Which brings me to the topic of this, my last post for a while: knowing your limits and taking care of yourself.
For the last two plus years, I've been pushing myself with writing my novel, tearing it apart and re-writing it, editing it, tearing it apart again -- working on it for hours each night after coming home from a job that also involves writing all day long. I've been active on Twitter, participated in writing contests, joined writing groups and worked hard at learning more about the craft of writing novels.
Then I got pregnant in the middle of last year and had to set my novel aside during my severe 24/7 morning sickness. Things eased up in my second trimester and I was able to make some major overhauls to my novel and rewrite my final four chapters.
I've just recently finished another draft, but looking at it, it's still not quite where I want it to be. The edits I still need are minor. I'm closer than ever to being as done as I can be. But I'm finding myself completely burnt out -- on writing my own novel and participating in most writing communities in general. At this point I don't want to even look at my novel any more. And seeing all the authors on Twitter and such with new book deals is making me increasingly prone to beating myself up about why I can't get my act together and finish MY book.
I've got about 8 weeks left to go in my pregnancy. My original plan was to finish this novel before my baby came, because I know that I'm not going to have free time for a very long time after he is born. But I've decided today that this is not a realistic goal any more. These days I have to push myself so hard just to finish my work for my day job, that I come home exhausted and in pain -- any attempt to work on my novel lately has just ended in tears and frustration (likely aided by pregnancy hormones, I'm sure.)
So, I've made the very hard decision to go on a hiatus. I'm going to put my novel aside for now, and stop stressing myself out about finishing it. I probably won't be around much on Twitter or other writing groups for a while either.
I've been making myself miserable and increasingly more depressed at a time in my life that should be exciting and filled with joy. I need to take care of myself and get through this huge transition in my life. And hopefully, in the not too distant future, I'll feel ready to pick up where I left off and get this novel in it's final version.
Hope to see you on the other side!