It seems a month out of the office was not quite enough to temper the tide of exhaustion that has been rising in me for much of 2011. It is mostly of my own doing, my day job is a draining demanding place, my life balance mantra the last several months has been healthy body, healthy mind (coupled with a hardcore personal training regiment), my writing is and has been for some time now about disciplined effort. When I try to be sociable on top of that kind of schedule, it is at best a delicate balancing act and at worst the catalyst for hospitalisation.
I enjoyed the pacing of my July month without the day job. It gave me a glimpse of what a possible future as a full time writer might look like, one that is some distance away yet, with only these occasional mid-year breaks to capture that "luxury of time" feeling. With one less ball to juggle, it was the first time in a year I felt that I was not burning a candle at both ends with a bunsen gas flame melting its centre.
Instead, now, I am tired all the time and finding it impossible to settle my mind for restful sleep. Alot of my creative writing ideas are coming to me after I crawl into bed, in the middle of the night, and in the pre-dawn hours. There's a note pad by the bed to jot down the thought streams that disrupt my downtime, and the ideas are sublime, but I need to re-learn whatever it was that I was doing before which made sleep come easier.
The drafting of the third book has been a new challenge for me. I have tried something different with each book I have written (though I have been told my pervading style is distinctive that it will be readily identifiable as my 'signature'). For book number three, I have opted to focus on the perspectives of particular characters, multiple perspectives of specific events, really trying to get inside the head of key protagonists. As an experiment, I am not sure it will work (though I will find out soon enough when it is read by my editor and some test readers), but it has been an absolute joy to delve that depth into character motivations.
I'm only nine scenes away from finishing the first draft of the third book. The second book is being substantively edited (up to edit number five) but on track for release by December. Perhaps it is the excitement of these milestones being only a stone's throw away that has my mind ticking over at the pace of a bullet train.