Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring Cleaning

After I turned in my secret book at the beginning of March, I lay on the ground in this daze of mental exhaustion. Last year…guys, last year. My goal for 2015 was to slow down, and I started off the year writing a book in two months under contract. It was an unexpected opportunity, one I was happy for but knew would kill me. And it did.

I've been saying a lot that after that book, I would quit writing. Lots of people thought I was joking, but I wasn't entirely kidding. I put out four book last year. I've already put out one this year. A break? I really, desperately need one of those. Not because I don't want to write anymore per se, but because my creative wells are depleted entirely.

I need a lot of time to fill up again.

That's the thing about writing, about creative professions. There will be writers who claim that it's a job and thus you must approach writing practically, but there is a creative, muse-like aspect that I think is unhealthy to ignore. If you take it out completely, writing becomes lifeless, flat, lacking that spark that makes someone connect with your work.

So it's time for me to not write, to absorb all things that inspire me and remind me that I love to tell stories. It's time for me to clean out my house and explore and think. Doing those mundane things…it's incredible how much they make you ponder life. And it's nice to have a clean space.

Clean spaces are like starting over.

Well, at least for a clutter bug like me. When I do Spring Cleaning—it's like a huge ordeal. I go into this heartless, purging mode where I just start throwing away all sorts of things. I guess that comes from living in a small space. If I'm not using it enough, it has to go. And then there's room for new things.

I'm really looking forward to new things and clean spaces and more time to do fun things that aren't work. I'm looking forward to a new story cropping up in my imagination, something that gets me excited about writing again. Now that I'm cleaning out all the cobwebs, I know something will come up.

I used to be scared that there'd be nothing there after Spring Cleaning, but now I know it's the opposite. Somehow, there always ends up being more. And that's exciting.

6 comments:

  1. I feel the same after cleaning, on all levels, pretty refreshed :)

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  2. You need some recharging. The muse cannot run on empty.

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  3. Recharging is always a good thing, and you're such a good writer, I'd be sad if you NEVER wrote again. Just take your time!

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  4. Natalie, I can't thank you enough for sharing your experiences so openly and honestly. I come to your blog to find a companion in the pain (and yes, glory too!) of the life of an author. I work full time and have written two books in one year, working hard to get my second book traditionally published (because self-publishing was tough work and I didn't have enough hours in the day). I'm in the same mindset at the moment, wanting to retreat and recuperate. I hope you get that chance! Inspiration and another compelling story will find you again. :)

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  5. I agree with your conclusion that cleaning is like starting over. It's easy to see, really: too much clutter around means you've already done too much. Cleaning them up gives you a clean slate which you'll inevitably fill up soon. A simple analogy, but an excellent one in my opinion.

    Frank George @ Dutch Hollow Supplies

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