So I'm back to work today! I was dreading it. But you know what? My brain has strangely relaxed. There's something soothing about not having to think too much - knowing that I can complete an editing task by using skills that I have become comfortable with over the past six years - that I don't need to learn anything new, or create anything new in order to complete the task - all I have to do is tick everything off on my editing checklist by Thursday and wait for the courier to come and pick up the proofs. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy.
Ahhh. Sometimes I forget, that it's fun not to be creative too. It's a nice and much needed break for my brain. Weird, yes, I have to agree. But I can't deny the weight that was lifted from my shoulders, the release of pressure that has built up over Christmas from a certain self-expectation, this morning when I put my head down and started checking off design's corrections on a set of final layout proofs.
Most of my life I've been craving the opportunity to spend my time 'creating', be it fiction, poetry, or music, that I take every opportunity, every spare moment that comes my way. But I seem to have forgotten what it's like to 'see the end of a task'. When you're being creative, the 'end' is blurry. You don't stop 'creating' until you have created something that you're totally satisfied with, and satisfaction is not something you can add to your agenda. You can't say, "Oh, I'm going to start writing a short story today, and by Friday I'm going to be satisfied with it. Let's mark that on my calendar. Friday. Satisfied. Short story."
So today, immersed in my mundane editing task, I feel relief. Because I can see the end. Thursday. Satisfied. Final proofs.
I know exactly what you mean. There are so many ups and downs when writing a manuscript, and then figuring out what will make it better. At some point, we get to the little things so the pressure is off. Then it's in someone else's hands.ReplyDelete
Hope you had a good break. Enjoy the mundane.
LOL. I wish it were as easy as scheduling "Novel will be kickass" into my calendar. :DReplyDelete
I agree, sometimes the mundane is good. I like to keep busy and be challenged, but it's nice to be able to tune the mind out every once in a while and not have to think about what I'm doing, and this is sometimes when the best story ideas jump to mind because there's nothing much to think about.ReplyDelete
You know. It's funny you mention this. I SUCK at slowing down, turning off this thing between my ears I tend to call my brain. But I, too, took the last week and a half off. Just read others' work and for pleasure. I think I'm rejuvenated.ReplyDelete
Oh, LoL. I totally wish I could put something like that on my calendar. Then maybe I wouldn't be in freak-out mode so much. ;-)ReplyDelete
I agree. It is easier for me to stay on task with my goals if I'm on a schedule. I get way more done. Welcome back!ReplyDelete
I was going to say no. I was thinking about things like dishes and laundry (pretty mundane, eh?). I certainly don't get any pleasure out of those.ReplyDelete
But by the time I got the reply box open, I thought about other tasks...like sending newsletters out or researching something at work and I have to say I DO like those tedious/repetitive tasks because it frees my mind AND because my progress is obvious.
Yes! For some reason I get great satisfaction out of mowing the lawn! I can see the results right away. Bam. Mundane is necessary for the life of a writer.ReplyDelete
My "real" job requires me to think alot, and when it's stuff that I don't feel like thinking about, the energy to get started can be overwhelming...so I revel in those projects where I can spend some time just doing things with my hands or just counting or something. I have to be here, but I can also go somewhere else in my mind at the same time. I totally get it!ReplyDelete
Being achy for a whole day, I vegged on the couch and watched, count'em - 4 Lifetime movies. Ha! I've never done that. Is achy mundane?ReplyDelete
Absolutely. I think those mundane activities area a great way to balance out when there is an overload in the creative realm.ReplyDelete
I totally get this. My office building is closed today - no way to get in at all - and hubby is at work. I have much to do and shouldn't feel lost...but I do. I miss "going to the office" even though there's nothing truly pressing. (Of course, it could be I am dreading the house overall that must occur before my MIL gets here on Wednesday!)ReplyDelete
Sometimes I like folding laundry.ReplyDelete
Yes! lol. Although for me (like you) the "mundane" is writing and editing. So I guess that's a good thing, yes?ReplyDelete
but you're right, it's very different coming up with a completely new story rather than telling someone else's...
