Refilling the Creative Well – Listening to the Muse

Refilling the Creative Well, Part 5 - Listening to the Muse, The Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society, Serena Saint-Marceaux

Honestly I am very bad about recognising when creative burnout is looming upon me – or even when I’ve full on driven myself into it. When I have trouble creating, often my first impulse is to focus harder, to try and figure it out, start a new project or bounce to another one in progress. . .

Anything but ‘recognise there might be a reason for this and take a break’, really.

That tends to mean I don’t recognise I’m getting burnt out until I’m fully ensnared in frustrating, exhausting, tear-worthy inability to dredge out words. I mean, layering yet more pressure on top of already failing motivation doesn’t help? Whaaa?

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Concerning Deadlines and Derailment

This post was due three days ago, as Tuesday is our normal posting day. I unfortunately waited until a few days before it was due to plan time to write it.

autoimmune-01Normally, this would have been no issue. However this time I had a ‘flare’ (a spontaneous bout of all-over ick feelings courtesy of my body attacking itself) that began on Friday, and that meant not only did I not feel like doing much physically, I didn’t even feel up to the mental energy of making words happen in any form fit to read. So my deadline came… and went. And now, here I am, three days late. (Though I feel almost like normal me again!)

Not everyone likes deadlines, but I do. At least in the world of creativity. They help keep me focused. Keep me motivated. Keep me working. Even when I have fallen behind. And man, have I fallen behind!

I am learning that poetry open submissions, as a whole, come in two seasons. You can find someone, somewhere, accepting things at just about any time of year, but a large number of journals tend to open submissions sometime in the spring and sometime in the fall.

My personal goal for the year is to submit to 25 journals. This is not an overwhelming number, but it is a lot of work. I have spent quite a lot of time researching and reading journals this year, and plan to spend plenty more as I have a list of hundreds of places I haven’t checked out yet.

I have submitted 10 times so far.

My plan had been to spend a great deal of time writing this summer so I could focus again on submissions for a couple of months in the fall. But just as plans for this post got derailed… so did my grander plans of completing new work.

That isn’t to say I’ve been lazy. I’ve been reading more poetry. Finding things I love, and things I don’t, and generating new ideas for myself. I’ve been reading non-poetry. I’ve been learning how to relax and appreciate the art of not-doing. I have also been making drastic progress in the state of my house as I follow the KonMari method in tidying absolutely everything, once and for all. (You can follow posts on that on my personal blog.)

But I haven’t been writing. And that makes me a bit sad.

Sometimes when your deadlines don’t work out you have to step back, evaluate what happened, and create a new deadline.

I still hope to submit to 15 more journals this year. It is still possible. I have enough work to put on submission, I just have to keep up journal research and find more places that may be a good fit.

But more than that, I hope to write. I want to write. I want to create so much more.

And with that in mind, I have a new set of deadlines. But this time… I’ll allow time for a few derailments along the way.