The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

Author, advocate, designer, mental health advocate and parent. 

Faster than light mind

Faster than light mind

One of the problems I’ve had lately is I think too fast – and I can’t slow my brain down for trying.  And over the last few days – since I started cutting most all ties that have either held me down or gotten in the way of the clarity I’ve been seeking – since London really – and I’ve worked with every which way I could think of to fix this without doing the big red reset.

Big red button….

There’s a running joke in our house that there’s a big red reset button that is connected to the coffee machine – because if it was connected to anything else, I’d be constantly, always fixing the things I lost my temper with and spending more time fixing what I undid.  But, as I said on Friday, I’ve had enough.  And in acknowledging that, by Monday, I’d made more decisions that had changed, basically, how I view my online life.
Some of it – is temporary. I’m temporarily not moderating – and temporarily  not even on the group(s) in question.  I’d unhesitatingly recommend them to any indie writers looking for a support system, and an honest perspective on the Indie community, but, right now, my honest perspective on my own life is pulling me down faster than I can blink, I don’t need to be in a position where I feel like I should be helping people constantly.  And that’s more me than them, but god’s honest truth, I’m not responsible for anyone other than me and my household.  Beyond that, I can help people, but I can’t make them do what I’m suggesting.  Whether I know that’s the solution they need or not.

That was a bit of an epiphany.

A bigger one was that though I’m stupidly bummed that I’ve had to take myself off of the moderating duties ‘etc’ that I’ve had for, well, since the main group was formed, I’m actually ok right now.  I cut everything back.  No moderating at all for the next week minimum.  Copywriting jobs only as and when I’m asked – I’m not looking for extra jobs right now.  Short term that’s going to really hit me where it hurts (i.e my wallet) but I can get around that pretty much in one of two ways.  One is to edit more, which I’m quite enjoying, and the other is to cut costs – which, perversely I’m also quite enjoying.  It’s nice to see where we can save money, and ensure that we’re making sure that, as a family, we’re meeting our expenses and saving up for things.  I’ve of course invested in editing already, and the only thing left for many of my books is my book cover, so things aren’t difficult on my work front.

And that’s where my faster than light mind comes in.  Goal setting is difficult for me because I don’t ‘live’ in the present.  The other running joke to do with how fast I think is that the reason I don’t really cope with the present is because my brain goes so fast it’s already, physically, somewhere in the future.  Like the past is eight minutes old in my head, and I’m ‘beaming back’.
Going by that logic, you’d think I’d be able to predict the trouble I get into, but as with many things to do with time, perception and understanding the world, it’s an illusion.  I could talk about how I can see certain events coming with scary regularity, but that’s just because I expect the worst and am pleasantly surprised to encounter something that isn’t as bad as I could predict.
But…. I’m always having to think about ten steps ahead to make sure I fit everything in, and that’s probably been my downfall lately.  Yep, I know what I’m doing in ten steps time, but I’m at a difficult point in everything that I’m dealing with, and I can’t be ahead.  I need to be here.  it’s another of those things I suspect is to do with my mental health, I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer and always more focussed on my future than what was going on around me – it’s part comfort.  And while I work very hard to ensure that my time is filled, if I’m not busy,  I back slide into daydreaming and becoming even less productive.  Not difficult right now, I’m barely doing anything, but that way also lies depression.
And that was the second epiphany – and why I quit from all of the groups I’m involved with, and I’m considering what my next – essential stages are.  It’s only temporarily.  And it’s not even ten more steps away.

Faster than light mind

Broken teeth, healing mind

Since I was little, I’ve had problem teeth.  At eight or so, my dentist deciced that my mouth was too small for all of the teeth I had, and started pulling them.  I still ended up with a canine on one side that was almost fang like, until a dentist finally filed it back at 24 or so.  What it left me with though, was a horrible tooth behind it – one that was incredibly difficult to clean, and basically, ‘set the tone’ for all of the other teeth in my mouth.  Before that one cracked and broke in half, I never had one problem with my teeth – now, they’re all falling apart.

