Taking time away from the spurt of writing that I had done provided perspective on where I’m at. Reading back over what I had done in the space of a short week left me feeling good about my work. It was difficult to keep up the pace that I had been working at, it wasn’t sustainable for keeping in mind the big picture of what I’m doing. No doubt though, it was good to get through a chunk of writing – I got a lot of work done in those few days. It’ll have to be refined and edited further but it’s good for now, and because I got so much done I can see better what I’m establishing in regard to both the project and process.
It was difficult to come to terms with the gap that I created by stopping for a few days. I felt like a failure but realise that I should leave the drama for the novel and accept that I can only keep up an intensity like that for stretches of a few days. Working like that had my mind swimming in words, and images, and ideas, and I was too close to everything to see clearly what I was doing. It had to stop, at least for some breathing space. Returning with fresh eyes was an intimidating idea because I’d stepped away when I was no longer able to see where I was at so when I stepped back in again to pick up where I left off, I expected to be disappointed.
When I took a step back from writing I struggled with guilt at the idea that I had failed because I couldn’t keep up a constant pace. I’m really annoyed now that I even let it bother me because it’s delusional to think that anything can be accomplished with mechanical regularity by a human being, especially a creative task. I got caught up in the notion that balance and consistency mean doing things without any variation; yet I know that theory and practice are two very separate things in reality.
Striking a balance is perhaps harder than establishing a routine. Balance with anything from minuscule amounts to gigantic proportions can be achieved so I’m left rolling my eyes at the headspace wasted over theorising a conceptual idea to apply to my writing practice. It’s a waste of my time – I have writing to do!
From this point on my focus is shifting to what I have to do rather than how to do it. I’ve discovered that part of ‘going with the flow’ of creativity is feeling it not forcing it.