DP and I both come from Germanic backgrounds. He is part Pennsylvania Dutch, part German Catholic. My grandmother’s maiden name is a city in Germany; this is how German my mother’s family was. (They were Jewish, of course, and so DP and I are “CaJews” or cashews.)
You don’t care, I know; but when I say that I can have a bit of a German work ethic, you will understand where I come from. I feel as if I should be writing all of the time. If writing is difficult, then it is because I am not working hard enough. If I don’t write today, I will never finish the fucker. If I don’t finish the fucker, I will be a worthless copyeditor for the rest of my life. Am I lonely because I never see my friends because I write or recover from writing instead? The answer to that is to write more! Work harder. Then you won’t be lonely.
I exaggerate slightly.
But I’ve sent my manuscript to a reader. There is nothing more to write for now. Anyway, I’m tired, ready to see my friends again. I’m tired of being intense about writing. So last weekend I did very little but some dishes, some yardwork, some napping, and a ton of reading. I feel better now.
But…all this time. I was writing more than I thought (because of course I thought I was a huge slacker and not getting any writing done). What do I do with that time? Yesterday I submitted essays to seven journals. On Saturday I wrote a poem. Sunday I took a nap and showed DP the poem I wrote on Saturday to make sure I wouldn’t embarrass myself in front of the writing group. (DP won’t read my nonfiction, but he is a first-rate reader of my poems.)
I still want to write, I just don’t want to write something personally difficult. If I were a fiction writer, I’d write a bit of a rom com, or maybe a young adult novel for a change of pace. I do have a bit of an urban fantasy novel that I wrote one winter to save me from being depressed, but it’s far enough along that if I wanted to work on it, it would be work. And I don’t have two ideas for a novel. Nope, that wouldn’t be me.
What do you write when you’re not working on your main project?