Insert interesting, witty title here

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It should tell you how tired I am that I didn’t even care about missing doing my 750words.com entry yesterday, let alone missing a blog post here. I realized it was going to happen and couldn’t summon the energy to scramble together something. I just let it slip me by.

Moving is always, always, stressful, and I’d hazard a guess and say most people hate it. Even though I am so happy to be getting out of the place I’ve been in since September 2012; even though I am so happy to finally be permanently cohabiting with Mr. Katje; even though I’ve had help from amazing people, without whom I wouldn’t have been able to do this; even though this new place is great, and I’m excited about living there — moving sucks. It sucks big time.

I haven’t gone through my email in a few days and my inbox now has over 500 messages in it. I can barely get an hour of publishing work done each day. Writing? Oh, yes, I think I remember what that was. I think I probably enjoyed it, and would again! (I’m referring to working on my books, here, not blogging.)

Well, that last part is not entirely accurate — since the month began I have written 3 poems. I’m hoping that number will go up. But writing a poem is not the same as working on The Jade Star of Athering or From the Ashes for a few hours. It uses different skills, different parts of my brain.

I have completely fallen behind in my Coursera courses and cannot bring up the energy to actually do any of the work for them. This is unfortunate, as I signed up for the courses in the hopes that they would help enrich my writing life. But I cannot spare the time or energy for them.

All my brain is focused on is The Move. Information falls out of my grey matter all the time, especially spelling — I’ve rewritten parts of this post trying to spell words correctly so many times I’ve lost count. If I’d let it go unedited, it would be unreadable.

All I can think about is boxes and things and do I have the energy to move that bit down to the car today and organizing my piles of random junk that have been moved, wholesale, from place to place for years and that has to end now. I am going through the piles and throwing out what needs to be thrown out and keeping what needs to be kept — but it is a big job, almost as big as the move itself, and I am tired.

So forgive me, forgive my lapses. Right now it is all I can do to keep myself moving, fixing on a future point when I will be fully in the new place, everything will be shiny, nothing will hurt, and I will have my brain back. In the meantime, I struggle to get my fingers to type out the words in my head; I struggle to meet my commitments to myself.

And I’m going on vacation in HabitRPG, or my character will be dead by the end of the week.

-Katje

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Embracing Quitting

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2013-Participant-Vertical-BannerI’m a perfectionist. Type A personality. I don’t quit things. I finish them, and they’re always perfect. If they’re not I need to take anti-anxiety meds and hide in my closet.

Very rarely this can be a positive thing — makes me get things done right the first time — but mostly it’s the fucking worst. I mean, generally this attitude makes me unable to deal with failure of any sort, which basically makes me unable to function because being human means failing at something on almost a daily basis. No one is every any good at anything until they practice, yet I’m the worst sort of drill sergeant in my own head, screaming at me, calling me a maggot, because I wasn’t perfect the first time — or because I THOUGHT about quitting.

Gods know how I ever got to a point where I not only finished but published two novels. I think I have, entirely, my outside support system to thank for that.

This year I signed up for Nanowrimo. Again. I do it every year, it seems (except 2010 — can’t remember why not, now, but likely I was just under unholy amounts of stress and made the smart decision) — Nanowrimo is like a drug I cannot resist. Its siren call urges me on to the greatest heights of success…or the lowest depths of failure.

Often I beat myself up for not finishing Nano. Even last year, when I reached 60,000 words two weeks before the end of November — I was upset because I hadn’t actually finished the story, which was what I had set out to do. Give me a chance and I’ll always find a way to be hard on myself.

Which is silly — a year later and that book, the one I started for Nano 2012, is published. Obviously I’m not a failure. My brain is a liar.

So this year I decided I wanted not only to write my ID — that is, write whatever the hell I wanted and not worry about story mechanics or whether my main character was too Mary Sueish or not — but also publish as I finished chapters. I felt it would give me…some sort of accountability, if only to myself.

I then decided to pants writing a story set in a world that needed extensive worldbuilding. Not my best decision.

At the beginning of November I was still deceiving myself into thinking I could do this, even without any portable writing tool — my laptop is on the fritz and experiments with the iPad have revealed it’s quite impossible to use it to write away from home. At least until Scrivener has an app for it.

And then came the editing and formatting delays with Stranger Skies, which I’ve mentioned here before. And I got so caught up with the work of publishing that I had to put writing aside.

I stressed about this for a while. How could I not? I was failing again.

And then at some point the stress just…melted away. The stress regarding Nano, at least. I got to the end of the formatting and editing work and…just never got back to Nano.

It’s not that I’m dissatisfied with what I’ve written so far; far from it. I think I have the beginnings of a good story there. I just don’t have the energy to write in the constraints of Nano this year. And, honestly, I should really be focusing on some WiPs before I go starting new projects to get halfway through before dropping.

So I’m embracing quitting this year. I’m not winning Nano; I’m not even going to up my word count any higher than where it is — a piddly 3,763. I’m letting it sit and I’m going to be okay with that.

Even if I need a little help from my good friend chocolate.

The Face of Insomnia

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I posted on Google+ the other day (or perhaps it was yesterday) that I’m so stressed this week I’m taking a step back from online life.

This was apparently a lie, because now the stress has snuck into my brain and prevented me from sleeping — the activity I’d slotted into my “online time”.

I am exhausted right now. I would do anything to sleep. It is 4:22 am and I’m supposed to be awake and getting ready for my day in 2 hours.

So, what to do?

  1. Write a blog post complaining about my insomnia, complete with ridiculous picture of myself.
  2. Work on The Jade Star of Athering.
  3. Drink ALL the coffee.

I know that in about two hours my body will go “Oh, hey, time for SLEEP!” and knock me out if I’m not vigilant about it. Any other day — any other summer — I’d let it, but tomorrow/this morning is class. I have to go to class. This is the very last class I need to be in for my degree and I’ll be damned if a little insomnia is going to get in my way now.

I just have to get through the next two days. Wednesday my group presents, and then I can stop stressing.

Wednesday. That’s it.

*prays for a Timelord and a Tardis*