Give It A Rest!

Does this ever happen to you?

You work hard on finishing your project. The afghan you are crocheting (a couple of my friends are into this). Your last piece of art for the craft show. (In my case) finally finished my/your novel. You’ve worked hard on your projects. Creativity may flow, but it does need a bit of focus and control to be useful.

Now comes the hard part. That last thing you need to do before you can truly show off your work of art.

But you don’t want to go anywhere near it.

For someone who loves writing, I’m actually pretty tired of it. Perhaps it’s because I’ve read the story a thousand times. I know the ending before I even start. There is no magic in it — no surprise, I’ve pumped my heart and soul into this piece and now it’s just old news.

Oh, there are surely other projects that could use my attention. A poem here or there, a couple of short story ideas. The third novel in my set. It all sounds so inspiring. Yet all my creative energy has been zapped.

I know I’m always encouraging my friends and reading public to keep pushing to make your dreams come true. And I do so believe that. You cannot improve if you are not doing. But I suppose with all the pushing there has to be some give. Some yang to your yin. If one goes full speed ahead without slowing down that same one will get burned out in no time flat. And you know what burn feels like.

So here is my Monday Evening Advice. Like you need it.

Work hard on your passion. Work hard on your project. When you finish, let it rest. Let it breathe. Give both you and it space. If you are finished with it you are finished. Let it be. If not, give it a second go around. Or a third round.

I find that after I walk away from my written words for a bit they feel new upon my return. I can see my repetitions, my overly-active adjective gland, my dangling participles — everything. I then can approach the same old story with a fresh perspective.

I myself am letting my novel rest. In the meantime  I’m having a wonderful time watching Japanese movies with English subtitles.

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4 thoughts on “Give It A Rest!

  1. Excellent advice Claudia! I really like setting aside the work “to breathe” as you so aptly stated. Another reason not to wait until the last minute if you are submitting work; because having that breathing period then returning to the words with fresh eyes and clear mind really does catch things that otherwise would be missed. Enjoy your movies!

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    1. Ha! I actually love Japanese period pieces…their costumes and surroundings are so exquisite! And I know my stories need to breathe. Even if I only give them to family and friends I want them to be the best they can be.

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  2. I understand completely Claudia, we can definitely burn ourselves out, on a passionate project that we totally immerse ourselves in. I suppose establishing myself in this blogging world and trying to present some worthy writings, has been my latest passionate project, and after going 8 weeks, I think I’m flattening out, and actually have been giving myself 2 to 3 day breaks, between my writings, and you’re right, a fresh review of your thoughts and words is a gainful approach. Thanks for your article, I enjoyed the read….

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    1. I feel like you do! I like to share my thoughts, hoping someone else will learn from them. I want to share my art gallery because there are so many wonderfully unique artists out there. I love writing. But I also have a full time job and family affairs too. You keep sharing and creating, one blog at a time. We will survive the madness together!

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