Writer’s Burnout

Oh my God, I think I have writer’s block.  I can’t settle on a topic, can’t choose a project, and have started this blog seven times. I can’t focus to edit the WIP and I can’t decide on anything for the blog, and I can’t create something new for the Patreon, so I am panicking.  I finally have a little time to write, given that school is out for the day for elections, but I have nothing.

Election Day in the USA!  Right??  No!  I tried that topic, but I don’t have anything to say that I haven’t said already.  Any seasoned reader knows this is one of my top five holidays’, and I of course did my civic duty bright and early.  You should do the same…and that’s literally all I have to say on that. 

I opened my WIP and stared at it for a few minutes, so if that counts as writing then I am doing just fine.  And I also tried to pen some Patreon poetry, but it is lacking.  So instead I will obsess over what to post tomorrow until I finally force something out of myself that I don’t quite love…ick. That sounds terrible.

A weatherman on Twitter said that if you live within 200 miles of a Great Lake, expect the snow this weekend.  Since I live literally two miles from one of those guys, I suppose autumn is over now.  Maybe that’s why i feel so tired.  We just changed the stupid clocks again, so naturally it feels like 6pm right now though it is not even three in the afternoon.  I want a cup of cocoa and a good movie and a blanket, but I am pushing myself to live life…which I shouldn’t, in a sense.  There’s that quote, that if you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.  That is so true, and I am trying to remember that as I sit here and try to convince myself that taking a bubble bath would be a productive thing.  It doesn’t feel that way…but it is.

No.  I refuse to bend to writer’s block; I will only suffer a little writer’s burnout.  Easily remedied by an easy to make dinner and a Hulu subscription. Away I go.

Scarce Stories

I don’t have a topic, ok??

I’m over here with the world on fire, what with my mother being bounced around hospitals and needing to move apartments in less than 18 days.  I have to pack and clean and find a place, all while dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of my mother being sick.  Ergo, topics are scarce.  So scarce that I didn’t write last Thursday, and then felt all guilty about it.  I hate that; I always try to tell myself that this blog is FREE-I do not make money off it, so if I take a break one day, it is not a problem.  I am disappointing no one, and if there is one dissatisfied individual out there who looks forward to regular, biweekly postings…well that’s just too bad.  I ain’t getting paid for this.

But then I think about Wednesday, when I post on Patreon, over where I DO get paid.  I haven’t written any new content, so I’m going to have to deep dive the computer archives to find a piece.  For Patreon, I will put in the effort, and I will certainly make the time, because there is a paycheck involved.  Again…this blog is free, now and forever.  So, forgive me if I take a break.

Speaking of paychecks, work is also a priority that has sidelined some of the writing.  I am working mornings at one job and will soon be starting afternoons at another.  Work saps my energy, which leaves me plenty creative but with very little follow through.  Like, I want to write today, but I also worked this morning and would love to go sit on the sofa and watch tv when I am done here.

God, that sounds good.  Ok, I’m done here.

Happy Monday.

Even on the Bad Days

I had some topics ready to go today, but I don’t feel like it.  Today it has been cloudy and gray, and my mood has reflected the weather. 

I had therapy yesterday for the first time in a long time.  I unloaded everything onto her, and she agreed with my self-diagnosis of Acute Stress Disorder, and then she remarked that most people in my situation of unyielding stress would have given up by now. She called me strong and resilient, echoing the sentiments I often receive from my mother, who calls me the strongest woman she knows.  But…was there another option?  My friend Carey gets this comment a lot, too, and always answers the same: what else am I supposed to do?  Seriously.  We would like to know.

Both of us do not agree with the concept of suicide, ergo neither of us consider that an option right off the bat.  And then there is the other options…I could have a breakdown and spend a little time “on vacation.”  Or I could simply choose not to get out of bed in the morning.  And yes, sometimes, both seem like viable options.  But they aren’t.

Because if you stay in bed, it can’t get better…there’s no opportunity for improvement.  And if you check out, same thing…it’s just running away.  If you truly want it to get better you have to stand up and fight, and put in the work to make it better.  You have to be strong.  You have to be resilient. There is no other option.

Because of the stigma of mental illness, many people think my diagnoses make me weak.  On the contrary, nothing has made me stronger than having to battle my own stupid brain chemistry every single day. 

So, I like to think, on days like today, that while I am tired (oh-so-very tired,) I am still strong.  While I might not write the big blog post I intended, I can still write something…even if I don’t really want to.  Because I have to push on, no matter what.

There are no other options.

