Monday, October 26, 2020

Another Update for the Year of Plagues

Wow. It just fully hit me that NaNoWriMo starts on Sunday. And I’d hoped to partake this year as well.

I have to admit, my brain is kind of fried. Wouldn’t be surprised if yours is too. But this is the job. Time to buckle down and...

Okay, look. This is actually, legally, my career. I’ve hit that fortunate point where I don’t have to do anything else except write (and maybe watch the occasional B-movie now and then while I build toy soldiers). I mean, at this point my accountant and the IRS both consider me a full-time writer.

And maybe some of you are there too. Or maybe you’re aspiring to be there. And because you are, and because you take this seriously, you’re trying your god-damndest to treat this like a real job. You understand writing is work, and it needs to happen if you want to advance.

So one important thing to remember.

You get days off from work.

Sometimes, I think we get so caught up in that idea of writing as a career and having to write every day that we forget we can just... take a sick day. Hell, take a personal day. Use up all that vacation time you’ve been saving up. And holy crap could we all use a mental health day right now. 

And that’s okay. It’s completely fine. Yeah, even if you take this really seriously.

Look, we’re heading into our seventh or eighth month of pandemic lockdown (depending on when you started), during a third surge which most likely is just the ongoing continuation of the first surge. We’re in the middle of a US election that’s probably going to drag on for at least a month after it technically ends, and depending on how it ends things could be very not-good in the world for a while. And this weekend a perfectly good once-in-a-blue-moon (literally) Saturday Halloween is probably going to go to waste.

It’s completely understandable that you might not feel like typing out three or four hundred words right now. I know it’s been brutal on me, and I know I’ve been very lucky during all this. I’m self-employed and I spend 90-95% of my time at home when the world isn’t on fire. So this hasn’t been that disruptive for me and I’m still friggin’ stressed out worrying about my family and friends. Because there’s one or two good reasons to worry about... well, anybody. Everybody! I can barely imagine what it’s been like for those of you who are dealing with homeschooling kids or sick family members or who are at the end of your financial thread.

Well, I know exactly what that last one’s like, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

My point is, any decent boss would give you some time off if you were going through all this. Again, sick day. Personal day. Mental health day. They might even send you a card. 

Y’see Timmy, if the goal is to eventually be our own boss, then shouldn’t we all want to be a good boss? The kind we always wanted? The ones who actually made us like our jobs? Yeah, we need to keep on track, hit goals, try to get in a few hours a week... but we also want our employees (also us) to stay healthy. Physically and mentally.

So don’t beat yourself up if you need to take some time or maybe move a little slower right now. You’re not alone. In that, and in a lot of other things.

Thursday, the usual Halloween post. And then some more NaNoWriMo encouragements.

Until then, if you’ve up for it, go write.

But don’t worry if you’re not up for it.

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