On Friday, I threw a bit of a hissy fit.  Like my teeth, everything I had planned was falling apart, being squished and squashed and cracked and killed off due to overcrowding.  And there’s one rotten ‘tooth’ in all of that stuff – in all of the things that I do, there’s one that causes too many problems – creates too much of a drain on my time, and most of all, is setting the tone for everything else that I do.
Though, it’s probably not what you’re thinking.
As a moderator on several groups, on yahell and Facebook – I seem to spend an *inordinate* amount of time on Facebook.  But that’s not even the problem.  It’s the ‘side slide’ from moderating, into games that’s my problem.

And I know why too.  A while ago, I stopped playing games at night.  I quit my World of Warcraft guild and left, and though I’ve dabbled around with games recommended to me since, I just haven’t settled – and, my laptop, which was once the centre of both my work and play, and a great way to ensure that if I was stressed, or needed a break, that the tools were at hand, has now become predominantly work.  And I feel kinda like the peons in Warcraft now.  Basically, the rotten tooth is my motivation and it’s warping everything around it, and aching with guilt and burnout and whatever else you want to call it.  I will, however, stop the metaphor there, because I know many people (myself included) dislike dentists 😉

Everything, bar the snatched time I spend playing games guiltily on Facebook, feels like it’s work.  Except, I noticed about a week ago, that I wasn’t snatching time to play, I was playing and snatching time to write.  I’d sit on Facebook, and respond to posts, and play Bejeweled, or Cooking Mama, or Farmville.  And I’d wonder where my day went, when I could be writing.  But even thinking that would lead to apathy.  Would lead to ‘game…wooo!’.
There’s no easy way to address this, other than to accept that this is my brain’s way of saying ‘more fun pleazthanxbai’.   And while my fiction writing is *supposed* to be fun, it’s not.  I’m enjoying editing and copywriting, but if I’m using that to fill the time at night, instead of doing it when I get up, then, there’s a problem.

So, the schedule changes again.  I work during the day – and cut myself off from Facebook and other sites.  I teach myself to blog in Word, and upload when I’m done (though, ideally, I’d like a program that lets me upload posts when I come back online, so I might look into that) and most of all, I don’t spend time on Facebook (please note, my iPad and iPhone don’t cut themselves off from Facebook – quite deliberately – it’s one of the few points of messaging a couple of friends have for me.  What I do tend to notice though is I can’t play games as easily on my phone/iPad.  Not the games I like anyway – and I do generally forget to check in on there as often as I try to on my laptop.

I’m not sure how long this is going to take – and for once, I’m not going ‘aha, plan!’.  I don’t have one.
I know I have copywriting, and editing, and three blogs to look after.  Beyond that – I haven’t decided yet, and don’t have a clue when that will change – or HOW.  I do know that I’m going to be selling *a lot* of my virtual real estate, and that’s probably going to be difficult, but ultimately, very good for me.  How I go about that is a bit of a mystery too, but I’ll work it out.

My single strand

My single strand

Kätzchen

Image via Wikipedia

Chris Brogan spoke about this yesterday, quite serendipitously, but I’ve been thinking about it – a lot – myself lately.  What’s the core of my being.  When I remove everything from around me that isn’t dependent on relationships, isn’t dependant on circumstance and isn’t dependant on expectation, what’s left for me?  And only me?

Removing ‘stuff’ first 

The single strand at the centre of my being isn’t my kids.  They are my world, but they don’t define me.  Just like I don’t define them.  Similarly, my relationships aren’t the single strand at the centre of me, though they are very important, and if we were looking at weaving something from the bits in the middle of me, they’d be one of the foundation threads.  I can’t do what I do without the support of the people around me.  But, if we’re looking at single strands, as defined by Chris, then it’s something internal, not external.