Housekeeping: So I have paid for my domain names, so you can still find me at hamneggs17.com and brigidhannon.com!  My plans still need funding, however, so feel free to drop me a tip in the jar to the right.  (Also, if my pages get wonky any time in the next month, let me know.  I’m not sure how many premium features I am using at the moment.)  Also, and this is kind of unrelated, but I have a job interview tomorrow which would be super helpful right about now, so fingers crossed.

Oh, look!  The sun came out!

Ode to a Tip Jar

Ode to a Tip Jar 

A ringing noise upon my ear
tells me that an email's here,
so, I look to see, and sure enough-
a WordPress logo, bold and tough!
Oh, perhaps has someone read my tome?
I wonder aloud as I start to roam
my way around the website’s format,
hoping to find a like or comment.
But look! Oh no! It bears bad news!
No, not a troll with too tight shoes,
no, not a bot trying to sell me a cruise;
it’s the company telling me it’s time for my dues!
But woe is me, I’m out of work,
and what little is coming is already marked,
so, what is a writer-girl to do
when her tip jar is empty
and her wallet is, too?
Shill yourself, honey, sell them a book!
Better yet, a Patreon subscription-those are off the hook!
Or if they really love you, the tip jar they will find…
to the very right of the blog page, no waiting in line.
See, usually it doesn’t matter, I get by on what I get,
but I lose quite a chunk if certain needs are not met,
like the webhosting bill that comes due every July
and makes me suddenly want to vomit and cry.
So here I am asking a favor of you,
my dearest readers, I hope you come through,
and offer to me maybe a buck or two,
so I can keep this site running for me and for you.
Ok, now that my rhyme is done,
I’m off to pen some delirium,
because I just got a new notification
and it has brought me great exasperation.
So hopefully you find some happy in your day,
because mine is slowly ebbing away,
and I urge you please to consider a donation,
so I can keep on writing these quotations.


As Predicted

So, it happened as predicted, and I was sick during my first week of work and missed Thursday’s class. I was then sick on Saturday.  And Monday.  And here we are on Tuesday, and I am well, but it is a tenuous wellness.  It could be over and done, as is usually the case after a couple of days.  I hope so, at least.

So obviously I haven’t been able to update.  I haven’t been able to do much of anything, really.  I felt total mom-failure yesterday, because K was supposed to come over in the morning.  I had intended to get all shopping and cleaning done and then go pick her up around 11, and we would go spend the nice warm day together.  Alas, no, I was puking in an emesis bag when she texted me at 1030am. She arrived after dinner to a messy house with no food in it, and I felt like a jerk.  She assured me it was no big deal.  Her and Mark took a trip up to 7/11 to get snacks and drinks, and then we watched tv for a while and I went to bed early.

I had plans for today, but the weather ruined them instead of my stomach.  My cousin G is coming over, and I wanted to take the girls to the park or something, but alas it is pouring.  At least they can have each other’s company on this gloomy day.

I must be off now, because I have many things to do in a very short time, and if I rush myself, I get sick.  And we don’t want any of that.  So, happy Tuesday.

The Finish Line

Right now, I am neglecting my WIP.

I mean, I’m working on other things.  There’s the blog, and then I’m prepping a microchap to send out tomorrow morning.  But I’m not giving her the attention she deserves, and she’s angry about it.  I projected to be done by tonight, and that will only happen if I spend the next six hours locked in this office without internet access.  So, y’know…that’s not happening. 

I’m only a few scenes and an epilogue away, though.  I plan to write a scene today when I finish what needs to be done, and hopefully if I can find the time, I will be done with the first draft by the end of the week.  That would be ideal. Then I can spend the rest of the month of February editing, as planned.

I considered hiring a professional editor, but it is way out of my price range at the moment.  Mark wants to stary a GoFundMe for writing costs, which is a great idea in theory but probably not in practice.  I don’t even know if you can make those for career advancement purposes, and honestly, I have enough trouble selling books and Patreon subscriptions, and that’s cash for a product, so what makes me think people are just going to GIVE me money?

I’m just out here trying to get my Patreon’s sold, really.  That’s the best revenue for me right now, aside from folks using the tip jar…it’s over there on the side of the page, and is as close to a GoFundMe as I’m going to get.  If you really do just want to GIVE me money, that’s how to do it.  Otherwise, buy a product.  Pick up my poetry on Amazon, or check out my Patreon, where for 5$ a month you get something new every week.  All the proceeds from all these things go towards writing expenses…and coffee.  Which I suppose, is a writing expense in its own right. 

Anyway…professional editing set aside until some real cash flow comes, I will be doing it on my own, and then sending it to a few trusted sources for their notes.  Then another edit, a polish, and its off!

