The Doldrums

It’s creeping toward the end of January, and I can feel their beginnings: the Februaries, otherwise known as the Doldrums.

I feel weighed down by the year’s work. I’ll never get it all done. I start distracting myself with what I ought to be doing vs. what I can do. I feel an obsessive need to clean all the closets. In a day.

It’s the pressure of needing to see immediate results, and it’s often something I have to combat all year, but for some reason, it’s always worse in the late winter.

So what will I do about it?

First, I’ll be sure I set some quantifiable goals. Maybe I can’t finish the last book in my trilogy by the end of the month. But I could write 25,000 words toward it. Maybe I won’t have 50,000 of the new ghost story. But I could do 15,000. I added a new, odd fantasy that I didn’t expect to be writing at all this year. Maybe 10,000 words on it? Tabling the need to finish things can take the expectation of visible progress out of the picture.

Secondly, I’ll increase my creative intake. I need to paint more, read more, get outside and think more. Those are all appropriate procrastinations for me—not trying to calculate if I can have one or more novels ready for the next contest. They’ll be ready when they are ready.

Lastly, I might clean out those closets. One of them. Maybe.

Million Word Madness Update: Week 2: 18,688

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