keeping productive?

I’m now in the third week of my work-from-home life and general social distancing. It hasn’t been especially difficult to adapt to working at home. I have all of the equipment I need set up on a creaky table in my basement, and my internet connection is just fast enuf to make it workable. I am conscientious about being at my desk for eight hours each day, but I don’t stay a minute longer (unless I’m on a call that runs over). I’m doing the same volume of work at the same level of quality as I was when I trekked into the office each day.

I am, however, disappointed in the plummeting of my personal creative work since this has begun. I have not written a thing in these three weeks. I still rise at 3:00 on the weekend and sit before my trusty laptop, but aside from transcribing notes and/or doing (legit) research online, I’ve mostly just been re-reading Ouroboros umpteen times. And yes, with each pass through I tighten this or refine that. I’m making small changes that I think would be defined as “pencil work,” but no structural revisions are coming to me, no new characters are asking for admission. Nor do I find myself eager (or even willing) to make an effort with any of the short story ideas I have lined up. Further, it was only through a force of will that I managed to submit a few of my stories to journals for consideration this week.

I’m not sure how to account for this. In my imagination, I would consider this scenario to be ideal: home all day, quiet and solitude abounding, resources I need at hand, opportunity to write and write and write. But as the man says, the map is not the territory. My ideal isn’t lining up with my reality.

My guess is that I simply still need to adjust to my new reality. I have upset what must have been a delicate balance between my creative life and my profane life (one that I suspect I built over a decade or more), and it will perhaps take time for me to regain some new form of balance.

I don’t like this state of things, of course. While I expect this new world order will last much longer than most people are predicting, I miss not doing the writing that I think I should be doing effortlessly and I regret the time that seems wasted right now.

And part of it may just be a coincidence in timing. This new world order came just as I finished an unprecedented sprint through Ouroboros; I wrote the 45,000+ word novella in two and a half months. That was a period and pace of creativity that I had never experienced before, so maybe my creative self is taking a breather.

Overthinking is something I know I am guilty of, and I suspect I’m doing that with this situation. If you tell me to relax and just let it return at its own pace, I’ll probably be okay.

Here’s an old photo from the archive:

Explore posts in the same categories: Rants and ruminations

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