The Aftermath of Being Busy

Isn't it funny the way that when you're busy, you long for a free day to do nothing-- then, when that free day comes, often, you can't think of what to do with yourself. There's a particular kind of restlessness that comes with that sudden stopping of momentum. It's similar to the way you still feel like you're bobbing around in the waves, long after you've pulled yourself out of the ocean.

October has been a busy month for me, busy for all sorts of reasons, and stressful in many ways too. In the first week of October, I finished my first semester of my Masters. I am now about 1/6th of my way towards becoming a Librarian. Because I would like to get the degree done in 2.5 years instead of 3, I will be doing a unit over the summer as well. So I was looking forward to the last three quarters of October as time to write.

But the writing itself has been slow. I expect to cross the 50 000 word mark in The Turning Tide (that's the working title, as for now my characters have yet to experience much by way of actual tides) sometime today or tomorrow, but I had hoped that I would have been there already by now. Using a formula set out in Fiona McIntosh's book How to Write Your Blockbuster, I had worked out that if I wrote steadily six nights a week until the end of the year, I would only have to write about 775 words a night. That number is now considerably higher for a range of reasons. I won't make excuses. I just haven't been disciplined enough.

First drafts are notoriously hard, as are second books, and I know I am fortunate in that I am writing my second book while my first remains unpublished, therefore there is very little pressure on me to deliver or even finish the thing.

Of course we had the Australian Short Story Festival last weekend, and as I was volunteering, I was up at 7am both days and on a train to Northbridge, so very little writing got done even though I was very inspired afterwards.

The truth is, now that I finally have a completely free day, I am exhausted, and all I want to do is curl up with a book.


  1. I understand the desire to rest! My minimum word count always blows out. I just don't think it's sustainable to stick to a word count, though I know it works for many people!

    1. I'm glad it's not just me! I think I may just be one of those people who thrives on being busy.


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