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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-08-07 06:28
Subject: [process] Listening to the backbrain
Security: Public
Tags:books, process, sunspin, work, writing
My writer's mind rarely goes on strike. Outside of medical issues, I haven't been blocked for more than a few days in a row since the late 1990s, when [info]the_child was an infant and required an overwhelming level of attention and care. Generally, on those infrequent occasions when I don't feel like I can work on a given project, I simply work on another project until the feeling passes.

So yesterday was unusual. I'd planned for several days to start working on Sunspin again. Time was set aside, with an absence of social or personal responsibilities. But when I got up in the morning, my backbrain went into full on writing avoidance mode. Which is such a rare condition for me that it took me a while to recognize what the heck was going on.

One thing I have learned over the years is not to argue with my subconscious about these things. There's almost always a reason, even if I can't see it at the time. I'm pretty sure yesterday's reason was something akin to mental exhaustion. I'd been back at work for four days for the first time since the surgery, my body is still far from well, and I needed to rest, my ambitions and schedule notwithstanding. I realized this in the late morning when I kept falling asleep while reading N.K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I'm enjoying the book a lot, she's not putting me to sleep with her prose, that was just my body going 'quit now'.

If I can't even read, I sure as heck can't write.

Not sure how today is going to go. One of my dreams last night was about an editorial conference with [info]casacorona's editorial assistant, in which we used random volunteers to block out various scenes in a fantasy novel I'd written about banking and trade flows. (In real life I leave those themes to Daniel Abraham, who does them startlingly well, but this was just a dream.) I figure if my dreaming mind is conjuring editorial meetings, that's a hint from my backbrain.

We shall see.

I suppose the point is, don't force the process. Push it, yes. Force it, no.

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User: dichroic
Date: 2011-08-07 14:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think that might be a good slogan for me as well. It gets into something I was thinking / writing about the other day; for me as a rower, it's hard to know when I should just push through laziness to do my training as planned and when I should listen to my body when it's wanting time off. (I'm in generally good health. If I weren't, or whenever I'm getting over illness or injury, it's still the same question but I'd tend to err on the side of being gentle with myself.)
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Jay Lake: signs-dont_jay_walk
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-08-08 02:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I try to listen, but as you said, the problem is distinguishing laziness from need.
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User: e_bourne
Date: 2011-08-07 15:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Rest is necessary to recovery, and you have not really recovered yet. It sounds like the mind may be willing but the body is quite there yet. It may need a chance to catch up. You've been through a lot.
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mlerules: labyrinth
User: mlerules
Date: 2011-08-08 02:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Rest 'n' recover = yes. Take it easy. You've been through a lot and have more to get through, so do whatcher body/mind says and mellow s'more. *hugs*
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