Thursday, 24 April 2014

A creature of habit

The next episode of The Second Realm still has no release date. What this means, really, is that I've been a laughably ineffectual writer over the last four months, and it's time to make some excuses...

The essence of my problem has been disorganisation. By preference, I'm a creature of habit - I like being able to know a week in advance where I'll be at any given moment. I thrive when I can take a few minutes on a Sunday afternoon to run down the coming week, see where my fixed commitments are, and fit all my creative activities around them.

This helps me focus my otherwise rather hyperacSQUIRREL (why is it always a squirrel?). This helps me focus my otherwise rather hyperactive and distractible brain to the project I want to work on next as I'm winding up to it. It helps me maintain the essential habit of writing (which doesn't necessarily mean writing every day, but it does mean writing often enough to keep momentum up). It also helps me manage my own psychology, by giving me at least the illusion that I control my life (you'd think our secret reptilian overlords would be more helpful in that regard, but I've yet to hear from them).

Anyway, organisation since Christmas has been in short supply. All my employment plans were rather drastically shaken-up at the end of the Christmas break; one of my employers decided they didn't have money to pay me for this term's work and so let me off all my obligations to them until September, and the other switched me from the reliable, stable client I'd been working with for a year and a half to a new client who was... I really can't call it anything nicer than 'chaotic at best'.

This meant less money and thus more stress, but the real problem was just that often I couldn't know even an hour in advance where I was going to need to be. Many times I made the 40-minute journey to work (which is actually a half-hour journey but I tend to err drastically on the side of caution), only to stand around waiting for the client for my contractually-mandated 15 minutes and come home. Once I got a cancellation message for a 9AM meeting with the client at 4AM the same morning.

So while the repeated cancellations did technically mean more free time, I spent a lot of it commuting unnecessarily and the rest of it not really knowing whether I was coming or going. There was also the small matter of stumbling my way into a new relationship, which was and is great but relationships are and should be largely spontaneous, which is to say not organised.

The upshot of which is I've done about half as much writing, about half as well, as I would have liked. The frustration from that, combined with all the other stresses which come from uncertain employment, left me possibly more fatigued at Easter than I've ever been before. Still, the wondrous freedom of summer is just around the corner and things should get better from here on out. Or at least if they don't, it will probably be my fault rather than the cruel whims of fate...

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