Hey! Just another pop in to let you know where my head and energy is at, and what I’m thinking about for the next few weeks.
Last weekend, I skipped Flash Fiction because I was mentally and physically exhausted. The teaching grind is absolutely insane, and I literally had to readjust my entire being to being back at work. Last year, I was teaching kids in the room and kids at home at the same time, so I spent the entire day at the desk, with my computer in front of me. I wasn’t moving around nearly as much. This year — the kids are all back in the room and I get to go back to the way I’ve ben teaching for five years. I am constantly moving in my classroom. I’m on the board, I’m walking around, keeping track of the kids, keeping them on track, redirecting — I literally don’t sit from the time the kids walk in at 7:40 until I get my first break at either 11:01 or 11:40 depending on my duty for that day.
I haven’t done this level of work in 18 months and it’s taking longer than I hoped to get back into it physically.
The good news is that I worked really hard all summer to get myself into a good place with my teaching content. I spent the last two weeks working to create a routine in the classroom so I only bring home fun work (creating more content or something). I’m there. I literally have zero work to do this weekend. Everything is ready for next week.
I’m also physically feeling a lot better. My feet are still protesting, lol, but my brain is starting to readjust and I was able to do other things this week. I wrote a chapter of Mad World on Sunday, another one Monday, and then wrote half of one on Thursday. Two and a half chapters! That’s awesome for me.
The only thing really holding me back is my TMJ. I wake up every morning with a migraine and jaw pain. I have to get through it while working, but on Saturdays and Sundays, I don’t want to push myself to write earlier when if I relax in the morning, I can get a lot of Mad World done. Today, the migraine was really bad and it’s only now just starting to recede at just after 9 AM. I’m hoping I won’t have as bad tomorrow so I can write tomorrow. I have a doctor’s appointment next Monday for my TMJ and I’m hoping he can prescribe something that gets this and the whooshing in my ear under control, or at least make it more manageable.
I love both my flash fiction stories, and it kills me not to be able to concentrate on them, but one of the most important things I’ve been working on in therapy is managing my energy and putting it where it needs to be. Spreading myself too thin and making too many promises to myself and others is what gets me in trouble and creates the anxiety spiral that derailed most of my summer and when I get to that point — I actually write far less. No one wants that.
So here is the promise I will make you: I am putting myself and my energies first at all times. I write what I want when I want and when I’m feeling good about myself. The Flash Fiction will be kind of haphazard for a few months as I continue to adjust to the school year. Mad World is my absolute priority. I love this series, and I’m so excited about how it’s coming together in the finale. I’ve worked so hard on this series, and it’s been in my head since I was 20 years old. The serial rapist storyline was literally part of the OG version back in 2004, and it was the first thing that drew me back when I started planning it again in 2016.
My second priority is Fool Me Twice. There are times when I’m not quite feeling up to writing, but I’m feeling creative, so I open Plottr and continue working out the second two books. I put so many different stories into motion in the first book that it’s been a challenge to figure out how to coordinate it all over the next two books with something that feels satisfying. FMT is probably the most ambitious project I’ve ever undertaken, both in scope and length. Mad World grew into an ensemble piece, but FMT has been one since the beginning. I’m so excited about what I’m working on with it.
Flash Fiction falls to third place, which I think is a good place for it, honestly. It was always meant to be something fun that kept me writing. So right now, I’ll write it on the weekends when I can, and skip it when I can’t. I won’t come in and post that I’m not going to post, because as always, lol, we don’t need to annoy each other with emails on the subject.
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I am doing much better than I was two months ago, and I’ve learned some really important lessons on how to protect myself from how bad things got earlier this summer and last winter. I love and appreciate all of you and can’t wait until we can go on another Liason journey together 🙂