…or how to find something else to do besides writing.
I read an articleon CNET that basically reported that Mozilla will stop development of its email client Thunderbird. Of course, I use Thunderbird because it, along with the available add-ons, provides most of what I needed in email.
One of the problems with Thunderbird is that it seemed to lag behind in features. Now, Mozilla is stopping further development, allowing the open source community to pick it up. Based on my experience with the open source community, feature lag isn’t going to be resolved.
I started a search for a new email client. Yes, this was important; so important, I that I had to put off editing my novel. (Okay, it wasn’t that important, but I did it anyway.) I downloaded and tried several different clients like Postbox, Zimbra, and DreamMail. All worked well enough though each lacked important features like IMAP support–I don’t want to store my entire mailbox on my computer. Postbox was the closest to Thunderbird, which meant it had the most of the same problems.
I finally settled on eM Client. It accesses Gmail via IMAP and integrates Google’s Calendar and Tasks seamlessly. It has a couple of annoyances, but the price is right: Free.
So, all of this research took time, time meant for writing/editing. Why did I jump in to find a replacement immediately? It wasn’t as if Thunderbird would stop working at any moment. The truth of the matter is that I’ve been on the fence for quite some time with Thunderbird anyway, and this was the push I needed to find a replacement.
Further, I was in at halfway point in my novel, and I made a major change, pulling forward by four chapters, an argument between my two main characters. The repercussions dominoed (yes, I created a verb–if no one had done so yet, then I’m trademarking it J), not only for the four chapters, but well beyond that.
This argument was more personal than the original, which centered along professional lines. I made this change based on comments from the Loudoun County Writers’ Group. I’m convinced that it was the correct choice. As a bonus, it allowed me to change the characters’ relationship in an easier and more believable way, which was becoming an ever-growing concern.
In the end, I think that I procrastinated because I had done a lot of work already, and I knew there remained more work to do. I think that I was simply burned out on it.
The takeaway is: If I’m avoiding writing, there’s a reason for it. In this case, it was the burn out factor. In other cases, I lost my way, either plot-wise or character-wise. Sometimes, it’s simple tiredness. For me, prep work, like writing character studies, producing outlines, and writing story treatments keeps me from losing my way.
I’m still searching for an answer to the burn out and tiredness issues.