Priorities: Blogging vs Life

I’m going to be dropping the frequency of blog posts, at least for the foreseeable future, to once a week.

This isn’t arbitrary, and I don’t much like it, but it’s better than the alternatives. If I don’t, I strongly suspect that I’ll be posting lower quality before long, and then stop altogether, quite possibly for several months. The reasoning is all tangled up with priorities that strongly include writing, so I figured it might be worth explaining.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m unable to work because of a depression/anxiety combo. (Yes, I’m aware, there’s intense social stigma against even admitting, let alone discussing, mental health issues. Guess what? It happens. It’s a medical condition, it’s real, it’s extremely common in varying degrees. Get over it.) One of the key things it does is undermine my ability to cope with stress – including the stress of too many projects on the go.

I had hoped to get my novel YinYang through the final rewrite and some formatting and make it available by the end of the month. I’m also trying to find time to work on a new urban fantasy novel, finish up a 25k word/60 pg Moonblood story to post, and add more to my Gaia series which is a combo of rewriting existing material and filling in holes now I’ve redone the format. Two blog posts a week aren’t the main reason why YinYang isn’t going to be out on time; much of that falls to a necessary and overdue switch between webhosts and trying to get everything set back up on two domains. However, while trying to deal with the unexpected complications, I realized just how much and how fast my stress was ramping up, which means it was starting from an elevated level to begin with: not high enough to have much impact directly, but high enough that it would take much less of an unanticipated crisis to knock me down hard.

A basic reality of my life is that I have “crashes” when I go essentially non-functional, to the point of not caring enough to bother eating. Yes I’ve tried meds, no they don’t work for long if at all. The best way I know of, to avoid one of those crashes, is to watch for sources of stress and minimize them. Another way is to spend substantial time on the phase of writing that feeds me: the actual writing part, not editing, not analysing. Even without a job, there are only so many hours in the day, and things like sleeping and eating and showering are useful, some degree of exercise is a good thing, and it’s unfortunately necessary to do at least a minimal level of laundry and housework. Throw in four cats needing cuddle-time and play-time, being admin of a site for the most wonderful community in the world, and cat toys for friends and shelter kitties, and writing time starts to become precious.

If I sound like I’m whining, with so many people working full time and still finding ways to write, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you have to, and sorry that I can’t. There was a time I could juggle things at least somewhat; since a very bad collapse a few years ago, my threshold changed drastically. It’s even lower when the days are shorter, and while it’s still summer here, we’re heading rapidly for the fall equinox, and I’m thinking ahead.

It comes down to priorities, as I said at the beginning. I love it when I share something and it’s enjoyed. It truly makes me happy to offer something that I’ve woven out of my own being, that contains a piece of my soul, and have it accepted and understood. A step above that, though, is the need to be free to let the stories play in my head and on the computer screen; for as long as I can remember, that has been one of my greatest joys and strongest drives. Reflections about writing, while I find them interesting to write and while I hope they’re interesting to other people and maybe encourage others to set their own creativity free or to think about things differently, well… that’s below either aspect of my fiction itself.

So, since I need to start simplifying voluntarily before I simply shut down involuntarily, this is the first stop. Down to one post a week, and I’ll try to keep the quality up. (Judging by the stats, what everyone wants is discussion about sex and gender: the Assumptions post on that has had easily the highest number of views. It’ll probably happen but it would get old in a hurry.)

If you’re dealing with mental health issues: hang in there. Creative stuff helps, even when it’s hard to get started on it or hard to sustain it. If you aren’t and never have: I’m glad. I wish no one had to figure out how to cope with it. Either way, thank you for reading this and thank you for looking at my blog!

