No, I’m not talking physical fitness (or lack thereof) or that mattress you need to replace. I’m talking about that time between when you have something on deadline, and something that’s not.
With deadlines, there is pressure to finish, to revise, to get it done on time. You have a specific time to be done, and you tend to adjust accordingly. Essentially you have the feel of someone requiring you to work. But when you don’t have a deadline, you have to make yourself work. This time of the sag is a double-edge sword.
This time between without pressure to accomplish anything particular is necessary and vital. It’s a time to refresh, rejuvenate, and try out new stories and ideas. To play and to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s a time to fail or succeed–to try and see what happens. At the same time, it’s a time to be lazy and do nothing. That’s okay too. Sometimes you need lazy time. But then, what happens if the lazy time goes on and you don’t write? There’s the other edge of the sword.
I’m in a sag time. I’m writing and playing and trying to make sure that I’m getting things accomplished. After all, I like to eat and to live. So at some point I have to be productive and I can’t wait too long. But deciding how long is personal. The thing to remember is that sag time is key to mental happiness and growing as a writer. You just can’t lose your discipline while you sag.