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Friday, September 2, 2011

Dirty Laundry Has No Place on the Internet

And so I will not air it.

But I will say this: my personal life has been very stressful right now. No details (but for the morbidly curious, I am still happily married. Why do I think people will wonder about that? Maybe because it's the kind of thing I think of). In short, my already-limited writing time has been taken up by this stress, and the stress does not help my health. Plus it's a total downer on my creativity levels.

What it has meant, though, is that I've had to face some realizations about my craft. I have so many stories to tell, and they're not being written fast enough. I'm in what I hope is the final round of edits for my WIP, where I'm using my mad puzzling skillz to fill in some gaps in the picture that is my novel, to the point of adding characters who need to exist for the sake of the story. Most of them die by the end, but SotS will be better for their inclusion in the first place.

Don Rocko and I were away last weekend at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), where we had a fantastic time checking out video games, enjoying the geeky panels and concerts, partying with friends, and chatting with some of our favorite accessible celebrities. Once again I got my writing notebook signed by Wil Wheaton. (squee) It was great for refuelling my geeky energy. But we also got a chance to sleep in undisturbed on a comfy bed and set aside the worries of Real Life. It was then that I had the dream.

I dreamed that I died. Turns out it was an administrative error, so they sent me back. It may have also involved the devil losing a bet, but I forget the details. But while I thought I was dead? I was so angry about the things I hadn't finished. Like my novel. There was *no way* I wanted to go back and start over from scratch. Not now. And if that's not a cosmic "get your butt in the chair" message, I don't know what is.

Which brings me back to my point.

I know I had that dream because I felt, both consciously and unconsciously, that there was too much getting in the way of my writing time. I also know that I have the bad habit of putting other people first, to the detriment of that time.

That can't happen anymore. Not when it's stifling what is most important to me (Don Rocko aside, of course). Not when writing is what makes me thrive.

This past month was a challenge. I am done with it. It is time to make myself a priority.

Today a Twitter friend of mine, @BA_Matthews, reminded me of how important this is to me. At last year's SiWC, the final keynote of the conference was Robert Dugoni, and he gave a rousing riff on Aragorn's speech in The Return of the King. The final line is, "This day, we write!"

Well, then. Back to work for me.

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