Here we are; the first progress post of 2015. And you thought I’d already gone to bed.
Edits done this week: Finished “Date Night” second pass; did research for a short comics pitch, for which I am still waiting for a query response.
Words written this week on Secret Project X: No new words, but 5000 words edited, plus a half-hour of research.
My grade for myself: B. I would judge myself more harshly for the somewhat unproductive research day on Thursday, but part of that was due to me realizing that I had to query for an invite to pitch (yay for making sure you read your submission guidelines!), and part of that was due to me hitting a dead-end on my subject matter much faster than I anticipated. Still, next week I expect more serious work out of myself. With “Date Night” out for a beta-read, that’s going to mean a week of working on the new novel, which I’m pretty excited about, actually. (I plan to resume Eyes of Stone edits after I finish “Date Night”; one major editing project at a time, thank you.)
Good things about writing this week: I like “Date Night” even more the more I read it, which is an excellent feeling. Also, I have just generally begun this year feeling good about my writing. It may have to do with Not Our Kind and Beast Within 4 getting published so close together; it may also have to do with a general uptick in mood lately. (See “Real Life.”)
Bad things about writing this week: I was not nearly as productive this week as I would like to have been, and I am finding myself having a little bit of fear of getting involved in the Eyes of Stone process again. There’s nothing to do but face said process head-on, and I know I will be stronger for it, but I still feel the fear right now, y’know?
Writing life: Life in general is very good right now, and that includes writing life. Someone asked me yesterday what my current projects are, and I realized that I actually have about five of them in the works. Five! That’s a lot of writing work, plus I’m running an RPG campaign and holding down a full-time job. I’m actually very productive creatively, and early feedback says my work is actually pretty dang good. There is always room for improvement, but right now I feel good about trying to do it, and that is perhaps the most important thing. I’m just going to let this glide right into…
Real life: Real life is great. After a very rough Christmas, I decided to start this year by taking care of myself, and that means taking care of all aspects of myself, and of the people who are important to me and help me forge the life I want to lead. It’s just been little things so far — taking time for self-care, eating lighter, getting more sunlight, that sort of thing. I’ve started buying myself a new work wardrobe that actually fits me and flatters my shape and body type, and that looks professional, rather than the superhero Ts I’ve been wearing to work lately, and it’s changed my whole attitude about myself and the way I feel at work. (Rugby shirts and I were apparently made for each other.) I’ve stopped feeling guilt for my guilty pleasures while at the same time recognizing the need for moderation and diversity. And I’ve started making a point of trying to see the people I want to see and do the things I want to do and take care of the people and trying to be a bit more open and vocal about the positives in life. There is tons of pessimism out there, and tons to be pessimistic about; but I can also take time to appreciate how smart one of my friends is, or how amazing the pizza at my favorite place was. It’s important to challenge the bad things in life, and to oppose the bad things in life, but that does not mean I can’t share my smile when it comes up.
Of course, there will be periods of rage and upset and anxiety and all those other dark emotions that are part of the human brain-brew, and I cannot forget the need to take solid, long-term care of my body and brain with the help of medical professionals. And of course there will be days when I am low on spoons. But right now I feel pretty sanguine about dealing with that, and I look forward to channeling that enthusiasm into more thoughtful self-care, a better-lived life, and more optimistic writing as the year goes on.
Yeah, things are pretty great for me right now. Thank you for being a part of it.
Recommendation: This week, your recommendation is Moneyball, by Michael Lewis. It is likely you have heard of it, but really, it is worth a read. For those who do not have a synopsis, it is a look at the system used by the Oakland Athletics baseball club to build their rosters, and the much-maligned role of statistics and mathematics in the building of a baseball team; and along the way, it’s a fascinating look at the American struggle to deal with the war between data and intuition, and the ways in which institutions react to challenge and change, and also one of the most interesting and quirky looks at the sport of baseball I have ever had the pleasure to read. If you are looking for some non-fiction to spice up your reading life, check this one out.
And now, my words are spent, and I am ready to go wrap up the tail end of my Friday. Have a great weekend, everybody, and I hope we are all this full of smiles at the far end of next week.