The Novelty Has Worn Off

Filed under: Check-it-out, Pondering, Running, Writing

Ohhhhh! Bright and shiny and new! Isn’t that how things always start off?

Think about back to school–everyone starts off perky and excited and about two weeks in the fluffy, fun, get-to-know you stuff is over and the focus is work. I’m not trying to say fun things won’t happen over the course of the school year–but lets be truthful–people are already posting on FB about having kids frustrated and in tears. Two weeks in and parents already need wine to get through their child’s homework challenges or to recover from the after school activity schedule. I know that even though mine are loving so much of what’s going on, they would trade it all in for homework free lazy summer days in a heart beat. And the novelty of making school lunches is sooooo over? Oh, wait–that was NEVER fun!thumbnail-1.aspx

And then there’s running. I am determined to get back into shape and my best way of doing that is planning on running right after I get the kids off to school. Can’t go home until I’m put in some miles. (I don’t run everyday so this is a reasonable plan) And it’s been working. I’ve logged 33 miles so far this month when I only logged 7 in August! But let’s be honest, even though the more I run, the easier it gets physically, the more I run, the harder it gets because the first blush of young running love has turned into a kind of hum, drum begrudging relationship. *sigh* BUT once I start, I don’t feel that way. In fact, I feel great, but the starting–almost as bad as making lunches.

And let me tell you, the novelty of the 11yo’s fish tank has worn off completely. Now that I have two hamsters that are pretty low maintenance by comparison, I kind of wish that all the fish would peacefully die of old age in their sleep–tonight. Does that make me mean? Since all the fish are still alive, I prefer honest with the potential to write an aquatic thriller some day.

And speaking of writing. The novelty of a shiny new story ALWAYS wears off at some point in the process. But since I’m a more experienced writer than I used to be, I’ve also come to realize that the novelty of crying writer’s block has also worn off. I know too much to be able to shut myself down completely. So, here’s what I do when the novelty of a manuscript has worn off. These options may not be as good as writing 2,000 fresh and exciting words a day, but I think they are the bridges we use to carry us to the next high.

*Write at least a small amount of bad words even if you don’t want to. You might find something salvageable. You might jiggle loose a flood of good words. You never know. But at the very least, you’ll feel like you didn’t step away from the project for too long.

*Make a playlist, a Pinterest board, a map of your world, a character outline or take road trip to research something related to your manuscript. This is creative fuel for the road ahead and it helps to clarify your thoughts. It shines a light on your vision in a different way.

*Participate in mindless exercise and let your thoughts just float and see what happens. I’m a runner and this is a great brainstorming time for me. I never underestimate what comes out when I let my subconscious take the lead.

*Work on a different project. Be careful with this one. You can’t let the secondary project be a thing that allows you to never finish the original piece. But sometimes I find that I need to feel productive with something–any thing. And I do know that I will return to the MS at hand and get it finished. So I’ve been able to trust this method.

*Give yourself a break. Really. A day off here and there isn’t the end of the world. Just be working most of the time. Every once in awhile I notice that the dishes and laundry and all the other house and boy stuff has built up and it feels like Mt Everest is sitting on my chest. I’ve learned that taking a day off to right my world is better for my writing than trying to work while sitting in the shadow of a mountain of guilt.

*Be hard and flexible at the same time. Be tough–ask yourself to be professional and hard working and you’ll be happy you did. But don’t beat yourself up when something doesn’t go according to plan. It never does for ANYBODY. It’s never about always being right–doing things perfectly. It’s all about how you pick yourself up and drive forward, even when the novelty has worn off.


Got any other tips for what to do when the novelty wears off? Time to share–I can always use a few more.


Tags: , , , , , ,


2 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Awesome post as always! Love your ideas. I also find inspiration by spending time with other creative people and/or venues – from hanging out with talented friends and family, to watching shows celebrating creativity like Project Runway, etc. to frequenting museums, festivals, shows and concerts. Not to mention reading in – and out! – of the genre/age group that currently has me stuck…but of course! 😉

Leave a Reply

By submitting this comment you consent to your contact details being stored in accordance with this website's Privacy Policy.

  1. Now Available

    Touching the Surface
  1. Follow Kimberly


  1. Archives



    agent Anica Rissi Apocalypsies blogging Bookanistas Book Review Class of 2k12 Conferences Contest Dad drafting Ellen Hopkins giveaway Jane Yolen Jodi Moore John Green Kimberly Sabatini Kimmiepoppins Kim Sabatini LA11SCBWI laurie halse anderson Lin Oliver Michelle Wolfson NaNoWriMo Oblong Books reading revision running SCBWI Simon and Schuster Simon Pulse The Class of 2k12 The Opposite of Gravity Touching the Surface WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore Wolf Pack Wolfson Literary writing writing style YA Author YA Book YA Books YA Novel YA Outside the Lines YA Writer
  1. Links

  1. The Apocalypsies
    The Class of 2K12