Man, where did the first half of this year go? I know they say that time seems to pass more quickly the older you get, and I’m here to tell you…well, they’re right.
It’s been a crazy ride since we moved to Michigan. Between losing loved ones, trying to find a place to live, burning through two sub-par jobs before I finally found one I liked and learning that we need a new engine for our only car…
Gimme a second.
Ok. I feel better.
It’s nearly June of 2015, kids. Holy crap. I looked back through my blog and realized I haven’t written a post (not counting Weekend Writing Warrior excerpts) since April 14th, which was well over a month ago. Oh, and before that it had been another couple of months between blog posts, so it seems I’ve turned into Captain Once-A-Month in terms of maintaining the blog. Oops.
Between work (I basically live at the office), hanging out with my family and doing my best to maintain something resembling sanity, my once excessively prolific writing and editing schedule has, sadly, completely fallen by the wayside. I’m trying not to beat myself up too much over it – this is really the only not-as-productive stretch of time I’ve ever had since I started self-publishing back in 2011, and in the past couple of weeks I still wrote a short story to keep myself from going completely bananas. The fact that I can’t seem to even get anything done in those rare instances when I actually find free time is indicative of the real problem:
I’m getting old.
Now, bear with me. I still have my teeth, there have been no hip replacements (yet), and I’ve only forgotten what the hell I’m supposed to be doing about 6 times since I started writing this, so there’s still hope. Still, turning 40 was kind of scary for me. I’m getting to that point in my life where I have to start slowing down a little even when I don’t want to (I’m in good shape, but I’m no pro athlete, and I find myself napping a hell of a lot more than I ever used to when I was in my thirties), and I’m so exhausted by the time I reach the end of the work day that I don’t feel as motivated as I once did to spend hours and hours writing and editing. (The fact that book sales have been horrendous this year certainly hasn’t helped to motivate me). My infamous ability to survive a full work week on just 5 hours of sleep per night is sadly slipping away, and I find myself getting nostalgic and revisiting things I loved in my youth, only to discover that I still love them and that the new stuff coming out these days is just crap. (This recently acquired attitude of mine reminds me of my parents, by the way, and that’s just depressing…).
As I mentioned before, my writing has suffered, if for no other reason than I just don’t have the same level of energy and gumption I used to. I’ve written three novels this past year: The Last Acolyte, Dead Planet and Red Tide at Morning, as well as a short story, Black Dogs, but only The Last Acolyte has been published because I frankly just haven’t had the time and/or discipline to work on editing a novel when I can barely scrape through a 40-hour work week.
Then there are my kids.
My daughter turns 21 this year, and there’s no end to her seizures in sight. She’s taking college courses and trying her best to pave a path of in spite of having obstacles thrown in her way, like the fact that her epilepsy will likely never be fully under control enough for her to drive. In many ways she’s still reliant on us, even though she doesn’t want to be.
My son is 13. That kills me. It feels like just a few weeks ago that I was toting his tiny butt around Whatcom Falls in a hiking backpack and reading Dr. Suess to him at bedtime, and now he’s dressing like a Gangsta and spends more time playing Xbox than he does breathing. He, too, will be with us for awhile on account of his Autism.
Lib and I do our best. Living so close to her parents means she sees them a lot more, but like me she hasn’t quite found as much time to work on projects (knitting, dying yarn, blogging, and helping me edit and market novels) as she’d like.
It just doesn’t feel like there’s enough time, and when we do find it we’re too exhausted to put it to good use.
I’m not going for pity here: I’m just trying to explain my absence from maintaining the blog. This is the part where I’m supposed to say “Hey, no worries, I’m changing up my schedule to accommodate writing weekly blog posts so I don’t leave the world wondering if I joined a cult and drank some Kool-Aid or got bit by zombie ticks and wound up shambling around rural Michigan rotting to death in my Darth Stewey pajamas”, but I’m afraid I can’t say that…in part because I don’t like Kool-Aid, but just as much because I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep. My day job is the best I’ve found in Michigan so far – the people are awesome, it’s a casual atmosphere, and it’s an easy bus commute. And I’m busy every damn second that I’m at my desk and rarely feel like I have time to breathe, let alone stay caught up, so by the time I stumble home I’m completely exhausted. Making a commitment to regular weekly blogging on top of holding down a job, taking care of the kids and doing my best to write/edit might be more than I can handle.
Now, what I will do is try to get back to producing something that resembles real content on a more consistent basis, so in a couple of weeks I’m going to provide you with an update on where I’m at with my various writing projects, and a couple of weeks after that I’m going to post an article about an artist who’s been a huge inspiration to me. And after that…well, who knows? We’ll see what my aging bones and crumbling psyche can handle. But rest assured, blog posts or no blog posts, I’m still kicking, and new writing is coming your way (relatively) soon.