isn’t what I’m looking for, and I need to look elsewhere. While I don’t have a whole week to work on writing I do have more time now that I’m only working the one job. Maybe there’s a writer’s group around here that I can join. The only problem is that I wouldn’t feel adequate enough to provide feedback to anything they write.

That is slightly off-topic. I can make that point about feedback at any time. It does relate to the idea of taking a break or grilling myself to write so much each day. No matter what I do, is it worth it?


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