And if you’re looking for me this weekend, I’ll be on Gaia recharging my internal batteries. 😉

Advertisements

About Steph Shangraw

More often known as prysma-kitty, prysmcat, or variations thereof, than by my "real" name of Steph Shangraw. I'm a crazy cat lady, indie fantasy writer, part of Kingston Pride, and admin of Cheezland.org, in no particular order. When not writing, I'm generally making cat toys for friends all over the world or for Spay Neuter Kingston Initiative (TNVR and then some) as fundraising, maintaining a lolanimals website for my friends, serving my three feline overlords Trick-or-Treat and Cory-Bear and Freya, serving as secretary/treasurer for the local Pride committee, and occasionally eating and sleeping. Anything writing-related, including my blog about the process and my serial fantasy Moonblood, can be found via my author site, apart from my old collection of shorts. Since I tend not to say something simply for the sake of saying something, that blog and my cats-and-life one are updated irregularly. A series of household disruptions, including health-related, through late 2015 and the beginning of 2016 has caused some serious delays in everything, including novel releases and writing, but I'm hoping to resume all around now things are getting back to normal.

Posted on 29 August 2013, in writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I believe in honesty above all else, so let me start off by thanking you for taking the time to write this & for being honest.

    I love your writing. It’s new & exciting & warm & endearing & edgy, all wrapped up in a prism! You know why I love it? Coz, as you yourself have said, you have infused every story with a part of your soul. Therefore, it is most (really!) important to me that you take care of YOU first, as with no you there will be no more prism stories…
    “Every life has a different perspective” – I can’t remember where I read that, but it has struck a chord with me from the start & I feel it has some relevance here. Everyone copes differently. At one stage in my life I was so dejected & so many things worked against me at the time, but I got through it not with meds or somesuch, I created a mantra for myself and wore it like a cape around myself to absorb or deflect all the bad in my life – “Life sucks, then you die”… Harsh words that shocked & dismayed most everyone who heard it, but their opinion didn’t matter to me, as I found strengh & solace in those brutal words & they helped ME. That was what I needed to do, this is what you need to do.
    Do whatever it takes, Steph, we will support you no matter what. You can even chill a bit on the editing & rushing to get books done – they’ll still be there tomorrow & your avid fans love you & your work enough to wait a little longer. 🙂

    Like

    • While I’m breathing, I’ll be writing. I couldn’t stop if I tried. I have every intention of continuing to share it, too, in any way I can. If no one was reading them, it would be easy to slip entirely back into just writing for myself – although even that’s never absolute, like YinYang sneaking itself into existence even though at the time I wrote most of it, there seemed to be very little chance of anyone else ever reading it. Knowing that there now are people wanting to read it, well, now there’ll be no silencing that part of the whole drive either! 😆 The stories in my head are about as easy to ignore as the cats are and about as inclined to listen to “not now”! I just need to ease up on the self-pressure to get everything done right now all at once and if possible yesterday.

      I’m sorry you went through such a bad time, but I’m glad you found a way that works for you, to get through it. The world would be a much poorer place for it if you hadn’t. I tend to keep reminding myself that everything comes in cycles: moonlight would be less amazing if the moon was bright every night, spring wouldn’t feel as wonderful if we hadn’t just dragged through winter, but the full moon and spring both eventually come. Combined with the overriding need to look after the purrkids, who are depending on me, and the need to tell stories somehow, I always come back out of it sooner or later. Getting better at spotting it coming helps.

      So does having the best friends in the world.
      *hugs for my biggest fan*

      Like

  2. Steph, never feel shame about your mental illness. The people who can’t or won’t understand are the people who don’t matter. I have Bipolar 1 Rapid Cycling and some weird form of chronic PTSD, so I know about that non functional bit. Stress does NOT help one damned bit. I also have multiple physical issues. I know where you’re coming from. Hang in there, sweetie! Big hugs to you and Sonya! {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Steph and Sonya}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    Like

    • Less ashamed than frustrated right now. Since I was doing so well for a bit, I think I kind of forgot that those extra limitations are there. At least I spotted them in time to slow down to a walk instead of hitting the wall at full tilt!

      Bipolar and PTSD, yeek, nasty combo just waiting to throw curve balls. 😦 Hugs right back atcha! {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Bunny}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: