Nanowrimo: didn’t happen.
Reading library books: didn’t happen.
Getting serious about exercise: did happen, but due to some serious stupidity on my part has stopped again so that my back doesn’t split in half.
Using my free time to draw/practice guitar/make that YouTube series: not happening yet. There is still time.
Finishing Vampire Academy: getting there. Currently on the sixth and final book.
Getting my shit together: getting there. Went to see a counselor for the first time in three or four years (one I’ve seen before) and had some serious perspective-shifting just from one session. It’s one thing to tell yourself something over and over again in the half-hearted but desperate hope that, eventually, you’ll start to believe it. It’s quite another for a mental health professional to say it to you without being prompted. Looking good.
Writing: like I said, Nano didn’t happen – but arrangements have been made with my best friend to do the whole writing-buddy thing AND due to her mishearing something I said to her and inadvertently giving us an awesome story title we are now co-writing a book/podcast/webseries/something. So that’s also looking good. I may not finish my Nano project by the end of this month, but I will definitely finish it, and having that commitment set in stone now feels good.
Improving study habits: it did happen. Not to the extent I would have liked, but it did happen. And I also got back stunning, stupendously good grades that I am still unable to quite fully believe are actually mine. And yet they are. I guess I’m pretty good at the whole academia thing when I want to be (and when I’m focusing on two interesting papers instead of a mixed bag of four). Honours study first semester went off with quite the bang.
And a lot of playing World of Warcraft also happened, as did two sleepless nights followed by getting to sleep the following noon. Which is not fantastic, but at least it got my ass into gear for trying to rectify it.
It’s interesting to be playing WOW again after swearing I’d never go back to it. I have a much less addictive personality now, and that’s a relief. Even so, I’m wary. I’m glad I only have another three-ish months of freedom to play it at all, and I’m predicting that I’ll be fairly bored of it by then. But for now it’s fun, and that’s the main thing. Also inspiring; it’s been a while since a videogame has been a creative aid rather than a creative detraction, but it’s gotten me quite invested in some of my old high fantasy ideas and I’m enjoying exploring them again. So it’s not all bad at all. As long as I’m sleeping and doing other things besides just mindlessly gaming, which is the next step in the end-of-year karmic cleanup plan.
The biggest part of that: waking up in the mornings. There’s a huge difference between stretching out your day into the early a.m. hours because you feel like you haven’t gotten enough done, and going to bed in anticipation of all the awesome shit you’ll get to do tomorrow with an early morning start to get the ball rolling.
I used to work better in the evenings (by “work” I mean “write” obviously); I genuinely used to get inspired and motivated during the magical theater hours that come after midnight. But I think that may have been because I was a teenager and my hormones were doing weird things to my internal feedback systems. Or something. The point is that now I actually work better in the daylight, and the more of it that I have to play with, the more motivated I am to actually use it. Also I hear waking up in the morning is actually healthy for you. I’ll have to investigate that claim at some point, but for now it’s just something I heard somewhere that I can use as further motivation to get me to do the thing.
And I’m just feeling pretty good, despite the sore back and frustrating lack of being able to get to sleep (I was so close last night and then it just kept not happening until about 8 a.m.). I take this to mean that whatever it is that I’m doing, it’s the right thing to do. Some areas can stand a bit of improvement, but in the end it’ll just allow me to do the same stuff better. So that’s good.
I haven’t thought about Tallulah for a little while now, and when I have thought about it it’s in a very casual, non-serious way. What strikes me is that these are the same thoughts I was having when I was super serious about it, which says to me that taking this break from writing it is definitely a good move. Something’s gotta give, needs to be dislodged or to click into place, and I think that can only happen if I leave it alone for a good long while. I do know that I definitely want to write it and get it published if I can, but I also know now that it might be a long way off. I might get something else published first. I’m not going to hold off on working on something else just out of principle; if something else really works for me I’m going to pursue it. We’ll see.
This year has been hectic as fuck for me, and yet right now at the end of it all it’s starting to feel like a really damn good one. It’s been resolving on a high note, and I’ve never had a year quite like this before, so full of chaos and uncertainty to start with, getting murky and difficult in the middle (moving house right when four final research essays are due will do that), and then ending with a bunch of failed experiments, unexpected affirmations and enticing new beginnings. It was quite the plot twist, and at the same time really reinforces how life does not follow a narrative structure. Sometimes things just get better on their own – or it’s because of the efforts you’ve put in, and you just don’t realise it until the very end, or even after the fact. Or because something totally out of the blue comes along to shake things up for the better. Or whatever. It’s probably all easy enough to explain if you know what to look for, but it doesn’t feel that way. There’s no sense of a three-act-structure coming to a satisfying resolution. But there is closure, and it doesn’t matter where it comes from. What matters is that it comes. And while it’s frustrating to hear “things get better” when things are currently shitty … sometimes they do get better. Not always. But sometimes. And then generalities go from annoying to empowering, from wondering how could this happen to me and how I’m not okay, to reflecting on the fact that life has a funny way of helping you out when you think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up in your face …
It’s all right. And I’m liking it.
I do now have the slight problem of differentiating my various fantasy worlds from each other, but what’s life without some ongoing self-imposed dilemmas …