A lot of little scattered things

Today is one of those days where I’ve made approximately five separate false starts on trying to write a post and seriously contemplating seeing if there’s something I can throw up as a distraction, smoke and mirrors, pay no attention to the person behind the curtain. I’m scattered and all over the place.

Of course, there’s the usual work woes with the dayjob. We’re busy and there’s a fairly intense emphasis right now on sheer quantity of completion numbers over everything else. It adds up to be pretty draining, even for something that I can leave behind at the end of my work day.

I had something about my warring desires to both work from home doing bead craftwork vs how much easier writing is for me if I leave and go to a cafe for a couple of hours. I considered celebrating making progress on a story that’s been stalled since August for a variety of reasons. Some of those involve the same general funk of 2017, but I’d also had a more specific stall on the story itself, unsure of where to proceed. The happy ending there came when I reread my draft to that point and felt renewed interest in seeing that story through to the end. I reviewed the list document of story ideas tucked away in my files and I’m still pleased by all of them.

And from there my thoughts scattered further into how my desires in writing maintain some consistent elements but can and do also zigzag all over the place. Fairytale and fantasy elements remain fairly consistent; the characters do not. Most writing advice, though, especially for those like me, who either publish with smaller presses or self-pub, advises to stick to a genre and make it one’s own. Find your niche and live in it.

Which, fair enough, but niches can be such narrow things. I like too many things to want to only ever write about a single subset of them! But in that case, do I make things harder on myself? If I’m bluntly honest, the whole marketing aspect of a writing career remains a bigger challenge than the actual writing. (From everything I’ve seen, I’m not the only one who feels that way. Thank goodness for solidarity.)

I thought about writing about my day yesterday — a very nice date day with my girlfriend, where I ran errands in the morning and then we spent the afternoon at Pike Place Market, ending with a very nice dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. I love open markets like Pike Place; it’s the only time I really enjoy large crowds, and how there’s just so much that even a whole day isn’t really enough time to explore everything. All the vendors I spoke to were friendly and enthusiastic; and there was quite a lot of fun food samples.

On top of that, there’s been scattered distractions in my home itself this morning. The cat in particular can’t seem to get comfortable. In the past hour alone he’s gotten onto the counters multiple times (where he knows he isn’t allowed), yelled for a nonstop (timed) minute, and galloped back and forth from one side of the condo to the other many times. Every time he skids into the living room, he stops with a wide-eyed and slightly panicked expression. “Shit! This is the same place as last time! When will I ever be free?!”

The phone game my household plays is on the last day of its current event, which isn’t big in the grand scheme of things, but is yet another distraction layered on top of everything else.

So all in all, it’s been a terribly unfocused morning. I did anticipate this after how busy yesterday ended up, but it’s still a little disheartening to come to Sunday afternoon and be too addled to really manage much by way of coherence. I’m a little embarrassed how long this post has taken me to write even this much for.

(My confession, as it were, is that I have a far easier time writing for long stretches in the narrator’s voice, for character narration pieces, than I do in writing in “my own” voice, even in something as simple as a blog post. Small soundbite social media is easier too. It’s definitely a thing I have been trying hard to work on and improve.)

Hopefully next week will be easier! Though I’ve got a busy Saturday again, I’m hoping that will go a little more smoothly. And even if it doesn’t, I’ll at least have a couple days off in the week following that.

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