A Study in Knowing Your Limits

know your limitsHey all!  It’s been a very long time since I managed to make a post on here.  There’s a few reasons for that, the chiefest being why I’m making this post.  Knowing your limits.

Apparently I don’t really know where my limits on writing are or when I’m putting too much pressure on myself.

Whoops.

Anyway, things in my neck of the woods are going alright.  Honestly, I’ve been emotionally up and down for the majority of this year.  I don’t think this has helped me any.  Hopefully I can get the healthcare marketplace to work and start taking better care of myself.

But onto today’s topic.  Knowing your limits.

The Importance of Knowing Your Limits

This year has been incredibly prolific for me in terms of writing.  I’ve finished three drafts this year and have another somewhere around 50% complete, a 2nd draft of another started, and a draft I think I’m abandoning in some stage of completion.  This year has been a strange combination of a marathon and sprinting.  I’m proud of what I produced.

But it’s left me so exhausted that I dropped out of NaNoWriMo this year.  I’ve stopped NaNoWriMo twice before.  Once because I seriously injured my back and the second because I misjudged how much I recovered after my grandmother’s death.  So stopping because I was tired of all things just seemed silly.  Well, tired and depressed.

Because I ignored my limitations this year, I’ve spent the last couple weeks trying to find the urge to want to work on novels and completely failing.  It’s the same level of burnout that I had from the semesters in college where I was in multiple writing courses.  I kept pushing even when it felt like I was pulling teeth to get scenes done. Usually I don’t have much trouble getting 2k to 3k for a chapter, but this NaNoWriMo I was struggling to get 1.6k per chapter.  I was excited to write this book, but when I actually sat down to, the enthusiasm almost seemed to stop.

I’ve seen a lot of ‘how to succeed at writing’ posts going around telling budding authors to pretend every month is NaNoWriMo.  But that just seems like a recipe for burnout.  There’s nothing wrong with cranking out 50,000 words per month.  But I think the added stress of “YOU MUST GET 50K WORDS” is just foolish.  Don’t put the pressure there.  Putting that arbitrary goal can set you up for disappointment when you don’t make it one month.

Had I been more aware of my limits, I would have been able to complete NaNoWriMo this year.  I’m still hugely proud of what I accomplished this year, but I just wish that I had paced myself a little more.  I’m hoping that I can learn my limitations when it comes to writing.  I don’t want to have to take 2 weeks or more off at a time just because I was silly and kept pushing and pushing and pushing.

I’ll let you guys know if I ever actually figure out my limits.

Thanks,
LL

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