We recently did an experiment. We tried rereading our first book, Systems’ Out!, to see if if made any sense. Here’s why, and here are the results:
When working on Blood in the Duff, we’ve had to reread the earlier chapters occasionally in order to keep the flow going. We also reread a chapter we’ve just wrote to search for typos. This is a normal part of our process.
The problem is that, lately, when we do this, we have a really hard time following our own writing. So we started to feel like we’ve been writing pure, unintelligible crap.
Which makes it hard to keep writing.
Systems’ Out!, on the other hand, is a book that reads very smoothly for us. We’ve reread it so many times, we are intimately familiar with it. More so than anything else we’ve written. We are so proud of that book, and it normally reads like we’re watching a well made movie.
It read like crap. We could follow it, but only barely.
This is not a good sign.
We are not so far into burnout that TV shows are impossible for us to follow, but we’ve been there before.
This is telling us we should rest. Which is NOT something we want to do.
We want to finish writing the Sunspot Chronicles before any sort of disaster strikes us. And the world is full of disasters with increasing frequency.
We also know (or, at least many of us do) that pushing through it doesn’t work. It’ll only make us more sick.
What this means is that our writing may go on hiatus for an unspecified length of time. We’ve taken enough notes on our unfinished books, we’ll have no trouble returning to them when we are ready. We have no ETA on this. We don’t know how exhausted of mental resources we actually are, and will just have to rest and test it.