This past week was a lost week. A bit rainy and dreary, the students were going out of their way to wear me down, and I was a big ball of nerves for no reason what so ever. But the perfect storm amounted to me spending a lot of time just sort of sitting around, binging "Call The Midwife," and drinking hot chocolate. Needless to say, not much writing got done.
As a writer who is still chasing those bylines, a week like this can feel like a total failure. Sure, I sent out pitches and emailed with editors and got all my work in before deadline, but my nasty mood made me feel like nothing I did was enough. That little voice in my head that always whispers, "You should be writing," was drowned out by the voice that was hissing, "But just one more episode!"
These kinds of lapses happen to anyone, and even though it's hard to get my head right, I did try to make the most of my brief lethargy. For example, I read like a fiend. Caitlin Moran's "How To Build A Girl" was brilliant -- I read it in two days! I'm also reading through Amanda Palmer's "The Art of Asking," which I'll be reviewing over at Literally, Darling. The book is based on her TED Talk of the same name, and just like the talk it is moving and intimate. I've also got a stack of library books to dive into.
I'm giving myself one more day of lazy before diving back into the deep end tomorrow. Sometimes it's easy to push through the gloom and keep your chin up, but sometimes you just have to give in to a little lull to recharge your batteries. For me, it's often only after the fact that I see the benefit of spending a few afternoons glued to the couch. In the moment it just feels like I'm letting myself down, but looking back on it I can see my body and my mind really needed a chance to check out.
How do you deal with lapses in productivity? Do you give in and let the boredom take you, or do you push through to the other side?
Bridey is a freelance writer living in Washington, D.C.
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