Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Sharp rock, soft pillow

Fun post by Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds: Sharp Rock, Soft Pillow: The Balance Of Self-Care And Tough Love

 BUCKLE UP, PUCKERBUTT, they will cry, IF YOU WANNA BE A REAL WRITER, YOU GOTTA WRITE EVERY DAY, 2000 WORDS, ASS IN CHAIR, KILL YOUR DARLINGS, PUNCH YOUR CHARACTERS, FUCK SLEEP, DRINK WHISKEY, EAT BEES AND SHIT HONEY. Raaar. Thrash. Pound the lectern.

And then there’s the other side. Where we express in ASMR tones the need for kindness and care, for self-reward and gentleness, for being good to yourself and don’t forget to moisturize and it’s okay if you didn’t write today and here’s a puppy.

Awwww. Have a puppy! That can be my theme, such as it is, for today’s posts:

That’s Conner with his little tiny daughter Naamah, btw. She is now several months older and almost nine pounds, so not quite such a little one! But still.

But Chuck basically hits the truth at least a glancing blow most of the time, I think. In this post, he says:

The difficulty of the thing … is finding the balance between the sharp rock in your back urging you to move, and the pillow under your head urging you to rest. Move, move, move, versus rest, rest, rest. …The balance is in knowing when to be urgent, when to burn some fuel and bust your ass — but then knowing too when to relent, when to ease off the throttle for the safety of the machine, to know when you’ve burned too much fuel and you might set the whole thing aflame… and then burn out.

How do you find that balance?

It’s a real question. One to which I honestly don’t have an answer. I expect it has something to do with knowing yourself, and just writing a lot over a long period of time to give yourself a sense of emotional data. 

I’ve gotten a lot done this year — early in the year — but nothing finished and nothing lately. I don’t have a personal answer to this one at the moment. I just kind of gave myself carte blanche to take September and October off … and this morning, for the first time in what seems ages, I finally had an actual impulse to open the laptop and start a new book.

Not that I really want to start a new one. I want to finish Copper Mountain or else finish the new SF thing I have 80,000 words for. But at this point, I’m relatively pleased to have an urge to start something new. We’ll see where that urge has led by the end of November, because for the past ten years I have never gone through Christmas break without putting a significant number of words in a row and I don’t plan to let this year be any different.

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