Tomorrow is the end of what has probably been the most stressful and seemingly unproductive months in my life since graduating from Purdue at the ass-end of 2011. I looked at my calendar a few days ago and nearly had an anxiety attack just thinking of all the stuff I had done. Not “to do”, already done and it still hung over me like black storm clouds.
Social life has been busy. Work has been overloading. And it all seemed to culminate in the realization it had been in a month that had blow by so quickly that I’m still dealing with the headaches.
In the last week my social media presence has dropped nearly to zero. There was literally nothing I felt like doing but just screaming about whatever thing, trivial or not, was on my case at the time, which was usually “all things”.
As we fade into October, a month I swore started today, things are at least looking up for the time being.
The Harper’s AFC season starts on Tuesday and while it’s one of those things that puts a lot of boxes on my calendar they are usually moments of release. As bad as I am at soccer, it’s fun and just the pure act of running around with a bit of purpose invigorates me somewhat. Doing so in my lovely kits more so.
I’ve also got a lovely wedding to attend to, which means some parties and social gatherings, again, another way for me to decompress.
But the biggest drag in my life recently has been the difficulty in writing I’ve been dealing with lately. The stress has been eating away my time and my time needed to be spent writing and not stressing. By September 30th, I wanted to have written 40,000 words in the final book in my quartet. I am currently sitting at 33,500, which is far too short.
It’s not nothing, but I have schedules because I treat myself as a professional here and not keeping to schedules is depressing.
The stress has also torn down my drive for writing moving into the near future. Generally, every year I do what’s called “the quarter of death”, it’s like NaNoWriMo, but it’s daily goal is slightly lower (1,330 vs 1,667 words) and its duration much longer (92 vs 30 days). In the end the intended word goal is much, much higher (roughly 122,000 vs 50,000).
Last year I was able to do this, though a great lead was eaten away by a huge drop in work as I dealt with writer’s block and depression. But the goal was accomplished and the book was finished.
This year I’m taking the precaution of lowering the daily word goal to 760.
Because if I don’t meet word goals, I’ll start to second-guess myself. Is it purely motivational mumbo-jumbo? Yes. Does it help my anxiety? Yes. Am I really aiming for 1,330 anyway? Also yes. My hope is to keep to the main goal but seeing little boxes on an excel sheet change to green will help.
And it’s about self care as I get ready to jump over the ledge into this year’s quarter of death.
At the 760 rate and including a few extra days in January, I’ll write a minimum of 72,960 words. It’s far, far short of what I need to finish book four, and that has me worried, because I don’t want to spend too much time in 2019 writing it. I want to get to editing the series and getting it published, finally.
I’m really hoping that the next three months pick up, and I can get back to full writing strength, but there would be something storybook by finishing my series sitting in Newcastle or Kendal at the end of February.
I said I’d get an update here up before the end of the month and the start of the QoD, I managed that. And that’s what I need right now.