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Even Bad Times are Sometimes Not Too Bad

This has been a major downtime for me, something that comes around once or twice a year and just has to be endured until it goes away. It’s been hard to focus, so none of my projects have moved towards completion. Editing Gift of the Ancien came to a screeching halt, even though it’s number one priority. I’ve spent whole days doing nothing but reading. And I do mean nothing — no housework except the bare minimum when there are no more clean dishes or anything to cook with, and the litter box. Can’t let the cat suffer because I’m not very functional.

Still, surprisingly, story ideas keep turning up and there’s forward progress on planning for The New Serfdom. Various tentative projects look a little less tentative, even it’s still unclear how I’ll ever get to them. The hand slaves universe won’t let me go, and I’m now thinking about a book that has two or three stories in that universe. One is almost finished, one is well-started, and the third is still just a few notes.

Yesterday, I realized that I was starting to come out from under the cloud, so all that is looking like a welcome challenge again rather than an impossible burden. Today is for finishing the betaing of a novel, and giving myself some good shakes to get rid of the last of the gloom. The weather might be partly responsible for the turnaround, with the temperatures dropping to a range that doesn’t wear me out. Or it might just be a natural turn of the cycle. Whatever, it’s time to get back to work.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Glad you’re rejuvenating. Reading is good.

    My allergies have me ready to rip my head off. I’m waiting for the first frost . . unless I end up moving to Florida this fall, which seems like a likely possibility. Maybe the pollen is different in Florida.

    • I hate winter, but the first frost will definitely help. Or maybe the darn weeds will just die soon. On bad days, my eyes don’t clear up till afternoon, so editing or serious writing is out of the question.

  2. I go through periods very similar to yours, Catana – even down to the cat box, which I really must change today. I don’t mind it; I feel the unconscious is eight-ninths of my !st draft identity as a writer, and I figure it needs to shift the furniture around every so often in ways I could never hope to understand. Reading is great for writers: one learns by osmosis.

    • I never would have thought of it as shifting the furniture around, but that’s an excellent metaphor. Yes, I think that’s what happens, at least to some extent. And makes those periods more tolerable. All that stirring around under the surface — and then things float to the top that you never could have thought of by working at it. I’ve had a story well-started, but hanging for a year or so because I couldn’t see where it was going to go. It’s one of my hand slaves stories and it seemed as if it was going to end unhappily, which I really didn’t want. Yesterday, the path opened up, so now I’m eager to get back to it.

      Reading keeps my mind alive during periods when I can’t be productive, and it provides the material for the unconscious to work on. Maybe someday I’ll write a post about reading, and learning the craft of writing by osmosis.

  3. Don’t get funky about your funk. I have those as well, and often, the best thing for me is to read voraciously. Book after book for a few days until my creativity gets reset.

    Hang in there!

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