Lactic acid debt is the burning you get in your muscles when you’ve ran for a long time or lifted weights for a while. That burning in your muscles represents a shift in forms of respiration. It’s also a good way to tell if your muscles are exhausted.
I was discussing my recent weekly word count with my writing buddy, Mike, and he mentioned I did really well last Thursday. I got over 1500 words which is the daily average for many writers. Despite my deficits on the other days, I felt like it wasn’t enough. Last fall, I wrote at least 1200 words a day and some days I got either two, maybe even three thousand words in a day.
I worked really hard in the second half of last year, fighting to write as much as humanly possible, at least it felt that way. I was able to finish a draft of Mind & Machine and Dual Identities because of it. I knew I needed a break afterward, as well as time to edit my work. I needed to pace myself and that was fine.
With the encouragement of friends like Mike, I was able to realize the value of typing one thing while editing another. I was able to see it a plausible goal. Of course, when everything gets shifted over to blast through one project, something’s got to give and that need for downtime comes back again much faster than it did before. Until a moment ago, I hadn’t seen it, but I have the writer’s equivalent of lactic acid debt. I burned out the raw writing so much, it needed time to rest and rejuvenate.
I see a time soon where that rest will have paid off. I not only have a big edit of a novel to finish, but I can also see myself getting interested in working on a new project enough where I’ll be devoted to it. Last week, I worked on an interesting section for the fourth Golden Hollow book. Today, I managed to write a little of The Third Ritual. Tomorrow, I might have to write some of Tesseract, but the important thing is that I’ll be writing. New, fresh writing, ready and waiting to combine with more writing and make a story. What more can I reasonably ask for?