Winding Down And Knowing When You’re Sick
Learning to go easy on yourself.
September 14, 2013 - 7:00 am
Organizing Your Creative Life In 13 weeks, week 11
Prolific science fiction novelist Sarah Hoyt follows up her “Your Novel in 13 Weeks” PJ Lifestyle series with a new weekly experiment each Saturday to figure out the best way for all creative types working from home to better organize their efforts.
Week Zero, Introduction: Organizing Your Creative Life In 13 Weeks
Week 1/2, Preparation: The Case For Making Lots of Lists
Week One: How to Make Your Mind Like Water
Week Three: The Lone Writer Against The Time Masters
Week Four: How to Tame Your Subconscious
Week Seven: 4 Tips So You Don’t Organize Yourself to Death
Week Eight: Organizing your Writing Life When Words Fail You
Sometimes I think I suffer from very specialized kinds of memory issues that relate only to symptoms and to how my body works.
At least I hope they’re very specialized memory issues, because if this starts affecting all my memory I’m in serious trouble.
As I’m working on organizing my creative life, which in my case is also my professional life by using Getting Things Done, a penguin timer and a bunch of note cards, I hit a mid-size snag. It’s a snag I’ve hit before, when working on other projects, and yet somehow it took me a few days to figure out what it was.
The week started very well on Monday, with me feeling energized and full of concentration. I figured out what I’d been doing wrong with Through Fire and edited the first chapter. Then I got some stuff edited to go up and listed to the lecture on publicity by Dean Wesley Smith.
It looked like the week was going to go very well.
And then I woke up on Tuesday feeling exhausted. One of those mornings when you go “can I sleep another day or ten?”
I attributed it to the approach of nine eleven and our truly bizarrely tangled national politics. I tried to slug through the day, but all I got done was the piece for PJ Media.
Wednesday was bad, but again I thought “oh, this is just the result of its being 9/11. I’m allowed some grief and depression.”
But on Thursday it felt pretty much the same, only with a curious new symptom. I had the ideas in my head, I knew exactly what I should be doing, but I couldn’t somehow muster enough strength to take the words in my head and put them on paper. I was also having trouble concentrating on such demanding tasks as emptying the dishwasher or folding clothes.
At which point from the dim depths of my memory I got the feeling “I’ve been in this place before.”