This week I realized I’ve been fighting a heavier or lighter version of this &*%^$! cold/flu bug for the past five weeks. I’ve had enough of it. I’ve been dosing myself with every appropriate kind of Chinese herb and nutraceutical in our home pharmacy, as well as asked hubs for acupuncture (and gotten a treatment!), done the salt bath thing, etc., etc. I may have even finally turned the corner, considering I’m not coughing every five minutes nor honking into a tissue while I’m writing, and while the headache lingers, the furbabies let us sleep ourselves out today, and the past week has felt almost like a staycation for its very light work schedule and my ability to do the necessary without going in to the office.
All of which brought forcefully to mind Kait’s closing blog post for the previous round of ROW80. I’m starting to think my house blend is something related to my own introversion: The absolute need for a lack of social commitments so I can enjoy quiet time. As Kait noted, there’s nothing like being sick for enforcing boundaries and ensuring we take care of ourselves. It may also be related to Tesla’s quote at the beginning of this post (which is the closer tie to how that house blend plays out in my writing): We need that kind of distance to be able to ask intelligent questions of ourselves and connect with those inner directives that frequently go against the grain of what the larger society would have us do. I’ve been almost totally anti-social this week, and tonight was able to add 500 words to Red Slaves book 3 for the first time in months.
We’re still not fully moved into our house; the other side of our family is facing a new health crisis necessitating future changes; and I still have to work out a schedule to study for the PMP exam I plan on taking in a few months. But without time with just my immediate family, and including time to do the kind of binge-watching we’ve done the past few nights on Sherlock (which, OMG, FANGIRL!!!), I don’t have enough separation from the crowd to manage my need to be creative.
Which brings me back to that house blend theory again: My stories all seem to have that intellectually curious character who can come up with all the right questions, but has a hard time accepting whatever form of magic is providing the correct answers to them. I would say my personal catchphrase could be “I believe,” but I also like to think my mind is still open to those questions my characters drive me to ask. I suppose that means my stories will generally have an air of mystery about them not unlike what my new favorite TV show has–even if I’m not into writing police procedurals or detective stories.
So. It now being January 5th and the official beginning of the new round of ROW80, here are my goals:
- Study for and pass the PMP exam;
- Write 500 fiction words per day 5 days a week;
- Walk at least 2 miles per day;
- Carve out at least one stay-at-home date night with hubs per week;
- Post 3 more book reviews; and
- Finish sorting and settling all our stuff to be fully moved into our house.
I think that’s enough to be getting on with, and may be overly ambitious… but am not sure that will even get me to the end of the novel I’m working on, and it certainly won’t let me finish the other stories I have percolating. At a certain point, I still need to follow my own project management advice and recognize that there are only a very few hours available in every day, and we do ourselves no favors when we don’t schedule some slack to account for the necessity of that internal down-time also hinted at in Tesla’s quote. I’m sure it’s why I’ve struggled to get rid of this illness, too, and resolve to be healthier this year by acting on my known need for quietude. We’ll see how well I do at enforcing boundaries.
Feel free to check out the other ROW80 participants’ goals, and I promise I’ll be back next week to report on my own progress.