Showing posts with label rest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rest. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Adventures in Logophilia, No. 208


One who is indefatigable is (or seems) incapable of being fatigued or burned out, has limitless energy to accomplish a whole slew of projects.  This is decidedly not me. 

tired by stupidmommy

You may have noticed that the posts - particularly the logophilia - are becoming a not-so-daily occurrence.  I hope this doesn't disappoint you, readers.  The fact is that over the last six months I've learned something important about myself - this very fact that I am vulnerable to burn out if I'm not careful.  And blogging on a fun and exciting word every day was getting into the realm of quantity, not necessarily quality.  I want the blog to be more thoughtful and creative, and I don't want it to turn into an awful chore.  That might be a reason why Daedalus got so quiet in 2011 and 2012: burn out.

Don't worry.  I'm not going anywhere.  Daedalus Notes has been a great place to test out ideas and warm up my artist-brain... I'm simply no longer pressuring myself to take daily logophiliac adventures.  A few weekly, perhaps.  The thing is - and this is taking us back to the notion of the fermata - while I'd love to blog everyday, I need rest - play time with a budding, baby novel.  If I don't play I find myself collapsing like the woman in the above photo, and this place becomes a lot less fun.  So in the interests of fun and burn out prevention (FBOP), I'm not going to lament my awful blogger status and just write. 

Now, back to our (ir-) regularly scheduled programming...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Taking the Fermata

Adventures in Logophilia, No. 207:


In music, a fermata is a pause on a note or a rest - its length determined by the conductor or the musician, usually to close a piece.  This bird's eye symbol is known as an extended rest.  It is from the Italian verb fermare, meaning "to stop."

Extended Rest
Extended Rest by Mike Corpus

I began the morning with another insightful post from Writer Unboxed, written by Barbara O'Neal on "Boundaries and Burnout." She reminds us about the importance of resting in the midst of our work, allowing ourselves to play, our minds to wander and relax.  There is a lot of pressure out there for writers to write-write-write, amping up word counts and producing book after book after book.  Which is one reason I shy away from (well-intenioned) Twitter advice these days - they tell me that once I've begun sending query letters to agents on my novel, I need to dive RIGHT AWAY into a new project.  There is a sense of immediacy in this world - to WASTE NO TIME, to be the early bird catching that worm, or a tireless writer, with stories pouring out right and left.  As if story-dehydration, or burn-out, is no real problem.  But it's been a good four months since I began the querying journey, and the second novel has informed me that on no certain terms will he (yes, he) be rushed.  Am I a failure for listening to the needs of this novel?  Am I using it an excuse to "goof off"?

No.  I'm not goofing off.  I'm resting.  Believe me, I am forming the internal structure of novel no. 2 and asking deep (and sometimes difficult) questions about the direction this story will go.  I don't call that idleness.  Also, I've taken the time to absorb novels - particularly those in my own genre - to identify passages that move me, taking notes, articulating to myself why this or that works or doesn't work.  I allow myself to get swept away in soundtrack music to chase the daydream of what my novel could be.  (By the way, if you've never heard Two Steps from Hell, you're missing out: awesome movie trailer soundtrack music, not heavy metal.)  In this case, work is play.

But rest is more than simply allowing a story to incubate and letting it cook on its own.  Resting in everyday life is helpful with the writing aspect of it.  For example, I hate going to the Y.  I hate exercising.  The idea of making an appointment with a piece of equipment in a noisy building full of sweaty (sometimes loud) people doesn't always appeal, even if the elliptical is a cardio wonder machine.  Walking quietly and at my own pace is restful and healthy - a sort of exercise that is not a shock to the system, but a sustained movement that helps the thinking process.  I've started learning yoga, as well, because it's an interesting balance of endurance and rest - clearing the mind as well as folding and flexing the body.

In the midst of this fermata, I read and walk, brainstorm, make plans to plant a little indoor garden using eggshells (and figuring out how to hollow out an egg and poke drain holes in the bottom without the thing breaking apart).  I sleep in on Saturdays and enjoy it.  I'm clearing out my older no-longer-me clothes from my wardrobe and investing in red heels, changing my hair style, trying new recipes, playing with the cat, watching the occasional Dickensian mini-series, reading what I've never read before, getting swept up in spring fever.  In this time, I feel that my wings are growing and extending, not shrinking.  So instead of freaking out because I didn't meet a word-count quota or have gone "no where" with this novel, I am breathing deeply and feeling my way forward.  There is no need to feel any guilt or panic because there is no deadline.  There is no one breathing down my neck.  There is just the story and getting to know him better everyday, forming a friendship with this living thing that will be with me for the next 2-3 years. 

So here I am, still coming down from osana.  I'll stay here until it's time to get up again. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

On the Mend (j)

You may have noticed my absence from the blog these last several days.  I was out with stomach bug and nausea, so... you understand now how concentrating on words and writing can be a little difficult.  Sometimes, as a friend just pointed out to me, the body demands rest.  It doesn't ask permission.  It doesn't need a reason.  

I'm looking at this as another good reason for deciding not to participate in National Novel Writing Month.  If I had set my heart on the project, only to find myself laid up in bed with saltines and Netflix and unable to do much else, I would have been set back before I even started.  Let's face it.  Writing 1,667 words in a day (to acheive the ultimate goal of 50,000 at the end of the month) is no small feat.  Besides, what about Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Sure, they're not here yet, but I'm not waiting till December to start on my Christmas presents.  And... I'm getting ready to start sending my novel and sundry query materials to agents.  I have a back log of old papers that need to be scanned and shredded (no, never really finished that old project).  I have a full plate whether I want to admit it or not.

Under other circumstances perhaps NaNoWriMo would have worked for me.  I've heard it's a great way to churn out that awful first draft of a novel, and thousands are participating.  People are writing!  That's phenomenal!  So, if you happen to be in the midst of your NaNo work, good luck to you.  We are cheering you on!  Happy writing!


The words will return shortly. 


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