Thursday, 20 June 2013

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (psychologists love their acronyms) is, apparently, the reason I haven't been reaching my goals for the past three to five weeks. It's the reason I've doubled the time I spend sleeping and lost interest in jogging. SAD is the reason I could swear to myself that watching Teen Wolf would make life meaningful again, but then couldn't build up the energy to actually watch it. I even stopped browsing my favorite Tumblr tags.

I got obsessed with picking at scabs on my scalp, a problem I only solved by cutting my fingernails too short to get at the scabs. I don't want to make judgement calls on how people spend their time but I think we can all agree that scab-picking is less important than writing sexy sweet romance novels.

Now that I'm aware of SAD (awww, psychologists, you are cute) I can stop fretting over how it's possible to lose interest in telling stories while those stories are still popping and fizzing in my mind. I can angle my head to see the light between the clouds on my way to work, or possibly put my face in front of a light bulb in an attempt at self-medication. That sentence only makes sense if you've read the SAD link I gave you at the start of this post.

I'm revising two stories but the process is halting. Both stories are the Best Thing Ever so you can appreciate my alarm at my own inability to focus on them or, indeed, on anything but sleeping or scabs. This blog post has taken four and a half days to write, for example.

The first story is called Exploding Engine Diagram and it will be my debut novel - my first published story longer than 50k words. It stars a mechanic and a coder and some cool friends and an asshole ex who is mentioned but never actually seen, which is exactly what you want from an asshole ex.

The second story is called Dictionary, Unillustrated and it features obscure words, chocolate cake, and bonding over an ant nest. It's a novella I'll self-publish and I'm very excited for you to get to read it.

Revision is one step forward, one step back. It is halting and depressing as all hell because you can see your hours disappearing but your writing doesn't seem to have changed. How I let myself get to the revision stage of two drafts at once is amazing to me, but there it is. I want these stories finished so you can read them. But I won't sacrifice the time needed to make them the best I can. Even if that time is increased a lot by my need to stop and stick my face in front of a light bulb.

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