Letters to Loki # 29 Contents under pressure.

Dear Lopt,

I have been feeling some strain over trying to juggle writing ambitions, housework, and the kids. Looking at all of this, I honestly find myself wondering how other people manage to have this life that looks perfect. I have been avoiding places like Pinterest and the mommy blogs so that I don't get all upset over how I am not doing that. It has been a really challenging week.

The biggest challenge I have had, to be honest, hasn't come from the kids. It has been treating myself better. Stopping myself from doing those old habits of self-denial and self-criticism is exhausting. I keep catching myself about to say something truly horrible to myself when things don't work out quite right. It is both sobering and saddening to realize how often I do that. They say that it takes a month to establish a new habit. If I stick with this, perhaps it will become a habit to catch myself when I am about to do something detrimental to my mental state.

I think the realization that I had been self-perpetuating the verbal abuse I grew up with was partly due to a shove nudge from you to think more deeply on what my therapist said last session. I wasn't happy when I sat down and followed the mental NOPE-train back to where a lot of my present difficulties have been stemming from. Still, I now know (It is so weird that the addition of one letter changes the pronunciation so much.) I suppose I have a start on resolving the problem. I've been feeling ashamed of how awful I had been towards myself. Then I remember that 95% of the problem is conditioning and I feel a little less horrible.

This week, I have been (in addition to the mental health improvement efforts) doing my best to maintain better posture. Freyr is of the opinion that when I break the habit of stooping to make myself seem shorter than I really am, it will help me feel better about my over all appearance. I am a bit baffled by how that is supposed to work. Still, I have been making the effort. As a result, however, my back has been uncomfortable because I'm using muscles differently and my stomach has been as well. From what I have been reading, strengthening my 'core' will help me maintain better posture and fit into my pre-preganancy jeans. I haven't been organized enough to start doing sit-ups everyday but I have been trying to remember to keep my abdominal muscles tensed/flexed/used (What is the right word for that? I honestly can't think of it.). It has been making for my stomach to feel tired some too.

I guess the minor physical discomfort is secondary to the goal of greater health. I am feeling a little frustrated, however, that I keep forgetting to do stuff like this. I suppose it will come with more practice. That whole "It take 3 weeks to start a new habit." thing in action, I guess. The other habit that I am working on getting back into is writing everyday. The last few depressive episodes really messed with my writing output. I think the daily blogging is helping some. The blog entries are a bit rough and I'm a little behind schedule, but I am getting something done everyday.

Now, if I could manage not to be sitting staring at the screen trying to brain up something to write on my manuscripts, that would be awesome. I picked one to work on and I just keep going nowhere with it. I have tried going to source material and drawing out more inspiration but nothing's really been happening. I am tempted to drop the current manuscript and pick up a different one to resume work on. I am glad that I'm not doing the Camp Nanowrimo thing this month. My word count would be atrocious right now, and that is before you take into consideration the difficulties I have been having writing. Just on the basis of the amount of disruptions and distractions is cutting my work time to a quarter of what it is during the school year.

I keep starting to get upset that I am not banging out 50k in two weeks or 3-5k words in a day. Then I pause and remember that there are a lot of very valid reasons why I am not having the words flying off my fingertips. I have been working on getting my second fantasy novel ready for self publication. That blog I have been using for world-building material has been languishing for almost a month (and not being updated very often for the last half year or so) because I have been busy with edits on this book. I am now at the point where I need to figure out what I am doing for a cover.

The different 'cover creator' things I have been finding are not satisfactory right now. I know that I don't have the funds to pay an artist to make something. I am not going to have the hubris to ask someone to do it for free (aka 'You'll get a lot of exposure!') because that is insulting bullshit. Those artists work damn hard and deserve to be compensated for it. I know at some point, I will get this stuff figured out and I will eventually be able to pay an artist to make stuff happen. I just have to hang in there and keep at it.

I have been reading about Amazon's sketchy games with e-books and it makes me a little nervous. I have also been reading about this stuff regarding marketing and, honestly, I am coming away from it feeling like an idiot. Trying to write a decent sounding blurb for the back of the book jacket feels awkward and awful. It is like this is the revenge of Comm101. I hated attempting to write articles. They never came out right. I tried really hard and all I did got bad grades. That's part of the reason I get apprehensive about this stuff. The other part is the fact that I recognize that I really am not good at writing for mass market stuff. I don't know if it is an extension of my social phobia or what.

Still, I need to figure that out because that is going to probably be what I need in order to publicize what I've got done. Publicity.. there's a word that scares the piss out of me. I've been doing the 'if I don't look at it, it will leave me alone' thing on that front but I can't do it anymore. So, if you have suggestions for where I should start on approaching this mess, Silver Tongue, it would be deeply appreciated. The fact that it is like public speaking messes me up. The fact that it is in written format only makes it marginally easier to approach.

But, that's where things stand right now. I am going to go and drink my beer. Then I am going to attempt to use part of this hour I've got free to get some work done, somehow, on this manuscript staring me in the face.

No comments: