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Emerald Sword update

I got to bed earlier last night, at four thirty. I got in two four-hour sleeps, was up but not really functioning around nine or ten this morning, then slept again till four and took some pills. So I have decided today I do the edits.

Kittenlets are watching Lord of the Rings in the living room. For video background noise this is at least tolerable because it's in genre and the music is inspirational. Their busy industrious mom is upstairs working on four articles and doing some website help for one of her colleagues today, happily earning mondo bucks as a copywriter and catching up on the day's work. She actually worked hard on Friday so she could get the whole weekend off and having done so is back to her usual pressured schedule mid week. But some of that is how she organizes herself.

I mentioned at the bottom of the last entry that I needed to get the paper and put the ink cartridge into my printer. I got the tray moved. I got up and got coffee. I went upstairs and got the paper. She apologized for forgetting I needed paper. But realistically, people who are paying her hundreds of dollars for short articles that need to be pin-perfect have a higher priority than Dad's startup activity in the basement. I know this. She got busy and the only way I'd get the paper without delay was going to get it.

I came down, put the paper down, wobbled and realized I did that on sheer willpower, because I am not so much having a Good Day as a spurt of willpower. So I am sitting down and resting before getting up to put the ink into the printer -- it's not something I can do sitting next to it or I'd be doing it right now with no trouble. Physical limitations again.

I speculated that it's the fussiness of my left-brain editing side that makes me need to have everything in my workspace perfect and organized with all my supplies in hand before starting. Kitten laughed at that and said "No, it's just you, Dad."

And now sitting down to rest after the Paper Expedition, I understand why it's just me and what a whole lot of my blocks were over the years. Logistic awareness. I don't assume that I'll be up to going upstairs for paper later on or tomorrow. I don't assume that I can afford another ink cartridge. I've been in too many bare-survival situations where I couldn't take care of my basic needs to assume that if I run out of paper or ink or postage that I can just pick up where I left off after a little inconvenience. And so something in my mind shuts down if I don't have the resources to finish the job I'm starting, because too often it's turned into wasted effort and heartbreak when I did otherwise.

Maybe I can start breaking that habit, but the best way to get past it is to stock up on supplies way in advance. Then make sure that everything is as physically convenient as I can make it. Going up the stairs for paper was doable on sheer willpower and determination. Going out to the store to get it would not have been possible at all during most of my life. And if she runs out, then the next time I'll order a box of reams and keep it down here even if it's bulky, because that may be easier for me. I should probably mention I'm running out again when it's halfway down and then she'd just bring it down the next time she comes downstairs.

So tonight I continue the printouts, once I get this going. If I'm not cogent enough to actually do the chapter one tightening (which I never know which way the weather's going to take me), then I can get the physical printout ready. And then tackle the edits. I know what I'm going to do to that bit so I could hand it off to her with the section I'm tightening marked and edit that later once I have the final version of it before Kitten looks at it.

But I may work on it while printing if I can start bringing the pain down again, right now it's just exertion from going upstairs like that. If I can get out a half-thrusters day and accomplish some of it, I'm happy.
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
I like your theory on resources vs productivity. I just realized earlier today that I do something similar, and that not having a stable place to live/enough food for most of my life at this point miiight have something to do with my low productivity in writing or art or whatever. A big "duh" moment, really.
Aug. 7th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
It was a big Duh moment for me once I first realized it. I got so frugal struggling for survival that I didn't like starting things I couldn't finish. It boils down to that. It didn't always cut my productivity in art, I had to be pretty sick for that because selling art would always bring in some food and help keep ends meeting. But novels don't bring fast money, so they don't fall into the "do something to get through this crisis" category like tarot reading or selling artwork.

I have to retrain myself to think in terms of real prosperity and moving beyond my current security. I've got a good roof over my head, compatible household, incredibly nutritious and tasty food that is improving my health (Kitten deserves a HUGE brag on that!) and now I'm realizing the resources I didn't have are right in my hands. I have enough ink now for four more manuscripts and did finish printing this one out. I could print it out again if it needed a second pass and this rough draft got just too messy to understand.

And I will have enough to send it to print in one month, after setting up the income-earning SBI site too. By the end of next year I should be self supporting if I stick with it and keep editing and putting novels into print -- there has to be a sizable backlist so that people who like one of my books can look over the list of titles available and order another one. Plus the sites generate income too though it takes months to build their traffic till they do, and that is also writing because I need to fill them with good how-to articles and interesting reading.

If you're struggling with a current bad situation, try to keep your head up and do something anyway. It does always help. It helps now that I have my choice of forty or so finished rough drafts to edit now that I can afford setup that fast. And Booklocker charges less for second and subsequent setups, so once I get going doing a book doesn't even need a full month to set up.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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