It’s a huge task.  I mean, I think of the microchap, which didn’t take me very long to put together at all.  I knew I had a bunch of poems centering one topic, so I organized them and got it ready for submission.  It took maybe two hours total.  My WIP, however, has been going since November 1st.  Much, much longer, if we are talking “spark” to finish…in that case it’s been over a decade.  And here I am, on the last leg of the race, attempting to limp my way across the finish line by Friday.

Wish me luck.

Total Shutdown

Today is Wednesday.  No, no, don’t check your calendar.  You’re on Thursday, I’m on Wednesday, because I am trying to stay a little ahead in some areas, in case of catastrophe.  My stomach has been…disagreeable.  I went to the gastroenterologist and our new theory is that the whole shebang is broken, not just the stomach.  Nothing is working right, from the esophagus to the intestine.  My digestive system’s check engine light has been on for a while, but recently, it began blinking, and now here we are with an endoscopy on Tuesday and a bunch of new medicines at the pharmacy. 

We shall wait.  We shall see.  In the meantime, we shall eat applesauce and dream of cheeseburgers. 

And, try to focus on something else.  Like work. 

So far today I have updated my Patreon and assembled my spring submissions and now I’m here, and hopefully if I don’t run out of steam, I will go crack open the WIP and work on making that “Netflix money.”  It’s not coming as smoothly as it was, but I think a lot of that has to do with two things.  One, I like a good deadline.  NaNo really pushes me in that department, and I deliver.  Second, I need recovery time after such a sprint.

But now I’m recovered and ready to get back at it, but I’m stalled, and I think that might be because I am so close to being finished.  I’m writing the last third of the book now, and I’m halfway though that.  It’s time to say goodbye, including to a few characters that aren’t going to make it to the end scene.  This is some heavy stuff for a writer, you see.  We both love and loathe killing off our characters, and it is a traumatic experience all around.

And then, the final scene, or the epilogue…haven’t decided which I’m going with…and two little words: the end.  And then, it’s over.

The fifteen years that it took me to put this from spark to paper, will be over.  Then what?

EDITING.

The most garbage part of the job, the part for which I wish I was wealthy enough to hire someone.  I love editing poetry and short pieces, but a whole novel?!  I do not know where to start.  Look at my novella, still sitting unedited three years after completion.  There’s a reason for that, and it’s not procrastination.  It just straight up SUCKS to edit a large work.  (In my opinion, at least.)

So, that’s really all I have for right now: a broken digestive system and a WIP to struggle.  I am hopeful that things improve on both fronts, as I am pretty sick of being pretty sick, and I also want these words out of my fingertips and into my computer. 

I don’t think I’m out of steam yet.  Let me go open her up.  See what happens. 

Happy Wednesday.  Err…Thursday.

Writing Roundup, 2021

I fell behind in literally everything regarding writing last week, and for once it wasn’t due to illness, just the impending holiday season plus some extra personal stressors.  Suffice it to say this is not our best Christmas, but we are keeping our heads up.  That said, I was preoccupied and so all writing endeavors were put on hold, ergo no blog update last Thursday, no work on the WIP, and me frantically penning a late newsletter for my Patreon.  I wrote in there about my year in writing…which was silly because I’m also going to write about that here, and now. 

This year has two halves to one unit.  Writing is not just the actual words on the paper, but also the publishing side of things.  Let’s start there.

My publishing year was dismal.  Icky book sales, only two poems published, and still no release date for my mini-chap after working on it all year.  I try to brighten myself, however, with looking at the financial side of things…I did sell books.  I started my Patreon, providing me with monthly money for writing expenses.  I made very small revenue on my blog, but revenue nonetheless.  And soon my mini-chap will be published, and that will bring in funds as well. 

Then, the actual writing side of things.  I have a couple of new poems, and I polished up quite a good little short story, too.  Most importantly, I dropped over 50k words into my WIP, and am hoping to churn out the rest by the end of January.  If that goes to plan, I will be editing and then preparing for query sometime in March 2022.  The novel is the moneymaker, folks…I know in my heart it will be published.  And I also know that someday I will be sitting in an office negotiating a film deal.  (I’m not trying to brag or anything, I’m trying to manifest.) And when that day comes, I will look back on now as the time when it all began, and I started to really make a career of this.  I will look back at pitiful book sales and silly ad revenues and think…gee, what a year that was.

Anyways, I’m off to do the things that make the monies, as Christmas is in 5 days.  A gentle holiday reminder that I now have a tip jar to the right of this page, in case you want to help me out with buying stocking stuffers.  And always accepting new patrons on Patreon.  And also books for sale.  Just sayin’.

