· March 20th 2022 ·
This will be an update on how my life has gone since my post, “Reopening the Schedule,” where I outlined a vision for regular weekly updates, and how that is affecting the blog and my writing. Additionally, I will speak on the personal pledge (which I hadn’t put in that post, although perhaps had spoken of it in a video log on YouTube) that I would try to write daily, give or take a few days per week, and how that worked out.
Well, how did it go? Let’s explore.
Here is a timeline of the last few months, crossing from 2021 to 2022 and up to now. Looking at the WordPress calendar, you can see I’ve added a few marks, which I will briefly outline here. The first circle, the red one, is when I posted “Reopening the Schedule,” Jan 20. The green circle is when my personal pledge to write every day (with 1-2 off days per week) fell apart and writing became more and more rare for me. To my credit, it lasted about 6 weeks (which is amazing, really!!). Finally, the red underline in March are two missed weeks of posts on the site. I didn’t release anything those Thursdays.
So with that out of the way, here is the update. Keep in mind, some of this happened a while ago and my memory of it is kind of fuzzy.
In January, I was spending a lot of time working on things late after work, and I was making a lot of progress. The issue? It was cutting into my sleep, obviously. I ended up sleeping in late and having no mornings before work. Sometimes, I would end up being up really late and unable to fall asleep. Then…the bathroom broke.
January / February are basically the coldest months in winter. The effects of the lack of sunlight from the December Solstice makes its way into the new year, and so, the pipes in our washroom froze up and burst. When they went to investigate it, it turned out that there was more than one issue. First, the pipes were right next to an external wall. Second, half the floor had rotted out with mold, which is a pretty big health hazard. This means changing the pipe wasn’t going to be enough. The whole floor had to be torn out and replaced, and the bathroom pipes and fixtures re-arranged.
I am renting a room from my sister and her boyfriend. This was their washroom, and he was the one who went down to fix it. He assembled some friends and they ended up getting the work done pretty fast…after a week, we had a working toilet. I’ll be honest, I didn’t help that much, especially since I was still working during most of that time.
The fallout? Well, since I work evening shifts, and they wanted to get work done during the day, that meant that often I would be woken up in the middle of my sleep. I had been sleeping until noon or 1pm, and getting ready for work at 3pm. Obviously, they wanted to get work done before them and that resulted in very poor and interrupted sleep for me. Luckily in the later days of work, they stopped using power tools before I got up and that helped a lot. But I still had to mostly use the washroom at work, shower at my mother’s place, and deal with the stress of the massive changes. And this…pushed me into a depression.
It’s hard to date this change exactly, since I didn’t really post about it on social media, but I do have a picture of the washroom in the early stages of being torn up from around that time an it’s dated Feb 15. And, if you look at the analytic graph above, you’ll see that the green circle marking when I stopped writing daily is right there, February 13.
But, you might say, I’ve had a month to recover and get back in the groove! Well…yeah. I guess I could say that. And I do. And I feel bad that I haven’t. But there are two mitigating factors; reasons why I haven’t. Before I get into them, I want to say that I’m not trying to use them as excuses, rather, I’m still desperately trying to claw my way back into a productive routine. That being said, here are the two things holding me back.
First, as I stated above, I have hit a depression. Now, in university, some of my better work has been done in lower mood-states (as opposed to higher states, which can be hectic). The problem is, without that external structure of scheduled classes and set deadlines, it’s difficult to draw that part of me out. Yet, look at me here! Even though I started writing this post on March 5th and then didn’t touch it for three weeks, now I’m finishing it. I’ve fought two evenings this weekend (March 19 & 20) to get through it and now it’s getting done. Though, you might be able to tell by the writing in this blog that my head isn’t entirely in the game. So it goes.
Second, I’m trying to be productive in the morning, not after work. When should I be productive on an evening schedule? Where I leave for work around 2pm and get home at night around 12:15am? I remember reading on some internet article that for sleep, the early hours of the night are the most important. Or maybe it was, each hour of sleep before midnight is worth double? As you can see, I’m not too certain. And further, if the second one is true then it doesn’t help me anyway, since I don’t get home from work until a little after midnight. But I think there is something to it.
There are a few benefits to doing productive work, like writing, in the morning rather than at night. The first is, I won’t keep myself up too late. It won’t be as easy to throw off the sleep schedule by getting a few hours of writing in and then wanting to, say, play a video game to relax…then lo and behold it’s 5am and my heart is racing from whatever I just played. Second, I won’t be worn out after work, and won’t have that as an excuse to not be productive. And third, if I want to make a video for my youtube channel (which right now is Tehufn), then morning is much better because people aren’t sleeping!
The obvious downside to being productive in the morning is time. I need about 45 minutes to get ready in the morning (I’m being generous, I often manage with less), and right now when I get out of bed I tend to have an hour of time. So once I get ready, that leaves…15 minutes to be productive? Yeah, the problem is that I get up too late. And actually, I wake up earlier, but one of the things about depression and owning a phone, is that it’s easy to just stay in bed for an hour. So, if I want to wake up with enough time to be productive before work, I have to go to bed earlier. To break down the hours…
I’m going to stop trying to do timing math here in a blog post, but the point is, going to bed earlier and waking up earlier has been a problem this whole time since I stopped writing every day or so, at that green circle. Because, I haven’t let myself go to the old routine. I want to make a new one. And I’m tired after work, but if I get up earlier, I’ll be tired then too! How frustrating.
I’m not going to theorize about solutions right now on this post, but I’ll see what I can do about it as the days go. For now, I will still do my best to push out a weekly post…or biweekly if things get really rough. I still have some unpublished chapters of The Solune Prince in my backlog that I can edit and post. I have been editing the more recent ones before turning them into blog posts, which has kept my writer’s edge alive. I’ll get back in the game in a couple months I’m sure.