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Cabin Fever – it’s alright to stop writing

Cabin Fever - it's alright to stop writing

Today I have written five hubs, in a last ditch attempt to meet the requirement of my self-imposed challenge of writing thirty hubs in thirty days. Lots of people do this kind of challenge, and a lot more successfully than me – I dare say I will look over some of my hubs from the past month and have an urge to do some severe editing. But I will resist, because I think that my sub-standard hubs have taught me a lot about myself. And we might be able to see some progression now that I will be able to take my time over hubs. There are some hub titles that I thought of but purposely did not use in this challenge, because I felt they deserved proper attention.

I have learned that writing every day suits me, very well indeed. I have enjoyed the challenge. Writing to deadlines, however informal, does not make me produce my best work sometimes. But deadlines are still good for me, because they do force me to write at least something. It is better to produce something that can be edited and improved later, than to sit in idleness with a blank notebook that remains blank.

I have realised that I do not like falling behind in such a challenge, and that is purely because today has kept me confined to the house, and confined to my notebook and pen. When my children and my partner came home today I was not myself. I needed to go for a nice long walk in some fresh air. But the usual homework/teatime/bedtime routine had to be gone through. I was snappy at the table, I scowled at everyone, no-one could say a right word to me, and I was just plain horrid and impatient. Undoubtedly I was afflicted with cabin fever. The usual teatime chatter got on my nerves, and I just wanted everyone to SHUT UP!

I wondered whether this might mean that I could not write for a living because I would constantly be on the edge of a nervous breakdown. However, there is no need to entertain this fear, since it is not likely that I will ever finish a piece worth publishing if I continue to think up excuses to avoid the real work. But also, if I were a full time writer it is not likely that I would actually spend every day writing without stopping. I would be able to divide up my writing day as I chose, and have adequate breaks, and write in other places.

But I am going off into fairyland there. What I meant to say was that, important as it is to write every day if possible, it may be equally necessary to stop writing now and again. I really do not know how often a break should be taken, because different writers have different needs and abilities, but I think there would be something to be said for allowing oneself a movie night or a trashy telly evening once a week – or whatever you might prefer to do to relax and think of nothing (hell, you might even consider… going out! Maybe you have friends, and would like to catch up with them – be careful not to talk about your writing all night though: you are out to forget about your work for an evening.) When I turn my mind off for a little while I seem to recharge it, so that when I switch it on again it has a fresh supply of ideas and some energy with which to churn them out.

Perhaps planned time off would be a good idea, which I can only allow myself to enjoy if I have produced enough words. I am a person who need rewards to get things. I am still so like a child.

I have finished my little challenge now, and tomorrow I am going to have a night off – to fold laundry.

Next, perhaps, I will challenge myself to reach one hundred hubs by my birthday, in April. I do not need to write a hub every day to reach that one. Since I am lazy, that challenge might suit me.

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