To be blunt, October has been a month of failure. I’m glad to see it gone. Pretty much all my plans fell apart, and I accomplished very little. Read on, if you’d like to see a detailed post-mortem of the tenth month of 2015.
Welp. It’s time to update this.
One of the reasons I haven’t been posting regularly is that I’ve been working on stuff that I can’t post here. If I were to publish a story on these fine digital pages, it would be considered “previously published” and only qualify for a reprint rate. That would bring the value down to 1-2¢ per word. Not that short fiction pays all that great to begin with.
As a writer looking to earn money from my words, blogging stories is like cutting my own throat.
Out of all the different forms of writing, the one that I’ve never explored was screenwriting. I’m not sure why. I think it has to do with it being a “foreign country” as compared to prose.
At first glance the format seems intimidating. The strange margins and overall unfamiliar use of capitalization and line breaks disoriented me. I first started deciphering this when I created “Fake Fountain” for Ulysses.
This has been one of those periods where I haven’t been focusing on the blog. I’ve set a goal for myself to have my Ruby book out by June 1st. Along the way, I’ve managed to start adapting a short story into a comic and also started the preliminary work on a novel. So I’ve been neglecting posting regularly.
But even with the other projects, there’s still some gaps in my schedule. There’s time for posting, I just have to make use of it. Part of doing this is getting a handle on what I want to post about. With my attention pulled away, finding topics is more important than ever. I also need to spend some time coming up with a list of topics I can have at hand when it’s time to write.
So I’ll be coming up with an editorial calendar over the rest of this week, and start back to posting regularly next week.
What is one thing that you need to get done but can’t? §
This is one of those questions usually worth avoiding.
I have several things in my life that have gathered significant entropy. The problem is none of them have a deadline attached. No deadline, no results. That’s just how I run things around here.
My gun-to-head answer would be: downsizing my stuff.
In starting the new year, I moved from my normal bedroom to the guest room. I have an airbed, my desk, one set of shelves, and about 5 linear feet of closet space. My goal is to move into the small room, only bringing in what I use daily. When a certain equilibrium is reached I should be able to sort through the rest.
Having some physical distance from the mostly unused stuff will hopefully let me gain some mental distance too. Then the stuff I don’t use daily can be sorted. I expect a good portion of it will go to charity.
So what’s the hold up?
I just don’t think I have enough emotional distance yet. This is something that needs to be done a little each day. There’s too much to do in just one sitting. Since I’m out of the room, I can just ignore it now.
For comparison, I don’t have a lot stuff to start with. Almost everything I owned fit into a medium-large bedroom to begin with. I like to travel light. My record for mobility was eleven apartments in nine years.
Part of my reluctance might be I’ve already cut close to the bone, stuff-wise. This last cut might as well be a life reboot.
Nature might set a deadline for me. The guest room has a large window in a small wall. It faces due south. Once the season starts to turn, this room will get too hot to work in. I should have until Valentine’s Day before that happens. By then summer should be getting real close.1
Deadline set. Now I can get moving.
- Phoenix weather has four seasons: summer, Hades, monsoon, and fall. ↩
Rather than having a daily debate about today’s agenda, you can decide once that you will do something, and then decide every single day how to do it. §
A way of saying “just do it” with built-in commitment.
My schedule is my enemy.
Each morning I have an alarm set for 7:30. The plan is to wake up and get moving no matter how well I slept. It’s been my hope my body would respond to this, and go along for the ride. Then I would be tired and go to sleep at a time that would let me wake up feeling rested at 7:30 a.m.
I’ve noticed a few things about my energy levels during the day.
- Mornings carry a lot of inertia. If I don’t have somewhere to be, it’s easy to go back to sleep.
- I tend to have a real power outage around 3-4 p.m. when I’ve been writing.
- Around 10:00 in the evening, I seem to get a second wind. This happens even if I don’t have a nap during the day.
Looking back, I might have been a bit optimistic in my plans to ensure a decent wake up hour. The morning inertia is my biggest hurdle. I guess that’s just the lack of good sleep.
Another thing I really need to consider is planning for naps. If I’m nodding off at my desk, I need to go with it, and just lie down.
I’m not sure about the evening energy spurt. It’s good solid quiet time in the house. I might experiment with turning it into admin time. Then I won’t have any expectation of creative productivity. It’ll be a good time for reading, planning, and computer/file maintenance.
If this doesn’t work, maybe I’ll get a bedside coffeemaker.