January Up and Down and Update

The trouble with being interested in the world is that sometimes the world is too interesting, and reading the news all day with my jaw slack from just how utterly bananas the world is not a very useful way to spend my time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time this month – partly because I’ve had a lot of difficulty getting my schedule rolling again after the holidays.

One of the really interesting things about writing is that it isn’t something that can be multitasked or done with distractions. Or, at least, it’s that way for me – I have friends capable of writing in the noisiest places, which seems like a superpower to me.

Personally, I need to arrange my time carefully. I need to focus, I need noise cancelling headphones. Most days I need music, some days I need blank silence – I have ear plugs for those days. What I don’t need are interruptions – and when the world is full of fascinating interruptions on the daily, from Capitol invasions to the rise of STONKS!, it gets very, very tempting to interrupt myself and look at the news, look at social media, talk to someone about it…

So the trickiest thing is in defining the time that belongs to writing, and guarding that time. Being able to draw a line, and once you’ve crossed it, ignoring the rest of the world in its entirety. It’s not too difficult to guard half an hour like that, but I need whole days. It is difficult not to be curious about the state of the world for a whole day, it is a little too easy to answer the phone or check if the day’s drama has developed in new directions.

My solution, right now, is to focus on smaller chunks. And enough smaller chunks add up into a day, y’know?

The other thing I’m doing, timewise, is making more time to work. The math for progress on Aconite Braid – currently at 43.76%-39.13%, done somewhere around May/June – is not doing as good as it was last time I checked.

I can either work myself harder – which is the path to burnout – or I can accept that I’m probably going to need to take extra time and make that time. That way? Trying to get my writing speed up is risk free. If I fail to do it, I’m still good. If I manage to improve my pace, that’s rad. Either way? I’m making myself room to work and removing as many roadblocks as I can.

Hopefully, you’ll all find roadblocks you can take out of your way, and have a wonderful month ahead.

As always, thank you so much for your support, and I’ll drop you a line next month.

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By foozzzball

Malcolm Cross, otherwise known as 'foozzzball', lives in London and enjoys the personal space and privacy that the city is known for. When not misdirecting tourists to nonexistant landmarks and lurking at bus stops, Malcolm enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy with a furry twist.