Brain: Hey, what the ass, man? It’s Monday.
Me: I’m aware.
Brain: Then where’s the Monday Challenge, motherfucker? Not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but that comes out on Mondays.
Me: Yes, I—
Brain: It’s right there in the name and everything.
Me: Shut up for five fucking seconds, will you? I know you’ve been like a coked out jackrabbit* the last few days, but try to rein it in.
Me: It’s all righ—
Brain: HA, JUST KIDDING, I’M NEVER SORRY ABOUT ANYTHING.
Me:…Well aware of that. Anyway, the reason we’re having this uneasy Socratic dialogue—
Brain: Uneasy what-now?
Me: Go read some philosophy. The reason we’re talking is because I’m changing it up a little this week. It’s December now, which means that a fair chunk of people have finished NaNoWriMo. Some of them completed the 50,000 words, and some didn’t, but the fact remains that there’s a shit-ton of tired, burned out writers out there.
Brain: So your solution is to give them a break? That doesn’t sound like you. Hand-holding: not your go-to move.
Me: Christmas is coming. I’m trying to be nicer.
Brain: That also doesn’t sound like you.
Me: Fuck off. Look, while I don’t go with the soft and fuzzy approach, I know that there are times when bashing your way through a brick wall with your forehead will only give you a headache instead of the armoured head-carapace that writers need.
Brain: I have noticed less headaches. Nice carapace, by the way.
Me: Thank you. Burn out is a real thing. Trust me, I know. And it’ll keep you out of the game.
Brain: So you’re just going to let them off so easy? Dude, I don’t even know you anymore.
Me: Didn’t say that. Burn out comes from focusing on one thing for too damn long. So, for this week, I’m going to so suggest the following for the Monday Challenge: change it up. Work on something new. Try something new. Shift your focus a little, even if it’s just for a day. Write a short story, a blog post, a poem. Whatever you didn’t do during November. Even if you didn’t do NaNoWriMo, there’s likely something that you’ve been working on for a while. It’s time to take a break. Come back to the Big Fucking Deal Project tomorrow.** For today, take your foot off the gas a little and stretch your brain.
Brain: I don’t know if I like the sound of that.
Me: You don’t need stretching. Now back to work.
*Seriously, I don’t know what’s up. Can’t even blame it on the coffee; I’ve been waking up like this. And getting the nagging impression I should run five kilometres right fucking now.
**And make sure you do, especially if it’s not done. This is a break, not a vacation.