Yesterday I finished writing the second draft of Butterfly Of Night. I’ve been working on it for about three and a half weeks, which seems like an appropriate length of time: the first draft took me a month to write, and I’d already written the first ten chapters of this some months ago, but neveretheless I had to work pretty hard to maintain this speed. Because I’m an inconsistent kind of writer, it ended up being a series of unwise 10k days and then several days of doing nothing, usually as a result of wrist pain.
But, it’s done, and I’m pretty proud of it. It’s only a second draft, and I know it will need work — not least because I need a med student or biologist to read and tell me whether the poisoning is at least possible, if not necessarily likely, as I do not science. Leaving aside those details, the plot and characterisation might need further revisions, and I’m waiting to hear from betas on that.
As second drafts go, though, I think it’s relatively polished, and I’m pleased with it.
Theoretically, then, this should mean that I can spend the next few weeks reading lots and writing reviews, which I haven’t done lately, before I go back to working on it in preparation for querying later in the summer. Although I’ve read many books this year, I’ve been a bit useless at actually reviewing them on my blog, though I’m trying to write short reviews on Goodreads as often as possible, and I should definitely pay more attention to my book blog.
But… I’m in a reading slump. I’m halfway through about four books right now, and not enjoying any of them enough to want to finish them, while not disliking any of them enough to want to leave them unfinished, as it were. I’m finding it hard to enjoy anything new, although I’ve reread a few stories, and so I’m reluctant to pick up anything I might’ve had high hopes for, in case I ruin it for myself while in this low period.
I’m not quite sure what it is. I think some of it can be ascribed to depression, which has definitely been winning out over anxiety recently in terms of dominating my behaviour and moods. It’s hard for me to enjoy anything right now, and that’s carried over into reading. And partly I think I’ve just read so much recently that my brain wants a break.
The problem is that I don’t have anything to do.
Well. There are things I could be doing, but unfortunately I don’t want to do any of them. I’ve finished the book I was writing. I don’t want to read anything. I want to read because I want to have something to do, but when I look at my shelves, nothing appeals to me, and I can’t face embarking on anything. I have blog posts I’d like to write, but they’re all too complicated and require too much thinking and I don’t have the energy to write them.
Even while I’m celebrating having finished a writing project, and looking forward to resting my tired wrists, I’m wondering what I’m going to do with the time I have been spending on that, because I no longer have a job and nothing else appeals to me.
Right now, I’m partway through this blog post and wondering whether I can even be bothered to finish writing it. Is it worth saying? Is there anything worth writing about right now? Why am I bothering with this, when probably nobody cares, and it’s just a waste of my time and theirs?
Because that’s another factor — what’s the point in this, does this lead to anything, what will I achieve by doing this? — as well as the exhaustion and disinterest. Maybe if I thought I’d get somewhere with it, I’d be motivated. That’s how I pushed through to write the book, after all: I’ve got high hopes for it, once I eventually push through and convince myself I’ve done the best I can. But nothing else seems to have the same sense of purpose.
I don’t know. Everything seems kind of pointless right now. Including this blog post, which I’ll probably delete as soon as I’ve posted it.
Advice appreciated, I guess. Maybe book recommendations for (short) books that might cheer me up and help me reak out of this slump.