Monday, January 20, 2020

This Schedule Already Rocks my Socks!

[This got a little long for the FB post it started out as. I'm going to do some navel-gazing about my wonderful, kick-ass new schedule that I can already tell is better than sliced bread and possibly not getting charged the extra buck for guacamole at Chipotle.]

Going in two hours later each day (or an additional hour and 15 minutes on top of the late November adjustment) is going to make a big difference. For reasons I think have about 90% to do with perception, that end of the day has a very "small change, big results"/"fiddle with the knob and get a whole new dynamic" type ebb and flow about it.

I'll be able to really knock out an entire day writing before I have to get to work. If I sleep in, wake up, eat, do my morning routine (which I'll be the first to admit includes too fucking much Facebook), and then sit down to work a little late, I won't immediately have that sense of "WTF just happened? There's no time! I have to crank out some kind of puff piece if I'm going to get out of here by 1:15." Even when I **DO** have to go into work, most days I'll be done in just a couple of hours (instead of five or six) and able to come back and keep going if I wish (instead of exhausted). Plus there's plenty of time for adulting if I need an appointment or something, and not having to figure out what writing to sacrifice every time you want to have a teeth cleaning, get a skin tag looked at, or go take care of your passport is exactly the kind of thing creativity needs to flourish. Our high-octane, late-capitalism world of side hustles, constant productivity, and zero-sum time management is a near-impossible environment for creative thought, no matter how fecund the starting soil.

I also have a feeling that I WON'T do as much Facebook. At least in my experience I won't. I waste time––like really waste it––when "me time" feels like a starvation economy.  When I actually have time and I'm not worried about how much I've got to get furiously get done before I "hop in the shower at 12:30 to be on the road 1:15....", that's when I start having ideas left and right (but mostly left ones *rimshot*) and sitting down in the middle of the afternoon on a lark to just crank out two hours of fiction or something.

I also have a hard cap of 18 hours. The past few months it’s been 30 with most week’s creeping up to 35+ Twelve or more hours a week makes a huge difference. It’s like having an extra entire day.

But sitting here today, I can already tell that the biggest difference will be the three-day weekend every week. I got two days to relax and become myself again (yes, I was just coming back from a vacation, but with high-powered introverts like me, there has to be decompression after travel, no matter how relaxing the time was). Each day I wrote, (for I write every day), but without blog deadlines and productivity demands (and as I mentioned above, ironically wrote more). But then, instead of hopping right back into the grinder with a sense that I had only JUUUUUUUST gotten my various psychic needles out of the red, I get an entire extra day to focus on writing.

I know today is a bank holiday, so I'm joining many in having this three-day weekend, but getting one every week is going to help my creativity, help my quality vs. quantity, and help my output.

I took a pretty big financial chance with this schedule. An expensive month is going to see me dipping into my savings. (And so I take a crass moment to remind everyone that even a small patronage over on Patreon will help me out immensely.) However, that is actually what my 3-year-old Kickstarter is FOR––shoring up a budget shortfall and keeping me writing. I probably have too many money anxieties to sit and watch a savings account shrink month after month after month while staying zen and it was a mistake to think I could, but once in a while, I can talk myself down and put on my oxygen mask.

This will be the most writing-est schedule I've ever had. Technically, it won't be the most writing-est TIME I ever had. For 18 months in my early thirties, my then-spouse supported my quitting my day job. The only thing I had to do was about two hours of housespousery a day. And while I learned a lot and wrote a lot, I did not yet have the tools to make the most of that opportunity––both in terms of my prose skill, but mostly my discipline to stay focused on writing for hours a day.

However, I have never had a conjunction of so much time AND so much ability. If I can keep from worrying overmuch about my finances, it's going to be an explosion of creativity.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Domino Squirrels

Me: Wait, why do I have a window open to some comment about the immorality of physical violence in the formation of nation-states? Why am I reading this while I should be writing?

My brain: Because you were listening to your "Because you wanted Moana but also some other stuff."

Me: You're going to have to walk me through this one.

My brain: You were listening to Moana on a loop, but you got a little tired of it. Not so tired that you wanted to listen to other things, but tired enough that you wanted to intersperse other things into your Moana experience. But manually changing the song back and forth meant meant closing your writing tab every couple of minutes. So you turned on your soundtrack genius, and just started skipping songs you weren't into since that just takes a click. "Soundtrack" genius picks gave you Braveheart. Not the regular soundtrack, but the one with all the voice-overs called Additional Music From Braveheart which you bought because you're a big nerd who loves that soundtrack. You started reciting, along with the song, the last line to yourself in your best Mel Gibson-being-Scottish accent. ("They fought like warrior poets.") You wondered what really happened at Bannockburn since "historians from England will say Robert the Bruce's voice over was 'a liar'," Googled it, read up on the Wikipedia––WAY different––and like a COUPLE other things, and then found, on only the second or third page of results, an interactive map, and somewhere between "can't look away," "distracted by other people's emotions," and this idea that as a writer you have to occasionally "experience the malevolent aspects of the human condition," you scrolled down to the comments, which––being internet comments––did not stay on the subject of Bannockburn, but became a shoehorn for some white dude's freshman political philosophy ramblings.....

....all while you should have been writing.

Me: I miss our ADD meds.

My brain: I miss them too, brah. I miss them too.