OK, back to mundane. Happy New Year, my dear~ :o) <3
Not so much directly from the mundane thing, but certainly from being able to take a break.ReplyDelete
Yes, Jessica, yes. There is something immensely satisfying in ticking off a to-do list one item at a time and knowing they are complete. Writing is so very different. It never feels complete, even after publication.ReplyDelete
This holiday has gone on and on and on. It ends tomorrow, and great to be back to normality. I even felt that way when teaching!ReplyDelete
I absolutely agree. As much as I gripe about my job, I was glad to get back to the familiar. And really who can complain about a job that pays the bills, but keeps you hungry for more; and allows you time and mental energy to blog, read, and create at the same time? Here's to a great 2011 for all of us.ReplyDelete
Good luck on the editing and the short story! I can't decide if I enjoy the mundane or not. I love it when I accomplish it, but it's sometimes hard to get through it. =)ReplyDelete
It's good to have holidays like Christmas, but it's always seems good to get back "To your comfort zone" so to speak.ReplyDelete
Yes, yes, yes! And that is exactly what I did the past two weeks. Mundane stuff - loved it! :-)ReplyDelete
Is sleep mundane? I definitely get pleasure from that.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean. I always feel a lot of pressure to create. But you're right, it's important to take pleasure in the mundane, too.ReplyDelete
If by mundane you mean movie-watching, I'm there!ReplyDelete
Unfortunately, no. The mundane drives me insane!! Yet, forcing my brain to think really hard about something that DOES have an answer (unlike the creative stuff) seems to help relax me. I love doing logic problems and Sudoku puzzles to relax. I think it's all about changing the pace for a little while.ReplyDelete
Mundane tasks like washing the dishes or folding the laundry are some of my favorite times, because in those quiet, auto-piloted moments my mind is free to wander to far-reaching spaces of my imagination. There is nothing being created, so to speak, and there's no pressure to do so. But in those moments, ideas are coaxed toward the edges of this world.ReplyDelete
So, so true. It's always nice to take a break, but still have to do something writing-related.ReplyDelete
You know, I was dreading going back to work today too but you're so right. And I didn't even notice until this moment, it's oddly peaceful to be back in the old routine. I'd take another week off in a heartbeat, don't get me wrong, but it's not nearly as terrible as expected.ReplyDelete
Glad you're feeling satisfied too!
I definitely think the creative can be draining and it is nice to have productive time that is mostly brain free, though I think I'd hang sheetrock if it were up to me... (I love remodeling if somebody else does the detailing--I don't have the perfectionism for that)ReplyDelete
Weeding. I love to work in the garden and just pull weeds. A finished flower bed is so satisfying. The smell of the dirt and the fresh air doesn't hurt either. :DReplyDelete
I totally understand! I love weeding for my grandparents. I also love driving or just taking walks. The mundane can be just as great as the exciting. I mean, sometimes, just sitting down to watch a movie is the best thing ever. Not overly exciting really but great at the same time too.ReplyDelete
Yes, I totally get this. When I could still crochet a lot (now it takes ages) it was almost like a meditation...pick a simple pattern, get one of those honkin' huge skeins of yarn, and just keep going until you get to the end of the blanket.ReplyDelete
I've yet to find something that replaces it, but I'm still looking. Great post!
It is nice to just relax once in a while and try not to focus on all the stuff I need to do. Plus with editing, even though it's mundane and tedious, we do get the satisfaction that we are one step closer to our goal.ReplyDelete
Gld you are back.ReplyDelete
Yes, I am very routine oriented(some describe it as boring), but it helps me focus--little focus on the mundane and more when necessary.
Absolutely! At my 'real' job I am a manager, but if any of my staff are out, I usually fill in so things don't get behind. I love getting to ignore my crazy manager tasks and do something more simple... it's very zen.ReplyDelete
I do enjoy the more simplistic, routine stuff. It usually means my imagination can wander and new stories are cooked up :)ReplyDelete