Turns out, no, I cannot force myself to take a break. I maintained my streak going all the way back to 2020 and still made significant progress—so, yeah? I’m not sure how I feel about that to be honest. On the one hand, I’m happy the streak was maintained and even happier about the progress made, but on the other hand, I was flirting with burnout.
It seems to be the hardest lesson to learn, when to recognize signs of burnout and then what to do about it. In this case, simply giving myself permission to take a couple days of rest was enough. As soon as I decided I wasn’t going to work on the novel that day, I would suddenly find myself with a free 15 minutes and think, “I’ll just go look at it,” and then end up with solid progress made. So—I’m still not sure what the lesson is there. I’m still trying to figure this whole thing out.
In regards to the novel, I’m past the midpoint and currently sitting at ~63% complete of the zero draft. I actually have a pretty solid idea of from the 75-100% mark. But actually closing that gap from the 63% mark to the 75% is still somewhat opaque. I was writing a chapter were a lot finally starts to click into place for the characters and realized I didn’t remember what character knew what and when they learned it, so I opted to stop and go into an editing phase to get a handle on that.
I’ll probably spend the rest of October doing that and start drafting again in November. Based on these latest developments, I’m aiming to finish the zero draft by the end of January 2022.