Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Writing, dipped in chocolate

November is such a mess, it's a wonder I'm getting any writing done at all. But I keep on keeping on, and I think the reason has changed just a wee bit. Normally I write because I love writing. Now, writing is actually helping with my mental health.

My DH is being awesome on that front too. He's helping me focus on the right stuff instead of worrying in endless, useless circles. We're still making progress on the porch, and my office, and the house is starting to look spiffy. It's all good, though I have so much pressure from so many fronts--legal, work, social/volunteer, etc.--I'm starting to get stress symptoms. Bad dreams. Cranky tummy. Weird aches and pains.

Some of the stress will go away with Thanksgiving. The time pressure--too much to do, too little time--is not going to let up until December at the very earliest, and probably not until the bitter, cold end of December. So I have to identify and assess down time--what truly qualifies as down time, and what is the highest quality down time. For example, watching good movies really relaxes me, but that feeling doesn't last as long as when I garden.

Writing is turning out to be really high quality down time with long-reaching positive benefits. When I was writing full time, writing was work time. Really fun work time, but I had to organize stretching, snack breaks, running errands, doing housework, etc. around my BICFOK (Butt in Chair Fingers on Keyboard.) And I had to organize computer time around computer time--differentiating offline actual words on page vs. research, networking, communication, marketing, all that good stuff.

Now writing is a retreat. After a long stretch of writing, I have the energy to tackle other stuff. It's actually a subtle difference, because I always enter and then emerge from other worlds when I'm doing the novel thang. That stays the same. I guess it's one of those absence makes the heart grow fonder things. I don't take writing time for granted, therefore it feels more like a treat to be able to write. And I'm happy after I have my treat. It's as if writing suddenly got dipped in chocolate. It may also have possibly been dipped in nuts, but so far my flow still feels okay. I just hope it reads okay.

I'm looking forward to lots more treats tomorrow. I have a rare day off. Wee!

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