Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Nose Dive

I'm not going to lie here, my productivity has been way down these last two weeks. I have a couple of candidate causes, all of which I think do contribute in some fashion.

1. Adjusting to my work schedule. I have a new-ish job, at which I'm scheduled for four eleven hour shifts per week, with three days off, which you would think would be something approaching ideal, but lately I've found I'm exhausted at the end of my work days, and not terribly well rested when I begin trying to cram a week's worth of socialization into my off days.

2. New social and family obligations, at a distance. My old friends and my family are an hour and a half drive away, and I've been doing my best to meet some new people locally. I don't mind the long drives terribly, but it does eat a three hour chunk of my day each time I drive back to Austin and home again.

3. I really like my job. This sounds terrible, but I think part of the reason I'm writing less is that I'm not sitting around at the end of the day going "well what was the point of that?" I certainly don't want to feed into that myth of tortured artists, but more of my fulfillment is coming from work than it used to, and I think the fulfillment I get from writing has become slightly less vital because of it.

4. Post-editing jitters. While I think I got better at editing, I think I've also come away with the idea that I wouldn't have to do so much of it if I'd just write better in the first place. There's a spiral of crippling perfectionism there I'd like to avoid.

5. Research for a specific science-heavy story.

6. Retreat and regroup time. I do feel like it's kind of critical to step back from what you're doing and analyze what about it is worthwhile and what probably needs work. I need to draw myself some more firm goals so I'm not wandering aimlessly through writing.

7. Plain and simple laziness. You know, if I'm done making excuses.

I need to just get over it and get my butt in gear. I'm going to try giving myself an hour in the mornings to work. I'm not particularly good at getting up, but we'll see what I get out of it.

Good night out there, internet, and good luck.


  1. Austin huh, so someone from is nearby. Cool.

    I had the same problem when I was writing my own software a decade ago, all my creative energy went into that direction leaving none for writing or drawing. When I finally gave up on writing software the drawing urge returned and now I'm on a writing marathon I hope doesn't stop.

    Give yourself time to settle into the new job, find some friends to hang out with, and I'm pretty sure your creative juices will return. Always stressful to move and do new work.

  2. Hello Leslianne,

    You told me at World Horror Con that you might get a new job in San Antonio -- does this mean you got it?

    Congrats on your new job!

    I wrote 2 articles on WHC, BTW:

    -- Thomas M. Sipos

  3. Thomas! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, it's been a crazy week.

    Yes, I absolutely got the job, and I'm loving it and learning a lot. I read your articles and they're very nice. I haven't got a chance to read Vampire Nation yet, but I've still got it up on the shelf in the queue.

    Are you coming to any more conventions in the area?

  4. I wasn't aware that there were any upcoming conventions in the Austin area.

    The only convention on my radar is Loscon, the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Convention, which meets in L.A. every Thanksgiving weekend.

    I run the annual Tabloid Witch Awards, which is screening at Loscon this November:

    If you know of any horror filmmakers, you might tell them about the Tabloid Witch Awards -- deadline is August 31st, and there's No Entry Fee!

    I thought Austin was nice, BTW. It was my first time there, and I walked along the river, then along the music clubs, seeing what there was to see.