Feb 3, 2011

Busy Making Other Plans

Been a fun week for many of us; my day job has kept me up to my sideburns in conference calls and emails and the like due to the winter storms, blizzards, ice storms, and potentially lethal corporate human resources business decisions. To be honest, I've spent the better part of my week shaking my head at the power of corporations, and governments. I could say more, but that would risk violation of my code of business conduct at work. Just one more reason to strive for self-employement, I guess.

Worse than the impact to actual time I would have rather spent writing, it's kept my mindset so focused upon uncreative endeavors that it's requiring substantial effort to wrap my brain back around my author tasks.

But it reminds me of sleep. (warning: analogy follows!)

I have a certain knack to fall asleep on a dime. Like, just shut all systems down and be deeply REM-ing in moments. It's not like I'm narcoleptic; it's a conscious state of deep mental relaxation that permits me to slip almost effortlessly into a rest state. But this ability is a learned one, not a natural gift.

The key to it is building a practiced habit and series of "triggers" that my mind recognizes as a buildup to slumber; visualization, a particular playlist on my iPod, laying in my bed with a nice book, that sort of thing. As my mind notices these elements, it just slips right into sleep. Clockwork, baby.

The curiosity I have is how to train my brain in a different way, as well - how to train it to put myself into writing mode. I've tried using other playlists on my iPod, that sort of thing. It's becoming easier now than it once was - I tend to be easily distracted - but this week has been fairly all-consuming, and I'm struggling to get back into my preferred mode.

The big thing that weighs upon my shoulders is the fact that my day job - as a crisis manager for a major telecommunications company - requires me to be on-call 24/7. This includes setting up and hosting conference calls, email correspondence, or just being a central point of communication upstream and down in the middle of crisis events. When the sun shines, its' all reports and paperwork. When the snow/rain/ice falls, the wind blows, the ground shakes, or technology thumbs its nose at the business processes, then my life revolves around that.

When the system works, it's a wonderful sight to behold - managers, leaders and executives all pulling together to keep the employees safe and well-cared-for, ensuring that the customers' needs are met, etc. It's all grand when it works well.

But.... * sigh *

Anyway, all I can say at this time is that I was discouraged this week. Disappointed.

And that sense of being let down has distracted me somewhat more than usual. Today, I just want to get back on track with the multiple projects I've set myself to complete.

But it's not all gloom and despair. A new good friend of mine has given me a degree of inspiration I haven't felt in some time; and has been pure, undiluted awesomesauce in terms of challenging my conceptualization of my career path and direction. Essentially, I have seen a series of options that I hadn't really considered feasible or (yes, I'll say it) profitable. Some aspects of this will be forthcoming shortly; some will be flying well under the radar, as necessary. (don't fret - I simply mean that some of it may require the use of a pseudonym) However, the goal remains solid: becoming self-sufficient through writing.

A few things which have risen back from the grave include: a time-travel anthology, the children's story anthology, and a lot of other stories I've written that hadn't been getting much consideration. Oh, and the non-fiction "Collected Writings" tomes that had been once considered but set aside for the steampunk books.

The math is impressive - especially when considering I could potentially have at least 10 eBooks up by my birthday. And that's 10 of my own, not counting appearances in other anthologies.

Hmmm. Odd. Now I want to write. Gonna go grab some coffee. Want anything while I'm out?

Oh, and on that note: if you're an author and living in or planning to visit the pacific northwest - from Portland through Vancouver BC - - drop me a line. We should chat.

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