Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Writing Hiatus, or When Just Keep Swimming Isn't Enough #IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. November's co-hosts are Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass. Find the other IWSG participants here.
Okay, it's time to bring up some insecurities this month, and I apologize for a longer post than normal.

This year has been a much rougher one than I could have imagined or even talked about until now, and I must admit I'm reaching my physical and emotional limits. I don't do the best with change, and there have been too many changes this year that have taken their toil. To name a few:
  1. The whole political election and its aftermath. Sometimes I wonder if we're living in the backstory of a dystopian novel.
  2. All the natural and unnatural horrors happening within the world. It seems like a new one occurs every day.
  3. Overall, I do enjoy my quiet day job as a library assistant in a small academic library at a higher education center, but we've had ten staffing changes since December. At a place with around twenty employees, I've found it a lot to handle.
  4. My grandfather passed away in February. Logic brain acknowledges and accepts that not only are all four of my grandparents dead, but also that everyone I know will die. Unless we find a way to stream our consciousness to the internet or something, of course. Emotional brain didn't get that memo, and when my grandfather died, emotional brain suddenly realized all her grandparents were gone. It hit me harder than I expected.
  5. Chronic pain is draining my energy. After two back injuries and various other injuries throughout the years as well as not coping with emotions well and having a hard time even understanding them in myself (Alexithymia), I've developed chronic myofascial pain syndrome and chronic tendinitis. I take the bare minimum of pain pills and muscle relaxers I can get by with and still function (3 or 4 on the pain scale most "good" days), but pain is hard to live with day in and day out (since 2008). I'm just getting slower and slower.
  6. Number 5 doesn't help my generalized and social anxiety disorders. And I'm getting tired of having panic attacks every week when I go grocery shopping. Nor does #7 help with the anxiety either.
  7. I mentioned I don't like change, but I may have a neurological reason for it. Every so often, a very close relative would call out something I do as "autistic." I didn't pay much attention to it until April's Autism Awareness Acceptance month, and several of my autistic friends started posting symptoms and other information about autism in adults. I started to see myself in those posts. So I did some research and asked my relative why they said what they did. Well, it turns out their psychiatrist mentioned I sounded like I was autistic, and she does have a background in how autism presents itself in women. So I'm 98% certain I'm autistic and would consider myself self-diagnosed, although I do plan to seek a more official diagnosis once I have collected and compiled more data, have the funds, and find the courage (see #6) to find someone to diagnosis me. And if the government (see #1) doesn't make it harder for people with pre-existing conditions.
  8. My dad is remodeling the interior of our house. We've lived there since 1989, so it's time to replace the floors and paint and all, but my sanctuary is gone. Everything is different, and it's all just too much.
I've been keeping my head down, blinders on, and swimming along, but now I've come to a Niagara Falls' high waterfall, I'm trying my best not to take the plunge. Something needs to change before I break down, either physically or emotionally. I've been cutting back on things, and I don't have much left that I do beyond the day job and writing. Since the day job pays the bills, I've decided to take a month off, maybe even two, from writing and editing my own work. I fear that if I don't take the time off now, then I won't have a choice later on. It has happened in the past.

After all, I've been working on my own manuscripts every single day since July 1, 2015 through October 24, 2017 (over 615,000 words written!). With being a writer part-time seven days a week, working at my full-time job 5-6 days a week, and everything else, I just desperately need a break. Even though I feel really guilty about it and it hurts not to stick to a routine.

What does that mean for The Fate Challenges and Soul Reaper series? Soul Reaper is on an indefinite hiatus, but I do plan to dive into Forged content edits when I come back to writing in a month or two.

During my hiatus, I plan to read more. More fiction. More nonfiction about writing. More about autism (seriously it's my new special interest). I plan to play video games, watch TV, and just rest up so I'll be in a better mind-space to get back to writing come December or January.

November 1 question - Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?
  • NaNoWriMo 2009: Virtuoso - Finished (first draft), not published
  • NaNoWriMo 2010: The Cassandra Project (originially titled Sarah's Nightmare and then Missing) - Finished (first draft), not published
  • NaNoWriMo 2011: Starred - Finished (first draft), not published AND The Last Prophetess - Not finished, not published
  • NaNoWriMo 2012 and Camp NaNoWriMo 2013: Reborn - (Rewrite) Finished, published 2014
  • NaNoWriMo 2013: Forged - Eventually finished (first draft) in December 2015, will be published in 2018 AND Reigned - Not finished, not published
For all you NaNo participants this month, keep on writing and try writing an extra word or two for me too!

2017 Stats: 111,229 words written and 907,704 pages edited (my work and for others)

BOOK READ AND REVIEWED

SPECULATIVE FICTION BOOKS
RELEASING IN NOVEMBER
Omega by Jus Accardo
Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne
The November Girl by Lydia Kang
Mark of Fire by Richard Phillips
Sacred Seas by Karen Amanda Hooper
Void Wyrm by Chris Fox
Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
Twelve by Jennifer Lynn Barnes