Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Shackled to an Egg Timer

Excuse me for reviving an old meme, but....
I'm a bit of a Sad Panda this week.

Due to the job chaos, I had to work my normal Tuesday off, but to make up for it I was given Thursday and Friday off. Sunday was the start of a new work week, so that was my "second" day off - since Tuesdays are my regular "first" day off. Anyway, this means that between last Tuesday and today I had THREE days off. THREE!

Yet how much writing have I done? If you guessed "pretty much none" you win!

I had days off! I should have had all the time in the world to write and read and elaborate on my Valentine's Day blog before today. Instead, I lounged pretty much all of Thursday since Hubby and I had the day off together. We considered it a belated Valentine's Day for the two of us. It was sweet having so much time to just snuggle with him on the couch, but A WHOLE DAY!? I needed the stress relief, but geez! Friday I did what I always do: get suckered into ONE task and spent all day on it.

Aside from tasks such as writing this blog, which have deadlines anyway, I have now taken to sitting with a kitchen timer next to me. It's set to hour intervals. Once the timer goes off, that's it. I move on to another task for an hour. Then another one. I might circle back to a previous task, but never in back-to-back hours. It's the only way to break me of my..... um..... anti-ADHD? I'm sure it's some sort of disorder in and of itself with it's own name. Over fixation? Regardless, I lose far too much time in my life due to my laser focus.

Spend seven straight hours on a forum catching up on old posts? How about four hours on DeviantArt looking at fanart? Five hours on Google Image trying to find reference pictures for a new character? Two full evenings - each a three-hour sitting or so - on doll-maker games trying to design a new character because I can't draw? Yeah, maybe I wasn't addicted to Facebook. Maybe I just don't know how to turn away from a task until it's complete.... or away from a distraction until a need - such as food or a bathroom break - arises.

So, now the timer is attached to my hip to keep me on track until I can learn to Adult better.....

Doesn't really help that I figured out the whole timer-thing AFTER last week's fail, though. I got barely anything accomplished when I only had to work four days.

I haven't even written on my writing calendar. I'll have to try to backtrack and remember when I wrote what. I know I only wrote two days last week; worst record this year. I also know that the last time I wrote anything was Wednesday. Such a long zero-day streak.

Either way, it's the good-old Chicken-or-Egg situation again: Am I not writing because I'm tired and cranky, or am I tired and cranky because I haven't written anything?

My performance at work has gotten kind of crappy as well. I'm not sure if it's just because I'm overwhelmed with trying a brand new tactic our Director of Sales wants us to follow, if it's because so many "losses" shook my confidence, or if it's because I'm not allowed to write at work any longer. It really allowed me to drift from a bad day for a few moments at a time, maybe as much as an hour, and then come back to reality completely refocused; centered. If my confidence was shook, I sat and wrote or read to escape for a little bit. By the time I was back I was ready to crush it.

Instead, my down-time is flooded with trainings, workbooks, studying, role-playing to practice the new technique, and stern talking to's.

So, the biggest selling point of this job for me - the downtime to read and write while still being a productive member of the sales team - is pretty much null. We'll see how I can re-adjust. I'll give it until my year point to see if things turn around.

In the meantime, how about I give you more details of what I did the previous week, since I didn't have time to really do so on Valentine's Day?

Well, to start, even though I changed up my Writers’ Huddle challenge goal, I STILL haven't managed to hit a week-goal yet. It's obvious that I didn't write a prompt a day this past week, let alone two, but even the previous week - when I was on a hot-streak - I wasn't able to fit two in. So much for catching up on the daily prompts by March 9th. I haven't even hit the January 13th prompt that I started the book with. My only real consolation is that there must be some sort of anti-writing-whatever in the atmosphere, because just about everyone over at WH stated that they didn't come close to completing their task this past week. In fact, I think, out of the years that I've been at the Huddle for winter challenges, this one has been the least productive over-all among the participants.

As for the prompts I already have written, I only had a chance to type up two of them, which caught me up to January 4th. Jynna's flash-story was from January 8th's prompt, so it will be a little bit before it's ready to share. I also haven't had much time to really delve back into her backstory in the meantime.

Well... OK, as I shared above, I DID have the time to either work more on Jynna or type up more prompts; I just didn't utilize it.... Point is, I don't have much new to share about her, but she does at least have a name. Yay. Also, Hubby's just waiting for the others interested in the game to build their characters, and then we'll be good to start playing Numenera, so... yay again!

I'm about half-way through "Heat Wave" and I'm trying to speed through the second half so I can still have at least one book done a month. So much for my new goal of two a month this year, huh? Darn Director of Sales messing with a system that didn't seem broken from our end. We were doing better than last year's sales, but I guess not better "enough" for his liking.

That doesn't really matter, though. Boss-Man wants us to focus more on sales and how to improve them while at work. It's understandable. How many office environments allow for an hour or so of employee downtime for things like reading or writing?

While I'm trying to get my act back together, I do have those two prompts for your reading pleasure.

January 3rd's was the first time I wrote for Amara in years. I'm still trying to lock down her party-mates' names, but for right now I just ran with what I had. Also, sorry for the poor title; I got nothing for it....

"The Courtyard"

January 4th's prompt had me completely stymied, so it turned out to be a mildly-rambling, stream-of-consciousness, personal essay about writing prompts in general. It's only about 800 words long if you want to still give it a whirl.

"Trust the Pen"

Now, let's try this "writing daily" thing again. Starting with creating a "sacred" writing time to keep me from constantly playing hookie from this part of my day. Time to go set my timer....

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