I’m going to be dropping the frequency of blog posts, at least for the foreseeable future, to once a week.
This isn’t arbitrary, and I don’t much like it, but it’s better than the alternatives. If I don’t, I strongly suspect that I’ll be posting lower quality before long, and then stop altogether, quite possibly for several months. The reasoning is all tangled up with priorities that strongly include writing, so I figured it might be worth explaining.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m unable to work because of a depression/anxiety combo. (Yes, I’m aware, there’s intense social stigma against even admitting, let alone discussing, mental health issues. Guess what? It happens. It’s a medical condition, it’s real, it’s extremely common in varying degrees. Get over it.) One of the key things it does is undermine my ability to cope with stress – including the stress of too many projects on the go.
I had hoped to get my novel YinYang through the final rewrite and some formatting and make it available by the end of the month. I’m also trying to find time to work on a new urban fantasy novel, finish up a 25k word/60 pg Moonblood story to post, and add more to my Gaia series which is a combo of rewriting existing material and filling in holes now I’ve redone the format. Two blog posts a week aren’t the main reason why YinYang isn’t going to be out on time; much of that falls to a necessary and overdue switch between webhosts and trying to get everything set back up on two domains. However, while trying to deal with the unexpected complications, I realized just how much and how fast my stress was ramping up, which means it was starting from an elevated level to begin with: not high enough to have much impact directly, but high enough that it would take much less of an unanticipated crisis to knock me down hard.
A basic reality of my life is that I have “crashes” when I go essentially non-functional, to the point of not caring enough to bother eating. Yes I’ve tried meds, no they don’t work for long if at all. The best way I know of, to avoid one of those crashes, is to watch for sources of stress and minimize them. Another way is to spend substantial time on the phase of writing that feeds me: the actual writing part, not editing, not analysing. Even without a job, there are only so many hours in the day, and things like sleeping and eating and showering are useful, some degree of exercise is a good thing, and it’s unfortunately necessary to do at least a minimal level of laundry and housework. Throw in four cats needing cuddle-time and play-time, being admin of a site for the most wonderful community in the world, and cat toys for friends and shelter kitties, and writing time starts to become precious.
If I sound like I’m whining, with so many people working full time and still finding ways to write, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you have to, and sorry that I can’t. There was a time I could juggle things at least somewhat; since a very bad collapse a few years ago, my threshold changed drastically. It’s even lower when the days are shorter, and while it’s still summer here, we’re heading rapidly for the fall equinox, and I’m thinking ahead.
It comes down to priorities, as I said at the beginning. I love it when I share something and it’s enjoyed. It truly makes me happy to offer something that I’ve woven out of my own being, that contains a piece of my soul, and have it accepted and understood. A step above that, though, is the need to be free to let the stories play in my head and on the computer screen; for as long as I can remember, that has been one of my greatest joys and strongest drives. Reflections about writing, while I find them interesting to write and while I hope they’re interesting to other people and maybe encourage others to set their own creativity free or to think about things differently, well… that’s below either aspect of my fiction itself.
So, since I need to start simplifying voluntarily before I simply shut down involuntarily, this is the first stop. Down to one post a week, and I’ll try to keep the quality up. (Judging by the stats, what everyone wants is discussion about sex and gender: the Assumptions post on that has had easily the highest number of views. It’ll probably happen but it would get old in a hurry.)
If you’re dealing with mental health issues: hang in there. Creative stuff helps, even when it’s hard to get started on it or hard to sustain it. If you aren’t and never have: I’m glad. I wish no one had to figure out how to cope with it. Either way, thank you for reading this and thank you for looking at my blog!
And if you’re looking for me this weekend, I’ll be on Gaia recharging my internal batteries.