For the last two weeks, my brain has been stuck in “on.” I’ve said elsewhere on social media that I’ve written five stories in that time, and that’s true, and I am not sorry for the existence of those five stories. I have also done revisions on various things and worked on projects still in progress. And that’s just on the writing front.
I really enjoy the feeling that I have a hold on things, that I know how to make a story do what it needs to do. I really do not enjoy the feeling that my brain is going to be twitchy until I actually get the words out get them out get them oooooout. I don’t enjoy writing-induced insomnia, and worse, it’s pretty bad for me. And this is one of the places where I feel like the dominant culture of SFF writers online makes things harder, not easier.
Because I have friends–actual personal friends, people I have invited into my home, people who know details of my health situation–who have to have the downside of obsessive writing behavior explained to them every time. Who go into the same mode that upset me with some of the girls I knew in high school: “Oh, you look so good in that, I hate you.” You wrote so much, I hate you. Whenever anybody comes out and says to me that they hate me, I tend to reply in a very quiet voice, “I’m not feeling so fond of you right now either.” I never got accustomed to that kind of “friendly” hostility, and I don’t really want to. We’ve all got different styles of working, and all of those have ups and downs, and I don’t really think we should have a problem acknowledging that.
I’m hoping that I managed to dump the brain momentum into a novel. Or two novels, I don’t really care at this point, honestly. But novels are not things I can hold in every prose detail in my head all at once, so they are less likely to hit the brain chains that take forever to die down and leave me exhausted and short on cope. Also I like novels. So the fact that I sat down and wrote a thousand words on a novel that had previously stalled out, and before that another thousand words on a novel I haven’t even tried starting–that sounds hopeful. If I can keep productivity slightly elevated but stop it from interfering with things I need like sleep, that would be really a lot better. If I just go back to regular levels of productivity, I could cope with that too.
I really am glad of the five stories. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I am feeling the negative side of that behavior pretty strongly right about now.