Peppermint tea, coffee, and an epiphany

Back on the peppermint tea today. I mixed it with a bag of my “I Love Lemon” and it makes a great minty lemony tea. Better than either one alone.

I’m trying not to overdo the coffee. I’m back down to one 6-8 oz cup a day. And I have avoided the sweet tea the last few days. Not enough sleep lately, so I’m doing what I can. Sleep has a major impact on how steady my nerves feel. I need them steady right now or I’m never going to get back in a groove with my writing. :D

Holy shit, I just had an epiphany while writing this post. I’ve deleted everything I had written here so that I can get this out before it disappears.

I know what my problem is now, finally, after never really understanding what was going on after I finished a project.

I’m bored.

I was writing about how I am dedicated to becoming a working writer, which I defined as someone who writes every day instead of someone like me who struggles and struggles and struggles until a story catches hold and then things take off and I write for 60 days in a row before taking another 60 days to get moving on something else because everything I write bores me to tears. That was when the epiphany hit. I’m bored. I am so bored.

I have no idea how to address this issue, but it is nice to finally know what’s going on. It’s not the let-down of having finished a big project that is throwing me for this loop and knocking me out of my routines. It’s boredom.

Boredom is a killer of all motivation and desire.

Now I just need to figure out how to work around this so I can get back into another project sooner–one that doesn’t bore me to tears.

I admit, I’ve restarted the story I’m trying to write at the moment five different times and that is no exaggeration. I’ve also redrafted parts of it multiple times during those restarts. I’ve written considerably more words than my spreadsheet shows, because deleted words disappear from the totals as if they were never written in the first place, but boy, were those words hard to get out the first time.

The story is interesting and I can see this on an intellectual sense, but it isn’t interesting to me at this point in time. So I keep deleting stuff trying to find that story that I want to be writing, the story that will pull me along so it all doesn’t feel like such a damn chore right now.

I keep taking wrong turns, getting bored again, and stalling out.

I really do think I’ve figured this out.

BOREDOM.

I have the kind of mind that resists anything that I find tedious or boring, and as of this moment, that is exactly how writing feels. It feels hard, and it feels hard because I’m bored. When I sit down to write, it’s hard to be creative. My subconscious isn’t engaged—I might not have realized I was bored until this moment, but my subconscious has known all along. It doesn’t know how to label these feelings (I hypothesize) but it knows something isn’t right.

I’m looking for novelty and excitement and I’m not finding it in my writing. So I’m looking outside the writing and finding distractions everywhere.

It’s not that I’m distractible. It’s that I’m bored. Which makes total sense, because when I’m really into something, nothing can pull me away. I sink into my mind so firmly that I can’t get out without truly wrenching myself free.

It’s so painfully obvious now.

My problem is that I’m bored out of my damn mind.

I need to shake myself loose from this and spend my time writing something else, whatever that might be.

The big problem I’ll have to overcome is that I’m not usually in control of how I feel. I have a history of abandoned hobbies that prove it. Once I do what I set out to do, I get bored out of my mind with it. Quilting, scrapbooks, collecting, photography, home decorating, home improvement, designing websites, building websites, learning coding, learning lots of things to be honest.

I am a novelty seeker.

I have to figure out how to make writing into reading, where I never get permanently bored. I just get a little bored, and I start reading other things to spice it back up.

But to be honest, even with reading, I have spells where I go months without reading anything, then spend 6 months reading hundreds of stories and novels. That was last year, in fact.

If I can’t figure this out, I might have a real problem here with my career. I need to give this some serious thought.

In the meantime, I intended to write about my new plan. It’s pretty simple.

    1. Remember that writing fiction is how I’m making a living and treat it as such—as something nonnegotiable, in other words.
    2. Do 3–6 hours of timed writing each day using one hour timers, aiming for 275–1,000 words per hour.

275 words per hour is a good fit for the bad days, and 1,000 words per hour is a good fit for my good days. This means that I can expect at least my 1,000 words a day and possibly my 2,000 words a day most days, with some not great days and some really fantastic days mixed in.

I’m not sure how this plan is going to work with what I’ve realized today, so I guess I’m going to have to give that some thought too.

However, I should probably do that after I sit down and try to do a few of those daily hours. Hm. :-o

*The crazy thing is that I reread a post while trying to find that link above, and wow, the clues are all there! Boredom, mentioned by name. I am blown away that I didn’t recognize this choke point sooner.

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