Ok, so, officially, and as I’ll post later, I do, definitely have a form of burnout.
Yes doctor, I’m well aware that I shouldn’t be straining creative muscles, but we’ve still got to eat, so I *am* still copywriting. And editing.
One thing though, that’s been bothering me about all of this is I’m still ‘making time for’. I’m still working from the minute I get to my laptop, till around midnight (right now). I’m still trying to find my way through a minefield of supporting those I love, and reassuring them that actually, I’m ok. Still trying to prioritize what is and isn’t important to me and planning not only accordingly, but working out what that accordingly actually is.
Getting back into ‘the swing’ – and being a sultan!
Bad musical reference there, my apologies. The fact of the matter is though, I’m the queen of my own happy little paradise. I’m the one that makes the choices, and the bed, and I’m the one that lives with whatever happens next. It shouldn’t be as difficult as it is, and that’s why I know this is burnout not something else. Still the power is in my hands to fix this! and right now, being fair, there’s nothing *to* fix. I like free-floating for a while. I don’t like feeling so creatively drowned, drained and burned through that there’s nothing left, and I’m really beginning to resent the ‘I thought you were superwoman’ conversations, because, another fact is in all of the time people have known me, I’ve NEVER broken like this. In nearly 33 years on this earth, and nearly 29 years of writing stories, I’ve never been so burned out that my brain isn’t processing stories. So to those ‘friends’ – quit it, or leave my circle of friends and watch from the sidelines, where you belong.
I never did understand haters…
It’s not that I can’t understand how or why someone could be that nasty – I genuinely don’t get the concept of ‘haters’. I’ve spent my whole life convincing myself that the friends I have are the most valuable people in my world and that these people have power over me. But, this last week, what I’ve worked out, and am still reconciling into the whole conscious thought pattern that runs through my head is that the only opinion that matters, primarily is mine. I’m not superhuman, but I’m not average either and that’s ok. But at some point I will go back to being the whirlwind I’ve been, and until then….
I’m not going to give anyone the crap about ‘rising from the ashes’ or anything else. I’m not licking wounds, or even, really worrying about anything right now. It’s not because I’m fragile, but because I’ve finally pulled my life to a complete stop, I think, for a while, I’m going to keep it here. Maybe in another week, once the kids are settled in school and we’re at the point where they’ve both had their first week, and we know what’s coming in a very basic way, maybe then I can look at picking up the stories that want told, and fit them in where they belong. Or maybe not. Maybe it’ll take longer than that.
But you know what – that’s ok too. It’s not even down to my health being more important than ‘the stories’ because deep down, I know that’s not true – what’s more important to me right now is ensuring that I’m doing the stories the justice they deserve, and emotionally, I’ve got a lot to process and new things to learn and integrate, but I can do it – and more importantly, it’s valuable, and worth it.
three four things I want to make time for.
1) Podcasts – I used to listen to various podcasts and stopped. I think I’m really losing out so as soon as the laptop comes back repaired, it’s a clean install, and one of the first things that iTunes is getting is my podcasts.
2) Reading – I’m reading before bed every night. I’m going to do that more during the day, perhaps over lunch (and actually eat properly too!)
3)Knitting – I really miss knitting. I need to do more of it, and I’m going to make sure that part of my weekends are now *dedicated* to that.
4) MMORPG – still looking for one to play, but I want a game that I can immerse myself in again.
You might wonder where writing is on that list. For now – it’s not. This is stuff that I want to slot in around work – around fiction, around non fiction. Part of my life rebalance.
Kai is a writer, author and avid reader. A mental health advocate, Ludosport athlete and coder. She’s the mother of two young adults, owned by two cats, and lives with her beloved in the Cotswolds.
In a weird way, knitting and podcasts (non-writing related) may actually be the miracle cure you need. A different kind of bone for your brain to gnaw on for a short while every day could be really helpful.
Katie (wondering why you would listen to this advice when she gave the same talk to herself at the beginning of the year and now over halfway into 2011 is still incapable of implementing it!)