distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

This latest deadline is really weighing on me. I have to force the pages out—and then, once out, I’m afraid to look at them again. I’ve never had this much trouble with a project before.

I’m thinking it’s not really about this project at all, is it? It’s about what comes after the project. It’s about my real life that I haven’t had time to think so much about because I’ve been so busy doing these projects. My god, when I sit down and think about it, just for those few minutes I allow myself, it starts to sink in—how I’ve effectively given up and how mad at myself I am, and ashamed, and lost, just completely lost. And if I think about it too long I can barely breathe. That’s why the deadlines. That’s why this new job. It’s easier not to think. This is why we have TV.

It’s easier to hide behind meaningless deadlines than face up to the fact that I don’t like where my life is at the moment—place, time, writing, mostly the writing—and I have no idea what to do about it. I also want to help E reach his own happiness and I have no idea how to do that, either.

For the past few nights, in those minutes in the dark bedroom when I am falling asleep and my brain is cascading through the random anxieties of the day, when I am trying desperately not to think so I can just fall asleep, I get this sense of something on me. A very physical weight. It feels like it’s over my chest, sitting there, bearing down. I don’t know how else to describe it. Just this heaviness. And along with it are the ideas I’ve been neglecting, the novel I reimagined and restarted and then abandoned on the side of the road. They come to me, and just sit there, breathing on me. It’s been taking me a very long time to fall asleep.

But back to reality. I am on page 72 of the project, by the way. It feels like it will never be over, though I know it will be soon. Depending on what sort of mood I’m in, it’s either too soon or not soon enough.


6 responses to “Heavy”

  1. Well, remember your serenity prayer and don’t let your creative energies be dissipated by…distractions. Everything is fodder for our muse but when the time comes to write, the rest of the world should cease to exist once you close your office door.
    Music to set the mood, cracking your knuckles and getting started, relying on faith to carry you through…

  2. Page 72 is 72 pages ahead of the game.

    I know how you feel about wanting not to think, to drown in minutiae rather than put my life in my own dishpan hands.

    IT will pass. Focus on the now. What can you do today? And just do that bit. Things will start falling into place.

    Oh, in yoga, the instructor said to get out of your head focus on your senses: what do you taste right now? What do you smell? How does the air feel against your skin?

  3. Your life is about to change and you are losing much that is familiar and grasping at uncertainty, but the possibilities are endless and exciting and scary as you carve yourself a new and unfamiliar path that will be uniquely yours. You are making for yourself a new life. Just take slow, slow deep breaths.

  4. You are exactly where I was about 6 months ago. A huge project (which I hated) almost finished, deadlines looming and weighing, and all sorts of fear about what would come next.

    Yet, the project did end, and life did continue, and god I’m glad that’s finished. 🙂

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