Semester Scramble: Aftermath

So what do you do when you finish a huge project that’s been sapping your time and energy for months?

If you’ve ever been a student (or worked in an environment with tight, immutable deadlines) you’ll know exactly what that’s like.  You rush through everything right up until the last minute in order to finish it all on time.  Sometimes you work late into the night for a few weeks ahead of the deadline; not recommended for the record.  All your spare time is devoted to ‘finishing’ whatever it is you’re working on.

Then it all stops.  Deadline comes and goes, the work’s done.  You have time for other things.

Do you remember those other things now?  Or did you experience what I call ‘sudden lull syndrome’ (SLS for short)? Do the following apply to you:

  1. General feelings of aimlessness.
  2. Unable to define ‘fun’.
  3. Uncertainty over what you’d like to be doing.
  4. A deep desire to sleep for a week.
  5. Boredom.

Congratulations, you’re a fellow sufferer.  Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as serious as it sounds.  Plus, you get the awesome perk of saying to your parents or significant other that you’ve caught a bad case of SLS.  Treatments are as follows;

  1. Play something completely random and completely stupid.
  2. Sleep the day away interspersed with reading.
  3. Sit and do nothing at all.  I mean it, no new projects.

In short, have a break!  Holidays are there for a reason and this is the best time I can think of.  I’m off to take care of remedy number two – let me know your medicine of choice in the comments.

8 thoughts on “Semester Scramble: Aftermath

  1. Jean Sarauer

    That pretty much defines life as a writer. Everything got poured into meeting the deadlines and after that I was like a soggy noodle for a bit. I definitely gave myself permission to be aimless after that. Of course I called it ‘filling up the well,’ because it made me sound cool 🙂 Enjoy your free time!

    1. TylinaVespart

      Hehe, that’s a good name for it. 🙂 Ever wonder why we have to come up with new names for saying we’re taking a break though? Strange.

      I think aimless wandering’s important, but I guess Dave’s right – should probably start the next thing first before that stage. Ah well.

  2. Dave Doolin

    You need to start something new right away.

    These days, I have the next thing underway just about when the previous thing is done.

    Once the next thing is rolling, then take your breaks, slow down a bit.

    Sean will attest to this as well.

    1. TylinaVespart

      Being completely honest I have another 3 things underway with plans for more already, though I guess my break could have waited a few days. Feel much better for it though.

      Have to bear it in mind next time. =)

  3. Ralph

    Just go lie on the porch. Close your eyes and don’t even think about squirrels. Reality will force you to do something sooner than you want anyway.

  4. Dr Egg

    I also like the idea of “filling up the well” – nice phrase. Taking time-out is always good as it allows a longer period of “thinking time”. I have the benefit of a 2 hour train journey to and from work where I get a lot of thinking done in the course of most days. Very helpful when mulling over issues. Amazing how many things get solved on my train!

    1. TylinaVespart

      That’s a long commute. 🙂 I know what that’s like though; my last job took about that long by bus and since I get carsick if I try and read or really do anything it left a lot of time to think. Very useful!


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