My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Monday, August 28, 2017

That Madmartigan Sigh (Personal Update)

Image description: Madmartigan in armor with a sword
Remember when we were thirteen and this scene* from Willow where Madmartigan single handedly defends an old castle from an army was basically the coolest, most epic, badass as shit thing you ever fucking saw in your entire young life, and not just some straight up implausible as fuck cartoonish slapstick that just happened to be live action?

No? Just me then?

*Some Youtube scenes can't be imbedded, so if you'll just have to follow the link if you don't know what I'm talking about.

Okay well if you skip ahead to 4:40, that's the Madmartigan Sigh.  

Ah the Madmartigan Sigh: A formative moment in my childhood, and the well to which I return every time I'm tired, beat up, in the middle of a bigger struggle, but there's a dragon to slay. It's the sigh you give when you'd rather take a break, and your metaphorical courtyard is still swarming with a-holes, but someone has to do something about that fucking dragon before your inner Willow gets killed.

Usually it's a dragon named writing.

August really caught me off guard. I was totally ready for the six weeks of summer school to be nightmare tough, but what I didn't expect was then to learn a REALLY hard lesson about pet sitting and what kind of writing I was going to be up to doing and have time to do when I was out there doubling up on jobs. Most of the last three weeks involved somewhere between two and four hours per day in my car driving back and forth (and sometimes back and forth again) from one job to another to make sure that animals were okay. 

It sort of defeated the whole point of pet sitting, originally a little side gig I came up because it would provide the money to stretch out how long I could keep writing. (At the time I scheduled them, I didn't know I was going to start making juuuuuuuuuuuuust enough to pay the bills without digging into the kickstarter money.)

Now sit back and grab your corn cob pipes because I'm about to lay down the folksy wisdom like it's the didactic end of a South Park episode–this fits into a pretty good lesson about writing–and really maybe a pretty good lesson about any creative endeavor and possibly even life.

It's not usually enough if it "technically" works on paper.

That works for the emergency stuff. The run from thing to thing stuff. It might even work if you're designing your college schedule and if you squeeze in one more class, you can have a Tues/Thur schedule and a five day weekend. Tetrising a schedule like this is a valuable skill and when you're sort of in your "dayjob" mode (which doesn't mean you're at a job or it's actually the day, but just that you are doing things that don't require your brain to be at its most imaginative). But you have to be able to give yourself more time around the margins for creative endeavors. You can't instantly shift gears from running across the bay area to walk a dog and sit down immediately to write. At least most of us can't. There might be a few writers out there with the brilliance of muse control analogous to a Shannon Lee caliber martial arts master, but even this thirty year vet has trouble focusing when there's somewhere to be in just a couple of hours or settling down my mind when I just got through with four hours of running back and forth.

So give yourself some cushion. If you want to write for five hours, don't expect to be flying in the door at 4:59 from a full day and that you'll just transition seamlessly to your creative mode. Get good sleep if you can. Have time to read if you can. Have time to just DAYDREAM if you can. And know that it's twenty to thirty minutes to fully shift into a creative mode.

But me....I have to get back to blogging and writing. No matter how much double booking kicked my ass to the curb and left me in the gutter to die, I have a book to write and six updates a week. I'd love to take a day or two off, but I've been at a low output here all damned summer, so there's no rest for the weary. I have to just Madmartigan sigh, and jump on this a-hole's head.

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