Today is the last day of NaNoWriMo and somehow, I have this visual of thousands of writers collapsing over their keyboards at midnight tonight. Exhausted and elated, they can proclaim their success and move on with other projects.
Rather than cram more writing into my four day weekend, I did the opposite. I was utterly and completely burned out, probably because I’d been working at a NaNoWriMo pace for the last twelve months. I worked on a short story and sketched my next chapter for An Autumn Tale, but on Wednesday night, I closed my laptop and took two days off. I popped in and out of Twitter a couple of times, and of course, checked my e-mail, but otherwise, I maintained an Internet silence over the weekend too.
A funny thing happened. Three books that I ordered all arrived on Friday morning, so I spent my spare time on Friday and Saturday reading. I browsed the first few pages of all three, and it was The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart that piqued my interest.
While I didn’t actively plan my next chapter, random thoughts about my own novel occurred to me as I read, and I jotted those thoughts down. By Sunday evening, not even the Brothers Grossbart could still my restlessness, so I went upstairs and turned on my laptop.
Suddenly, my next chapter blossomed and I achieved around two thousand words in a couple of hours. The story was flowing again at a righteous pace, and I couldn’t believe how far I’d gotten when I decided to stop. I feel refreshed, and I’m looking forward to sitting down and fleshing the chapter out. Sometimes, I just have to completely disconnect in order to rejuvenate.
How about you? Does the pace of constant work and writing eventually drag you down? What do you do to rejuvenate your creative flow? Read? Watch movies?