At first…
At first I thought it was blogging – after all – that’s who I am.  I blog.  Except, it’s not.  Not any more.  I spend more time copywriting than blogging writing by a factor of about ten to one.   It’s still a core of my  being, but it’s not *the* core.  It’s not the element at the center of me, as much as I wish it was.
And then, I looked into whether it was copywriting –  it’s my job and I’m very passionate about it – but again, that’s not me.  I kinda feel like a cat with a ball of string – I grapple with it, but I couldn’t see myself doing it as the only writing thing ever.  And while both fulfil a lot of the time I spend online, they’re not the only thing I do.

More recent developments

I’ve started editing – which makes me an editor officially now.  I’m about to finish my second contract (probably today or tomorrow) officially, and I’ve edited for places like Scribe and Quill and other sites for years now.   But again, it feels kinda like my job, not my career – not to mention, to make sure that I help people with their books, my prices are tiny right now. I still love it, but it’s not something that I’m entirely interested in doing for the rest of my life.
I’m passionate about many things – mental health being key among them – WordPress being another one.   It’s important to be passionate, but passion, those passions, aren’t my core.  They colour what I do though, and that’s cool.

Hobbies

So, is my single strand my hobbies?  Photography?  Knitting?  Cross Stitch?  Gaming?  But, if I go into those, when I find that I’m bored of them, or I’ve perfected them, or I can’t ‘do’ them for any reason, then that might mean that I give in and have no single strand.

And that, your honor, is when we uncovered the vital evidence

Writing is at the core of almost everything I do.  Even coding when you look at it is writing of some description – but my passion – at the core of my being is writing.  Be it fiction or non fiction, I’m passionate about *books* and linguistics, and writing and … and… and…

My single strand isn’t so much a strand – it’s a sentence.
I am a writer.

Weekly author spotlight

Weekly author spotlight

(I’m part of a facebook group called ‘Indie Authors Unite‘ and we do a weekly facebook blog hop/swap – I’m a bit late this week, this was actually supposed to be last week, but when the laptop died, that kinda scuppered that!)

This week, I’d like to introduce Helmy Parlente Kusuma

Give me a two line description of your book
-Mementoes of Mai is the story of a man who reached an intersection and has to decide where to turn in order to have the love of his life.

Give me a two line description of you
-Helmy Kusuma is an ex-IT worker who has spent two decades typing on the keyboard when suddenly the egg of  inspiration fell on his lap.

What’s your favorite scene in your book?
-When the main character was in the middle of a bay shouting “Yeah!”

What did you find hardest?
-Rock, I guess…no, wait a minute, I believe diamond is the hardest.

How about the process – what did you think you were good at, and what did you struggle with?
-I am good at descripting something but still working on creating good dialogues.

If you could ask a fan one thing, what would it be?
-Would you buy my next book?

Who is your favorite author?
-Paulo Coelho

If you could meet any one person, who would it be, and where would you go for lunch?
-I would like to meet Jesus and have lunch at a mountain’s tip. I have always wanted to ask him “Do you like salmon or tuna better?”

Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
-Buy my book or I would send the minions of darkness to rip your wallet, steal 99c and slap your face with my book.  Kidding. Seriously, please buy my book.

Smashwords  , Kindle US  , Kindle UK  , Kindle DE 

 

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Faster than light mind

Kai’s weekly todo

One of the things I’m working on, other than writing and releasing books, is making my life a bit easier.  I work 30 hours a week as a copywriter, and on the surface, given I also care for two kids and the house full-time, that might seem like I’ve got a good work/life balance.

But I don’t.  I’m still struggling with basic scheduling, and fitting everything in.  I’m still underestimating how long errands take, and I’m still struggling to disengage effectively from places like Facebook.  I guess it really drove the topic home when my boss posted on the AppleCopywriting blog about removing distractions.
So, weekly todo’s are the way forward.  With time set aside for all of the work that I’m expecting, it should help 🙂

For now, I’m using ‘Workflowy’ to manage the vague stuff, that isn’t dated.  And I’m not sure what I’m going to use for actual deadlines, possibly toodledo.  There has to be an easier way, but for now, it’s a bit difficult to see my way out of the forest for all the tasks that are stacking up around me like brittle wood. 😉