ROW80 Check-in 18th July

I know it was only Sunday that I ‘turned over a new leaf,’ but so far, so good.

I wrote 250+ on Sunday, 200+ on Monday and just over 150 yesterday. My goal is 150 a day, so I’m doing ok, and in some cases, much better. The last two nights I’ve been doing stuff all evening so not got round to writing, then feeling bad when I get into bed, so been writing in bed. By hand. That’s commitment isn’t it. Although 150 words isn’t the biggest commitment in the world.

If it isn’t, why are there plenty of days where I’ve not reached it?

I had an interesting conversation the other day with my boyfriend. I was having one of those ‘I can’t do anything,’ ‘I’m failing at everything’ moments (you know the one). We realised that my writing has gone further downhill than normal since I started my new job!

I always have a slump in December, which I always put down to post-Nano-anti-writing-syndrome (50,000 words in one month makes me want to not write again for a while!). But I’m sure I usually pick myself back up by the summer. Then I make a mad dash to finish ‘Holiday’ before I start on the next NaNo project in November.

Honestly, it happens every year.

Except this year. This year I’ve got a job that requires effort. I need to put myself into this. The last few years I went to work, worked, left and forgot about it. This year I have responsibility, I should leave and forget about it, but I can’t. Also, it’s exhausting. I leave work crazily tired. Not just physically, but mentally. I don’t want to have to do more work when I get home. By work I mean writing.

I keep thinking it’s just temporary, that when I get used to it, I’ll be ok again.

It’s been 5 months.

So, I think we can blame the job on everything else in my life not going well. Ok, maybe not everything,but the writing, and my lack of exercise (I think I’ve been to the gym twice in those five months. I can’t even think about the money I’m wasting on that!).

Steve (my boyfriend) suggested that if I want to get on with writing, it might be a good idea to change jobs, back to something less important, or where I’d be less important anyway, where I’d not care once I left the office, not be so drained, and be able to write. And go to the gym. He said he’d support the drop in wages.

The problem is, although it’s draining, I do really enjoy it. OK, maybe not REALLY enjoy it, but I like making a difference again. I like being in charge too. I like the job. As much as it’s wearing me out, I don’t want to give it up. Especially not to go back and do something non-important.

I know other people manage a job and writing. A serious job, with commitment and effort required. If they can, why can’t I?

I must be able to.

You know they say identifying the problem is the first step? Maybe I’m there. My problem is that I think I can’t write because I have too much work, and it drains me. Then I need to find a way of doing the job without it draining me. I think that if I catch up on my back work, that I’ll be able to get on with what comes up everyday.

Next week, I’m on holiday from work. I’m helping with the Olympics (for 4 hours a day). I’m going to be a London Ambassador! How exciting! After that though, I’m going to catch up with everything at work. Then I’m going to get my ass in gear and I’m going to fit in the 3 important things that I’m not managing to do now – writing, work and exercise.

Next week, while I’m off, I’m going to forget about work, and just write. And exercise. If I can get back into one of my novels, then when I come back to work, hopefully I’ll just want to carry on!

6 thoughts on “ROW80 Check-in 18th July

  1. Having any kind of job is draining when it comes to sitting down to write. Can you decide that so many hours on your day off are for writing? During the week you can ‘add’ things like, dialogue snippets, describe a room or characters clothing to a notebook or use dragon on your phone if you have it. Then you will still be using your creativity in a way that can be plugged into your writing.
    Checking in from ROW80

  2. I had this exact problem.

    My job requires me to write, edit, and format reports and letters for 200+ engineers. I manage the department, so I’m constantly being physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.

    The idea of writing when I get home was too much.

    I started to go to bed early so that I could wake up earlier to write. I also started participating in Writer’s Butt, which is a much nicer way to exercise for me, since it’s a workout stretched over the entire day. The combination has been working great so far. Perhaps you could see if either of those work for you?

    Good luck to you the rest of this week!

  3. I often have these thoughts as I often go off the writing rails and I often decide it is because of my job. It is tiring and demanding and I bring lots of work home but then I get annoyed with myself because no-one is making me write! I don’t think there is an easy answer and you know your schedule best about whether you can sneak any writing into other times of the day. It is hard to juggle everything and I hope you are able to find some balance soon 🙂

  4. It sounds like you have a lot of things you like about both courses you are taking and having trouble finding a middle road to work within. I don’t have any solutions for you, but what you may want to try is shifting things a little:
    –try doing your writing in the morning?
    –perhaps ask for a shorter work week?
    –join in a Twitter sprint or two (I recommend either the weekday #Row80 sprints at 2pm EST) or a #wordmongering session (more variable, but more often)
    –ditch the gym membership and instead see if there is a walking group at your office (and do the Writer’s Butt challenges when you are ready for them–Ginger is AMAZING!)

    Mix it up a bit. Perhaps you might not be able to do 150 word every day. But I bet you can easier if you use a pen and paper, or voice recognition software… Don’t tie yourself to one form of writing. And if it’s writer’s block that seems to be getting you… try writing a “throwaway scene” or two that you can use to just get your characters playing nice again.

  5. Visiting from ROW80. How fantastic to be an Olympic’s Ambassador – I am envious by far. I hope you do find the time in the week for more writing.

    Regarding the job, all jobs are exhausting (especially when you’re a workhorse anyway) and as you move up in age you will always be expected to work up a level, no matter at what level of pay / skill you start off. So, if you did take another job somewhere, it would start all over again. Rather than fight it, I hope you locate some extra time in your day to allow for your passion in writing, and use the writing to relax from your working day.

  6. You have a lot of amazing things going on here!! A job that you actually enjoy, a really supportive boyfriend (I mean seriously, somebody should kiss him for putting that idea out there), and being an Olympic Ambassador!

    I totally understand where you’re coming from with being too exhausted to write and work. It’s all draining. I guess I have kind of odd advice….you mentioned that you feel like you need to catch up at work. Maybe if you took a writing break and devoted yourself to catching up, organizing, and devising a plan that would allow you to leave work at work, then it could be good for you?

    I had to do this once upon a time with my job. I picked a predetermined time (mine was 2 weeks). I didn’t write, and I focused solely on my job..catching up and finding ways to work more efficient and to be able to let go at the end of the day. I also asked for an odd lunch time – 2 PM – and vowed to write at lunch every day. (That’s part of how #teamsprinty sprints were born lol!)

    I also try to do as much as I can before work, especially exercise. Gives you more energy at work to begin with. And you start the day already feeling accomplished. Mind tricks 😀 Have a lovely rest of the week, and do tell us all about your Olympics experience!

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