Random Thoughts: Sometimes When I Can’t Brain…

*note : “I can’t brain” is a phrase borrowed from Che Gilson, who borrowed it from somewhere else.

So this past week was a bit of a blur in Reggie-land. I had all of these plans (do a proper video for the new Patreon page, get at least two chapters written on the new sf novel, start the first round of proper edits on the sequel to Haunted, make evil marketing plans, finally teach the parrot how to swear properly… you know.) In all of my well-intentioned plan-making I completely forgot that two very major family events were occurring.

Event the first: Brother visited from several states away to celebrate his birthday, Lutz-style, before event the second, my uncle’s wedding. YAY!

Somehow in the midst of all this excitement and wonder I thought I would still get these things done.

Yeah. I know. That was probably not the brightest assumption to make. (Also, I definitely need to check the workaholic tendencies. )

Anyway, a good time was had by all and my brother received more cowbell. He needed more cowbell. Trust me. I think we all need more cowbell, sometimes. (Translation: He sometimes makes songs and a cowbell was my gift to him.)

Then everything was over and I had to confront the neglected task list...

…which had grown, somehow. This completely stopped me from getting anything accomplished for at least half a day. It shouldn’t have. But I felt like I had to reprioritize everything. (Which I did have to do, but it should not have taken the hours it did.) Anyway, I hit the “I can’t brain” moment, and ended up stuck there while my head bounced from one task to another without being able to settle on one thing at a time. Which is crazy. I’m always telling people (who ask) that things only happen by taking one step at a time, like if you start a bunch of little projects without finishing them you just end up with a huge mess and returning to the first thing is like starting over so you end up wasting time.

Sigh.

That’s what writer brain was doing.

Then I went outside. As soon as the door fell shut behind me something huge came flying at me out of the trees behind my house. Writer-brain shut off as I dodged the creature. Finally it landed on the door I’d just come through.

 

 

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Luna Moth

 

So I just stopped and hung out with the Luna Moth. According to some myths the moth represents rebirth and renewal. In this case, it made me stop the frenzied, internal monologue and just appreciate something wondrous and fragile, it forced me to be in the moment.

And when the Luna Moth was done with her visit, I was much calmer and able to “brain.”

Which I thought was pretty cool.

How about you guys? When your head starts spinning, what helps you make it stop?Reconnecting to the natural world in any way can function this way for me.

 

 

Random Thoughts: 19 Days into Book Launch 2 – Electric Boogaloo

Hey everybody!

So this post is bound to be a bit… uh… scattered. I am 19 days into the official release of Aliens in the Soda Machine and Other Strange Tales.

This is not my first day at the rodeo in terms of Indie book releases, but I don’t remember being this scattered at this time last year when I released Haunted.

Then again, maybe I am blocking that memory. It’s been a fairly intense writing year for me. Since the release of last year’s Haunted, Devon Miller and I have started and completed the first book in a trilogy, I have started and completed the sequel to Haunted (which should be available in 2016.) I’ve started an sf novel and released a collection of short stories.

Perhaps I am due for a bit of scatter, a sort of forced slow down. But I think the issue is that I keep forgetting about all the things that have to be juggled when a book is released into the wild in addition to the day to day goings on in this particular corner of writer-land. Marketing and promotion is ongoing, but it is particularly intense leading up to a launch, and in the weeks immediately following. I’m still learning, still trying new things and doing things from the last big push that worked. I think when it comes to that side of this that will always be the case. The tools are constantly changing. When this is all happening I tend to forget how much time and energy it really takes and when current projects slow down my knee-jerk reaction is to wonder, “Why is the writing taking longer? What’s wrong with me?”

Yep. I know. Moronic right? I have to remind myself that my attention is also on other tasks that are consequential. I’m not sure why that is.

Another thing that’s happening is that I keep thinking about the next publishing project, and the one after that. There’s an impatience to work on those things. The problem there is that the sequel to Haunted needs to sit untouched for a while. I need critical distance before edits. (Some folks can dive right in, but I’ve learned what works for me, and distance is key.) To round out the tale of the McTutcheon sisters, there is already a third book percolating in my brain. Of course, writer brain wants to work on that, too. But that would be unwise, as I’ve begun the sf novel. This order of projects was planned, by the way. There’s a rhythm to these things. If I dive into the third book about the McTutcheon sisters before the second book has been edited, that sets me up for bigger problems with inconsistencies later. A book changes dramatically from first draft to final version. So, between those books, I’m working on the sf novel. My head is getting turned by other ideas, and maybe a bit of self-imposed pressure to get that next book out, asap. In the midst of it all, I’m thinking, “WHY AM I NOT GETTING MORE DONE!”

My own advice dictates that I’ve got to finish the thing I’m doing right now. My own advice also says that a rushed book is a shitty book. So when my head is spinning like this, I have to tell myself the things I would tell another writer going through it.

Worry about one thing at a time. Stay calm. Make sure you’ve got enough coffee.

How about you guys? How do you handle it when your head starts doing this?