Happy Monday.

On Sickness and Subscription

I didn’t update yesterday because I woke up puking at 2am.  A quick jaunt to Mercy told me I would be waiting for several hours, so I went over to St. Joe’s, which is in many ways my preferred hospital for my situation.  Mercy is close and has all my history, but it’s always 100 patients and 10 nurses, whereas St. Joe’s has this weird reputation for being crappy, so the ratio is completely flipped.  I’ve never received poor service there, however, only the best.  And yesterday they ushered me in quickly and had me medicated and calm within half an hour. 

Anyway, that was not the first visit to the ER this week.  Hopefully, it was the last, but now today I still feel weak and out of it, and am vaguely surprised I’m even sitting here writing right now.  I don’t really have a topic, either; I just want to talk about Patreon.

Patreon is the single best way for me to earn a monthly income through writing.  A monthly income means a website that never goes down, and ad funding for my books.  What is Patreon, you ask?  Well, it’s a monthly subscription service connecting you to creators.  If you visit my page, you will see I am creating poetry, short stories, essays, and more.  Now, there are three subscription tiers, and should you decide to subscribe, you should ABSOLUTELY DO THE CHEAPEST ONE.  I mean, it’s super sweet if you want to send me extra money (PS this blog has a tip jar over on the right) but I don’t know how to work the extra features so frankly, you won’t get what you paid for.  Do the 5$ subscription.  I will be plenty grateful and you will have access to everything. 

And what is everything?  Well…we have poems, stories, book chapters, chapbook excerpts, vlogs, essays, newsletters, and cover reveals.  At least a piece a week unless I am laid up, I try to provide my subscribers with an insight into the writing process for me as well as my life as a writer.  Everything is unpublished, new, or raw at the time that I post on Patreon, and it’s the only place to find my fledgling videos, The Vociferous Vlog (which I really have to work on this weekend…oh please don’t let me get sick again.) 

All I’m saying is that if you like me, and you like what I write, and you’ve got 5 bucks a month…I will happily trade you some words.  I really enjoy doing my Patreon, and I am hoping it picks up a little not just for monetary purposes but because I like the platform for connection that it provides. There isn’t anywhere else I would be comfortable sharing the first chapter of my WIP, or starting out making vlogs. 

I’m editing the page a little later today to give possible subscribers a taste of what is being offered, so there will likely be two or three pieces available later, but there’s a lot more available once you subscribe.  Either way, I hope you check it out and consider subscribing.

That all said, my shoulders are killing me.  I’m headed back to the couch for a bit.  Happy Friday.

https://www.patreon.com/brigidhannon

Drug of Choice

Sure, my experience with drugs is fairly limited.  I’ve smoked pot, so I know what that’s like.  And I’ve gotten copious amounts of morphine and dilaudid due to my stomach condition, so I know what a temporary rush those can be.  Somewhere along the line, I stumbled across an article telling me that most people who have been on SSRIs for a long time cannot get the chemical high associated with most uppers and psychedelics.  So, that wiped all other curiosities off the table with the rationalization that trying anything else would be a risky waste of time and money.

However, there is one dragon I will chase until the day I die, and that is the writer’s high.

You’ve heard of a runner high, I’m sure, and I assume this is similar, though I don’t know because I only run if something Is chasing me.  I know it has something to do with a release of endorphins to the brain, but I’m not sure what triggers it all of the time.  But me, I’ve been getting high every day for the past week.

It happens when I finish writing a scene, and I edit it really quick.  I don’t do extensive edits during the first draft because the goal is just to get the words on the paper, but I will read it back and clean it up a little.  When I’m done, and I save it, and input my count on the NaNo website, I feel a rush come at me and the next thing you know I am literally dancing around the office because I can’t sit still.

I asked Twitter when they experience this, and folks said it happens once in a while, or when they finally publish.  Now, I know the publishing high, too, but this is different.  The publishing high is great because you can tell your family and friends about it and they get really happy for you, but the writer’s high is a little more personal.  I can’t very well call Kevin every time I write a scene and ask him to celebrate with me.  Instead, I celebrate alone, in my own little happy ways.

I wrote two scenes so far today, and both left me feeling on top of the world.  They weren’t even what I would consider good, they are just words on the paper, but that is enough for a first draft.  I am currently 5k away from my goal, and roughly 25k from the end of the novel, and I am dying to find out what the “completion high” will feel like again, especially with such a large work this time. 

Anyways, I don’t know about you, but I’m off to watch a parade and stuff my face with turkey.  Happy Thanksgiving!