Saturday, February 07, 2009

Stepping Back

I’m beginning to think I need a breather. I can be a bit OCD at times, especially while writing a book. I get so far into my characters’ heads I can’t turn it off, and when someone asks me if I’m making dinner I’ll answer, “I have to question this guy.” Of course, later I don’t recall saying that.

If any of you were at the January meeting, you heard me declare this was the year I’m getting published. I’m determined more than ever to make writing my career.

Currently, I’m trying to get an agent. As of two weeks ago, I started doing serious research on finding the right one, someone who can get me the type deals I need to do this full-time. On my end of it, I’m willing to put in thirty hours writing each week on top of a full-time job, which sometimes means I see text on the wall…

I sound obsessed, don’t I? I am. So now, as I look for the right agent, I’m getting OCD again. I’m stuck on little things like the perfect query, detailed synopsis, proper format, and adequate word count, so much that I had a dream the other night about it. In this dream (nightmare), I kept typing in my password and getting the error, “NOT ENOUGH WORDS.”

Okay, after this dream I decided it’s time to take a step back and a day off.

Do you ever find yourself so engrossed you have … episodes such as these?


Christy Reece said...

Karen, I can totally identify. I finished my first manuscript in 2002 and from that moment on, writing became an obsession. One that I love, but often takes over my life.

I've missed exits while driving thinking about my book. I've put milk in the pantry instead of the refrigerator. Not too long ago, I sat down at the kitchen table to eat only to realize I forgot to put food on it. These are just some of my milder symptoms!

I do think we all need a break from time to time. Take a few days and read totally outside your genre. Watch television or go see a movie. You'll feel refreshed and renewed and will be ready to jump into your next project.

And someday very soon I'm going to follow my own advice!

Carla Swafford said...

I eat, drink, sleep writing. When I'm doing something that's not pertaining to writing, I have a hard time concentrating. Never in my life have I ever so obsessed.

Christine said...

Whenever I am in the shower, I get all kinds of scenes and dialogue going and I can't wait to get and slap it all down on the post-it note pad next to the sink.

Early morning: I lay in bed and thes story elements come into my head and I juggle the ideas. Once I sat on the toilet, don't ask, and wrote a bunch of notes and stuck them on the wall next to me cause I didn't want to lose the thread of thought.

Sigh. I told myself I'd do this till I was 50 and reevaluate if I am not published by that point. But the closer that number comes, the scarier it is for me to contemplate quitting.

I LOVE writing. I think I will do it even if I am forced back into the workplace so I can send my daughter to college.

My husband will suffer -- but heck, he lives in his office anyway so he might not notice that I'm never around as long as I feed him on occasion.

Karen Beeching said...

Great advice, Christy! I decided not to write all weekend, just to shed the negative vibes from this last job and to regroup for my next chapter. No text on the walls for two days. Imagine that!

I have put milk in the pantry a couple of times. My husband just laughs at me. He's finally used to my half-there replies and knows now to say my name, make sure I turn and meet his gaze, RESPOND with "what?" (the verbal response at this point is key), and then he repeats the question.

Poor man.

Karen Beeching said...

I totally know what you mean, Carla. As writers, we're always so into our characters' heads, it's difficult coming out and stepping back in our own.

Karen Beeching said...

I'm right there with you, Christine. I stay in my room on the weekends and write all day. By the time I surface, even my dog doesn't recognize me. I'm glad my husband has his own hobbies. Otherwise we'd both go nuts waiting for me to come back to reality.

M.V.Freeman said...

I identify with you completely! :)
I hope you got some good rest and are ready to attack the writing again...

I on the other hand...stumble frequently in the writing area...:)

Diane Richmond said...

Karen, you are healthy and protecting your psyche. I applaud your inner sense of self preservation. As far as whether you,and all the rest of us writers are normal, who knows? At least we are all equally abnormal.