The Importance of Self-Care

Annicka/ September 30, 2017/ Blog, Critique, Editing, Query, Revision, Writing/ 0 comments

I’m a wreck today, guys ‘n gals.

I’ve spent the past week living and breathing this manuscript, the plot summary, and Twitter pitches. Hell, I was less insane during Son of a Pitch and even then I was constantly pouring over these things. But this week has been the best/worst.

Yes. The best/worst.

I’ve combed through my manuscript, tightening lines, tweaking phrases, getting rid of redundant stuff out of a habit of padding word counts — for essays, usually, fuck those. I’ve rewritten my query twice. I’ve rewritten all six of my Twitter pitches. And now that I’ve scrubbed my manuscript squeaky clean, I’m trying to go back in and make sure I haven’t entirely erased my voice in my mad frenzy to tighten everything up.

That’s me right now. Literally. Head lolling back and all.

So I’m gonna slow it down. My Twitter pitches are ready to go, all saved and scheduled. Come October 3rd, they’ll pop on out for DVpit and I’ll be here trying not to anxiously check Twitter every five minutes. No more fiddling.

Likewise, my query is in decent shape right now thanks to QueryShark and a LOT of input from people. Not the best shape, but… decent. It’s passable right now. After DVpit I’ll take another look at it and hopefully be able to send it out to some agents. No more fiddling.

As for my manuscript… Honestly, there’s some changes I really wish my co-author would consider, but he’s stubborn. So am I, but I’m also non-confrontational and would rather just do what I can and leave his “can’t change this ever” parts for another battle. They’re not so big that it’s an agent turn off. Hopefully. If everything else is as perfect as I can make it, I think it’ll be fine.

To be brutally honest with you, my current state is my own damn fault. I should’ve stepped back and taken a day or two like I’d intentionally planned and been totally lazy on Star Wars: The Old Republic. I was going to this past Tuesday, but I didn’t. All throughout the week, I knew I should’ve taken a step back and given myself a break, but I didn’t.

So yesterday, at 2am, I finally closed my laptop for sleep after battling with my plot summary all evening. But I couldn’t sleep. My mind was stuck on the summary. I tried everything to get myself to calm down and my mind to shut up and nothing worked. So as the clock neared 3am, I got up and just started writing as though I were writing the actual novel. I didn’t stop until 4am.

To be fair, it worked. I think. But today I’m an irritable wreck. I nearly picked a fight with my co-author for no reason and honestly, he’s pretty much my favorite person ever so I would’ve felt horrible if I had. I’m snippy and listless and I’ve had a weird headache in the center of my forehead all day. Concentration is hard and I find myself thinking that crying would release a lot of stress right now, but I don’t have the energy to cry. Or the privacy, but that’s not the point.

My mind needs to rest, no matter how excited I am for this project. I need to remember that and remind myself it’s okay to take a break.

So should you, whoever you are. Take some time to relax and veg and treat yourself to something refreshing. Watch a movie. Read a book. Soak in a bathtub full of blood. Eat cupcakes stuffed with the tears of a unicorn cream. Whatever it is you do, give yourself a break from work. I know for myself it’s hard to remember that, while I love this project and I love the creative process for it, it really is work. Particularly at this stage.

After DVpit, I’m taking a few days to play video games and kill ALL the virtual things socialize with my guild. I fucking earned it.

So have you and don’t forget it.

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