This is the first blog post I'm writing in September. The absence, at least for the first week, was planned, but since I returned from my trip I have struggled to get my writing practice back in place.
I told myself it was self-care, to be gracious and allow myself the time I apparently needed to recover from exciting but stressful travel.
But the longer I went, the less I was able to forgive myself, until it spiraled into a panic attack at bedtime on Sunday, and I knew that there was nothing caring about the idle time.
That's just me. It wasn't that surprising. I was fighting my nature, to put off work. I'm just a worker bee, and the sooner I allow myself to exercise that behavior, the more contentment I will find.
So yesterday I got back to it. I'm still catching up. Still very much behind. I came back from Austin with a lot of plans, yet somehow managed to find no more hours in the day with which to enact them. But I'll get there. That's what worker bees do.
Flotsam - Perhaps the Universe is trying to help me prioritize. Flotsam's copyedit was anticipated to arrive in my inbox while I was in Austin, and I expected to spend a long night trying to get it reviewed and turned around so the audiobook narration could begin. The copyeditor has missed the deadline, however, and I am able to focus on other things until that shows up on my desk.
Salvage - Before I left for KetoCon, I met with my editor to discuss the book's next steps. My hope was to finish it up in September and send it off to Parvus. I suppose, somehow, that may still be possible, but I find that it's already the middle of September and I'm not entirely certain how that happened.
I need to identify Salvage's theme before I do anything else. I find theme to be a very difficult concept, and I've been happily avoiding it, for the most part, while I try to clear my plate of other tasks. I did text my editor a question or two as I gave myself a moment to focus on it. I think if I allow my mind to be quiet, I will have better luck. I have been too intent on catching up on my podcast backlist since returning home, which keeps my head buzzing with a lot of noise.
Blog Posts - To prepare for Flotsam's season of marketing, I have a long list of topics about which to blog. Parvus has asked me to create content that we can offer to other websites, and I have a number of them started. A couple were dictated before my trip, and one typed up yesterday morning. None of them are 'finals', or even really completed. They are vexing me, because these may be the first tastes of R J Theodore that potential readers see, and I'm notoriously anxious over first impressions. I'm trying just to open up, be honest, and allow myself to be vulnerable. I do that all the time on the Asimov Hour, I was recently reminded. So I just need to stop trying to stand behind a podium as I compose these, I believe.
Short Stories - I also have a couple of short stories that were drafted via dictation and transcription. One is intended to offer to mailing list subscribers, and the other is meant to be one of a series of in-world novellas that I will self-publish. Neither one feels like it has a soul, yet. I think part of this is due to my discomfort with dictation.
Dictation - I'm getting more comfortable with the actual recording and transcription has become more streamlined, however I'm still not to the point where what I say feels anything at all like what I type, in regards to first drafts. I am pressing on, though, because just typing up this post has my wrist a little irritated. And I love getting so much walking in (still not sure what I'll do in the winter, and if I'm really good with dictating as I walk through the crowds in the mall instead of on relatively quiet streets).
Patreon - I have short stories I want to write for Patreon, as well. They're drafted, they have a SOUL, unlike my dictated drafts, but they have no PLOT. The opposite problem. I mean, there's a plot, but it drifts. I want to re-read them, make some adjustments, and then maybe take them to an editor because this is a different sort of story I'm trying to tell, and serializing to this level is new to me.
Podcast - Last night, a friend and I recorded the debut episode of The Hybrid Author Podcast. I think the plan is to be smart about it and build up a backlist of episodes before we launch. We also have to finish the website.
To-Do list - This is what I REALLY need to look at. I have a lot of pots on the stove right now, and I feel as though I'm reacting to assignments more than I'm proactively planning and strategizing. Since Flotsam became a Parvus project, my entrepreneurial side has gone a bit dormant, and I need to change that. Last night my husband told me he's proud of my hustle, but I don't feel like I'm hustling with my goal in mind. Not to say that stuff I'm working on isn't what I want to be working on, just that I don't have the view of the field right now. I gotta stop staring at my feet.
Snippets - For the time being, until this storm of activity is over, I'm going to suspend creative writing snippet posts on Thursdays. I don't know if I'll replace the blog content with something else or use the time to create the content listed above. Probably the latter, since I'm stealing time away from a worthwhile exercise.
NaNoWriMo - The season of mad writing is nearly upon us. I am ML for my region, and we have a lot of stuff planned. Which is fortunate, because I haven't had a minute to think about what I'm going to work on. I have it in my head that I need to be working on the third book in my trilogy, because during no other month of the year can I so effectively draft that much content. But there are also all those stories I mentioned above. I'm just not sure I'd be as productive with my focus split like that. There's a one-hour plot workshop toward the end of October, and I have until then to decide what I'm going to work on.
Asimov Hour - I had a bunch of trouble waking up for Asimov Hour last week after my trip, which had nothing to do with crossing timezones and a lot more to do with the stress and constant activity. I've been better this week, waking up before my alarm, again. Walking Dictation in the pre-winter darkness is going to be dangerous on my street, so right now my plan is to work on things at the computer (editing/blogging, etc) while it's dark and then go for my walk once it's light out. That was my plan this morning, but I'm already out of time and need to leave for work. Granted, I did not anticipate this post being this long. And I did already edit something else before I started.
Physical Wellness - One of the additional time-consuming tasks I've assigned myself is to get into peak physical health. My back was extremely bothered by the traveling and lack of usual walking and standing, and I need to build up my core strength again. In addition to walking, I want to get back in the basement to lift weights. I have a training program picked out, but I am resisting actually going down to do it. I think it's part of the time crunch I'm feeling. But it's important, and if I really want to do this, then I can't let anything stop me.
So it's Tuesday, and I haven't walked with any sincerity yet. At lunch, I plan to walk through my favorite small town, dictate (I don't know what yet), and then stop for my lunchtime coffee at my favorite shop where I haven't been in weeks! Tonight there's a doctor's office visit to sit with my laptop and no internet for some focused time, and then we're having dinner out with a friend and coming home to unwind after. So today will likely not be the day I get into the basement gym, but I will be happy if I can get the work done that I need to and get my walk in.