I closed my eyes and the blue glow of my laptop screen blinked through the darkness. I could hear nothing but the erratic beat of my heart.
The story inside me was silent.
I whispered my characters’ names, seeking the connection that had been present only days before. For hours I’d searched for a way back in through a door that had closed so unexpectedly. But the door was sealed against my probing, and I was helpless against its iron bars. I tried to write, tried to form new entrances, but my pen was dead and my mind was shattered glass.
I wanted nothing more than to step back and leave the writing world forever. Forget my dreams of publication.
Forget that I ever had the capability to summon worlds at the touch of my fingertips.
For months I had been working relentlessly on edits. I was so close to the finishing line, but I could go no farther. My brain was exhausted and silent, and the world I loved was now nothing but emptiness. In my attempt to push myself beyond my capabilities, I had completely lost creativity.
So often as writers we expect perfection from our imperfect pens. We are supposed to be the ones who heal, not the ones who need healing. We craft our stories to bring light and hope, even when the hope within us is darkened.
It is easy to lose ourselves when responsibilities and pressures push us from every side. We are trapped by exhaustion and frustration, and the entire world seems to hinge on our ability to finish this book.
Trust me. The world will keep turning. Step back from your writing and allow yourself to simply breathe. Reread your favorite books. Take a day-long mini-vacation to your favorite spot. I know, you have deadlines and you don’t have time to waste.
But think about it.
How much are you accomplishing by sitting at your desk for twenty three hours a day, averaging two words an hour and pulling out your hair by the roots? How much more could you accomplish with a rested body and refreshed mind?
Take time to heal yourself.
And let the storyworld open to fresh adventure.
What about you? Do you have any tips for preserving sanity in a crazy writer world?
Coming Next Week: Interview with YA author Tabitha Caplinger