The old adage is true: what we sow, we also reap. Speaking in writing terms, the effort to become a published writer is much like cultivating a field of, uh, dreams (where have I heard that phrase before?). We must cultivate this field and nurture it along over time. Only when the proper season comes do we have the opportunity to harvest what we have sown. You can't plop a seed in the ground today and expect it to mature by tomorrow. Things take time.
Since November or so, I've been working very hard to get something finished. I have felt that I'm very close to ready myself, and the time has come. I've worked hard at my craft for several years now, and off an on for many more years before that. I've learned a lot, have plugged in the holes, found what was missing, and strengthened the weak spots. I've studied and rehearsed and just plain worked hard. Where then, are the results? I need a completed manuscript, and I need to start turning them out one after the other.
And yet I find myself sitting here in June with a half-finished novel!
I grabbed the bull by the horns and refused to let go ... but now I have ease my grip and step back a moment. It's time now to pause, to reflect, to take a break. Not an extended break, but a break. I poured my heart and soul into this work over the past several months, and I'm drained. Writing is very demanding, both mentally and emotionally. Sometimes we need to step back and rest, refill the creative wellspring, reconsider our position, plan the best course to continue. When the time is right, we can move forward.
This is one reason why it's good to have multiple projects in the works -- you can switch from one to another and that alone can help you move forward (at something) rather than grind to a halt (at everything). Nonetheless, sometimes we need a break, and that means to literally stop working and take a break.
I am drained, a little burned out creatively, and very much exhausted emotionally. But it's not so severe, not as bad as it has been on other occasions. I will be ready to get back into it shortly. I've eased off the past couple of weeks and already I'm feeling much better.
I've missed my goal of having this current novel finished by July 1st. That is frustrating, but I have to accept it. I'm a work in progress myself, much like my novel. As much as I want to "be there" at this point, I'm not. I'm still becoming a writer. But I'm almost there. I'm sure of that.
And when I am "there", I will know it. I will prove it time and time again. And I'll be sure to let the world know.
Enjoying a well-deserved respite, guilt-free, and looking forward,