Monday, September 03, 2007

Burnout Under Control

A rainy day, a lack of sleep, a lingering cold...

Any one of these could cause a person to lose their ambition, if only for a day. Imagine then, having all three at once, plus a lack of interesting subject matter besides. Hopefully, that gives you some idea of what Monday was like at my place.

No doubt it happens to many people, even as they are excitedly engaged in their life's work. Shadows of doubt, crises of faith, and my old companion worry have also been getting to me. Not any specific worry, just a generalised feeling of discontent that's easier to refer to as worry than anything else.

The cure for burnout is defiance. After all, burnout can suffer from burnout as easily as talent or ambition, and will often do so quicker, since it's made of the stuff. Faced with a seemingly insurmountable task (which I have set for myself), mourning what must be sacrificed in order to make it so, but also accustomed to following the path of least resistance, I have simply returned to my work determined to do it for me, and for my sake alone.

The decision to switch paths, to contend with one where there is more resistance in the belief that at the end of it there must be a greater reward was not an easy one. I did so expecting to come up against the occasional wall or bog or some other obstacle, even if the obstacle is the outer edge of my own talent and the yawning abyss beyond that.

These are the normal challenges in a writing life; our confessional society and beloved Internet make it easier for readers to know the unique efforts that go into what they're reading. But neither make it easier to deal with.

Which is all a very flowery way of saying I woke up, read four chapters of a book about Jack the Ripper, had a nap in which I was plagued not by nightmares as such but of my present fears made into archetypes, and when I awoke again with a start a couple of hours later I felt much better.

Lately I've been feeling more like a machine than a storyteller, and a spot of lucid dreaming seems to have proven the best solution.
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"Angst" by aniboom

I came across this the other night in my never-ending quest for the very best content I can find. I just loved the lyrical images and the depiction of angst.
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