I almost called this post “feed the snake” – I’m not even sure why that’s the first thing that came to mind, but some neo-Freudian could probably explain it to me in ways I won’t even hint at here, since I have students who read this blog (why, poor children, oh why).
“Feed the bird,” however, I picked up from Castle, and it’s basically equivalent to a fist bump. Nathan Fillion adopted it specifically because it isn’t a fist bump, the reasons for which are pretty cool. I like to use it to celebrate when someone says or does something really extraordinary, like if a friend tells me, “Guess what, I sold a story to [insert big market here]” and I want to give them props.
This weekend, I’m engaging in a little self-feeding of the bird (okay, that also sounds bad) because I’ve been reminded more and more lately that constantly working on projects and jumping right from one thing to the next can be really dangerous. Why am I indulging in giving myself props? Because I spent most of the last month and a half revising my novel WIP Three Coins of Silver, and as of yesterday morning, that fucker is DONE. Or at least done to the point that I’m confident sending it out to agents and publishers and seeing what happens.
Anyone writers reading this know that finishing any novel draft is pretty huge, mainly in that a novel takes a lot of mental energy. Three Coins has taken the better part of a year and a half to finish, balanced with other projects. For someone who’s a bit of a workaholic like me, the immediate temptation is to dive into the next project almost right away (once I decide what that will be).
But it’s way more important to take a breath, as I’m being reminded of more and more on social media and in conversations with my friends in the industry. So yesterday afternoon I took a couple hours and finished reading Redemption’s Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky (which is amazing, by the way) puttered a bit and then spent the night watching a movie. This morning I got up, made breakfast and watched the recent Times Talk interview with Stephen Colbert, which I highly recommend because I’m a huge fan of conversations with any creative people, and I think Colbert is brilliant. Around noon I’ll be keeping tabs on the monthly #SolarpunkChat on Twitter, but that’s not really work since one of my favorite pastimes is conversation, and after that I’ll be doing more reading/watching/playing of games or some such. All of the above feeds the bird in different ways, besides being a reward for accomplishing something: I get ideas and encouragement from everything I digest these days, but losing myself in a book or a movie or an interview lets my brain come down from that non-stop movement I seem to get into when I’m working on a big project.
Am I going to work on something new tomorrow morning? Probably. But for now, I’m feeding that bird.