Monday, December 21, 2009

Bled Dry

Has anyone noticed my long absence from this blog? I sincerely hope so. It would be nice to know I've got people waiting--nay hanging--on my every word. Ha!

This month has been a killer. Though my company agreed to the bid I submitted as a lowered compromise fee per article, I discovered that I still wouldn't receive enough articles at this price to make this month's rent. And so, I lowered my sights and agreed to take half of my former fee for a guaranteed 100 assignments; the exact number of articles that would cover a month's rent at that rate.

This meant that whereas I used to write a maximum of 75 articles a month and had enough to cover rent plus two utilities, I scrambled to push out more content than ever before and only just covered rent. Well, I'm glad to have a job, and I did manage to get my articles in 10 days early, a kind of miracle, but I am thoroughly burned out.

Yesterday, I found myself in a stupor of sorts. I felt pressure to produce something, ANYTHING, now that my assignments were handed in and I could write about whatever I liked to my heart's content. I could use this time to write something for the freelance market, work on one of my books in progress, write something for a contest, or just blab on my blog. But nothing came to me. I felt bled dry.

It felt like the fibro-fog I'm always writing about for my job. I tried and failed to get my mind moving. I reviewed ideas and rejected them, one after the other, and finally gave in to the fog completely.

I got a great deal of housework done and decided I deserved some mindless fun on Facebook playing Pathwords and Bejeweled Blitz. I made two friends and lost another. Isn't it interesting how fast that works on Facebook?? I wound up the evening by watching Al Pacino in Scarface, hoping to generate some passionate emotion that would end up here, having taken form and achieved new heights of linguistic prowess, a kind of word apotheosis. But no. Nothing came to me. A big zilch.

However, today is another day and ideas are beginning to peep: "Write about me! No, write about ME!" like so many broken twigs trying to rearrange themselves back into a semblance of hope holding potential for productivity.

I am now trying to sift through the possibilities and settle on something. This entry is really about nothing at all except the process. Housework is easy: you see the task in front of you and so you set about completing your work with as much industry as you can muster. But writing? Ah. There's the rub. It just doesn't work that way with writing. Writing comes from within.

I will adjust to this new schedule, I feel certain. Maybe I will have to have a burnout day every month on completion of my assignments? It could very well be that yesterday was not a wasted day--that the brain-fog I experienced is also a part of the process. Or, maybe I just need a period of adjustment to my new job situation. I will try to be patient and wait for clarity.


  1. I had noticed. Truly. I check from time to time and I missed your words. Elaine

  2. 100 articles a month !! 25 a week !!
    How could anyone do it and not get burned out.
    Take care.