The Rubber Band Effect

The revised draft of Oranges and Lemons made the journey from my computer to that of my editor last Sunday evening. (“Thanks goodness,” some of you are saying.) This happened a couple of days later than I had hoped, but ‘the day job’ got in the way. I could have spent another week or two trying for perfection, but I knew another pair of eyes would be more beneficial.

Two things happen to me after a big push on a manuscript is over, and I’m sure I’m not unique in this regard. The first thing I experience is a sense of relief. The job is done (at least for now), and I can relax as well as make plans to get on with other tasks I’ve had on hold for weeks.

The second reaction is less productive and takes over from the first within about a day. It’s what I call the rubber band effect. Because I’ve been stretched thin physically and mentally for an extended period of time, once the stressor has been removed, I don’t rebound immediately to my pre-stretched condition. Instead, I become really quite ineffective. Rather than taking advantage of my newly available time to get on with everything I’d shelved, I accomplish very little. The word “slug” comes to mind.

This time around, besides the mundanities of housework and so on, I was hoping to resume work on my two previously- started manuscripts. Both sit with approximately 10,000 words completed. There is no rush on the historical non-fiction, but #3 in The Calli Barnow Series can’t wait for me much longer. It will have its own deadline in the near future.

I do know that a period of recuperation is necessary after any marathon, be it physical, mental or emotional, and I also know my work habits well enough to trust I will get back in gear sooner or later. Till then, I will just hope I’m not required to hold anything together too tightly.


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