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Cabin Fever - it's alright to stop writing

Updated on November 19, 2010
Go and get some fresh air
Go and get some fresh air

Today I have written five hubs, in a last ditch attempt to meet the requirement of my self-imposed challenge of writing thirty hubs in thirty days. Lots of people do this kind of challenge, and a lot more successfully than me - I dare say I will look over some of my hubs from the past month and have an urge to do some severe editing. But I will resist, because I think that my sub-standard hubs have taught me a lot about myself. And we might be able to see some progression now that I will be able to take my time over hubs. There are some hub titles that I thought of but purposely did not use in this challenge, because I felt they deserved proper attention.

I have learned that writing every day suits me, very well indeed. I have enjoyed the challenge. Writing to deadlines, however informal, does not make me produce my best work sometimes. But deadlines are still good for me, because they do force me to write at least something. It is better to produce something that can be edited and improved later, than to sit in idleness with a blank notebook that remains blank.

I have realised that I do not like falling behind in such a challenge, and that is purely because today has kept me confined to the house, and confined to my notebook and pen. When my children and my partner came home today I was not myself. I needed to go for a nice long walk in some fresh air. But the usual homework/teatime/bedtime routine had to be gone through. I was snappy at the table, I scowled at everyone, no-one could say a right word to me, and I was just plain horrid and impatient. Undoubtedly I was afflicted with cabin fever. The usual teatime chatter got on my nerves, and I just wanted everyone to SHUT UP!

I wondered whether this might mean that I could not write for a living because I would constantly be on the edge of a nervous breakdown. However, there is no need to entertain this fear, since it is not likely that I will ever finish a piece worth publishing if I continue to think up excuses to avoid the real work. But also, if I were a full time writer it is not likely that I would actually spend every day writing without stopping. I would be able to divide up my writing day as I chose, and have adequate breaks, and write in other places.

But I am going off into fairyland there. What I meant to say was that, important as it is to write every day if possible, it may be equally necessary to stop writing now and again. I really do not know how often a break should be taken, because different writers have different needs and abilities, but I think there would be something to be said for allowing oneself a movie night or a trashy telly evening once a week - or whatever you might prefer to do to relax and think of nothing (hell, you might even consider... going out! Maybe you have friends, and would like to catch up with them - be careful not to talk about your writing all night though: you are out to forget about your work for an evening.) When I turn my mind off for a little while I seem to recharge it, so that when I switch it on again it has a fresh supply of ideas and some energy with which to churn them out.

Perhaps planned time off would be a good idea, which I can only allow myself to enjoy if I have produced enough words. I am a person who need rewards to get things. I am still so like a child.

I have finished my little challenge now, and tomorrow I am going to have a night off - to fold laundry.

Next, perhaps, I will challenge myself to reach one hundred hubs by my birthday, in April. I do not need to write a hub every day to reach that one. Since I am lazy, that challenge might suit me.


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    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 7 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      You're so right - quantity is not so much of a brag when the hubs are well below par. I'm concentrating on quality from now on, for sure.

      Ha! Perhaps there's a nice challenge there, to pick very random topics and see if I can write about them. I bet I couldn't write a hub about ANYTHING...


    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ..personally I think you're such a good writer that you could write about ANYTHING and make it darn exciting - no matter how tedious - how dull the subject may be - you could turn it in something more thrilling than Indiana Jones' latest adventure - and as for 30 in 30 days - well sometimes it's about quality over quantity!

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 7 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      I have many, many bad days of writing, and many, many days of not writing at all. I think I write hubs like this in order to try to motivate myself. As I've said before (and I'll no doubt say it again!), I'm very lazy, and I do sometimes need a kick up the backside to get moving with projects :) Timetables are good for me. But of course, everyone, by necessity, has to work in different ways - I know timetables would not work for my mum because she lives her life practically minute to minute, always on the move. She carries all of her work with her, notebooks squashed into a satchel, so that she can write or sketch in spare minutes in the car or in a rare lunch break :) She's much more motivated than I am, and I wish I'd inherited a little more of that!

      But you are quite right, of course. At least I've made a good start! Plenty of people say they'd like to write, but never even get around to trying. Thank you :)

      Sounds like you're having a lot of fun with your second book - hope it goes very well for you.


    • kookoo88 profile image

      kookoo88 7 years ago from Cripple Creek

      I found that I can't do the timelines. My life is a bit too chaotic. Plus it lessens the enjoyment. My best work is when I'm having fun. :)

      I would recommend that you give yourself permission to have a bad day of writing where you do step away and don't get anything done. I've been mad at myself for not writing before too. It made it harder the next time.

      Just think, you're doing a lot more than many people who say their going to write or accomplish a dream and never even start. :)

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 7 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      I do this also lindajot :) I look forward to the evenings so much, that I often can't really remember what I've done with my day - it's passed me by, and the real stuff becomes the daydream as the daydream becomes more real!

      Thank you :)

    • lindajot profile image

      lindajot 7 years ago from Willamette Valley - Oregon

      I hear ya Lady . . . But, know what? The days I tell myself I'm going to take a day off, I stew over not being at the keyboard and think nonstop about my next project or hub. I need to learn the art of leaving it alone for a break now and then. Nice hub :)

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 7 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Thank you all :) Writing every day was great, and now that I've had a brief pause I'm finding that I'm missing hub writing very much. I'm going to now work on some better quality ones, because the deadline of thirty days meant that I had to give up some of the hubs that I would really have liked to concentrate on for a little longer.

      But, hubs have to come second now. Got to get a manuscript finished for goodness sake! That's my main priority now, and hubs shall be my reward for four full foolscap pages a day (although I use A4)! Don't worry though, attemptedhumour, I'm still hoping to post a few hubs a week :)

    • attemptedhumour profile image

      attemptedhumour 7 years ago from Australia

      Hey lazy bones never mind the ironing, a pro writer averages four foolscap pages per day. You don't have to be Einstein to calculate how long it takes to write a novel, so forget him, forget the kids and think about us readers. Cheers and well done on the thirty day, nutty challenge. Cheers

    • LifesStudent profile image

      LifesStudent 7 years ago

      Aahh, the writers dilemma indeed. Turning up every day to your writing is a great way to hone your skills, embed the habit and practice consistency. I'm not good at that yet but I know it works. Keep up the great work

    • rotl profile image

      rotl 7 years ago from Florida

      "30 hubs in 30 days" - sounds like a movie title. Good luck!

      I hate deadlines... seems like you just freeze up when you "have" to write. Creativity needs to flow and can't be manufactured. Ahh, the writers dilemma...