The night before #nanowrimo21 and I’m sharing ‘Love, Muse’.
The dishes can wait.
No, the baby isn’t stirring.
Let me tell you a story.
It won’t take long
That wasn’t the door.
You don’t need more coffee
Fingers on the key.
by D Kai Wilson-Viola
The night before #nanowrimo21 and I’m sharing ‘Love, Muse’.
One of the major mindset changes I’ve been trying to work on is not looking at any delays in my life as ‘delays’, and instead look at them as chances to… I guess, design my way around the things that others consider limitations, I guess.
Today for example, I’m operating under the influence…of a migraine.
Migraines are the bane of my life. Or one of them, at least. I live with several chronic conditions, but migraines are one of the few ones that stop me dead in my tracks.
(Authors) living with chronic conditions
I’m probably not preaching to the choir here, but, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. In part because of Alchemy of Kindness, but more importantly because I’ve had to completely redesign the work that I do and how I do it. I have clients to look after, and my own books to do, so in the last few years, I’ve been refining how I work, and more importantly, WHERE I can work. Can’t get out of bed? Got a tablet that I can use with a bluetooth keyboard.
Stuck in appoitments for treatment? Smartphone and several apps for the win.
But, on the flipside of all of it, I’ve also had to teach myself when to stop.
Self-care is not a bad word
I’m my own worst enemy for this one, but, I tell other people that they need to put themselves first. But honestly? Here’s my almost…dirty little secret. I absolutely believe OTHERS should take time off when they need it, but when it comes to me? I prevaricate. I don’t deal well with taking time off, or slowing down. It’s important to note that I *do* take time off, but the guilt is always terrible. Which is why we’ve spent time trying to ‘mitigate my guilt’, but quite honestly, after I write this, I’m going to go curl up in a dark room, avoid tech for a bit and see if my migraine shifts as fast as possible.
But some of us don’t do well with self-care
I can’t say whether it’s to do with having CPTSD, or if it’s my personality type, or if it’s just how I am, but there’s a lot of time that I do have regrets because I’ve had to take time off. Tried to put myself in a position of understanding. Tried to treat myself as gently as my friends. I’m not very good at it though. So, I’m working on that. I can’t see it going away overnight, but I am concerned that time that I spend worrying is just as unproductive. It’s a bit of a catch 22, I guess.
Anyone got any suggestions on how to deal with the guilt of taking time off? Other than instead of seeing it as two steps back, and instead of resting and prepping?
I’m inches from publishing my first full-length novel under my own name, and I was going to kinda let it pass without comment, and then I thought ‘I think I wanna talk about this’.
The following is a bit maudlin, a bit ‘ow, crossed legs’ for writers, a bit dumb luck and a bit scary really. So if you wanna skip it, I understand.
But this is the story of Glass Block.
Where it all started
One evening, around October of 2003, which was about three months after I’d kicked my ex out, and just before the Nanowrimo in November, I was parked in my usual place, in the bath, and Elliot came to visit. I came back from that bath with seven stories to write, which I dutifully noted down in a private post on my Livejournal. And filed it for the Nanowrimo.
The Nanowrimo led to me meeting my beloved in a very roundabout way, but Elliot was stuck to me like glue. In fact, in the first few months of our relationship, said now fiancee commented at least once that he was sharing me and was really quite scared (or pretended to be) when I told the merry-go-round story. But Glass Block sat. And sat.
Still hearing voices, three years later
(not to be flippant about hearing voices – I do have problems with what is considered psychosis as well, but if you can’t joke about it…)
So, Elliot’s book series expanded from seven to I think 21 in the years between meeting the other half and starting at Uni (including a house move – a really major one about err…400 miles south). That was 2007.
Glass Block went out to a press in 2005. Press loved it. Press closed.
Glass Block went to a senior editor at a really big publishing house. Was accepted. Imprint curtailed when editor left. Three year wait. At the time, I thought I’d find somewhere else (in 2008). Oooops.
Glass Block got rewritten and went to another house. House closed.
In that time I ghostwrote other stuff. I watched those books do stuff. I worked with people. I moved into non-fiction. I went to Uni and did a degree (where, critically, I just solidified how I used voice – I got so much from that course, and I’ll be forever grateful). Last house that took it, I got a tiny advance, and then three weeks later, the owner was killed in an accident.
So, I went self-publishing.
You’d think the litany…
Would end? Nope. So far, the book has been pirated before it was released, and made me rewrite it again, I’ve been in my first ever car accident and damaged my shoulder so badly that I couldn’t write, and most recently, the server we were on was hacked the week I took off to finish up. Normally, I’d back off after that and leave the book alone, then take another run at it, but Elliot’s been wandering around singing songs, and niggling at 4am, so here I am, at t-6 days, telling people the horror story that is my attempt to publish the book I adore more than anything else in my literary world.
Book outline swelled to 30 then stalled. And I thought that was it, till a really innocent comment by one of my university tutors…It currently stands at 59, and I suspect most of my sci-fi (the ones planned anyway) have something to do with the computer system I talk about in the books, in which case, it’s more like close to 100 books in one universe.
Whatcha think? Would you have given in or be even more determined to get the book out?
(wanna know more about the book? )
We move through our lives at a constant pace. We can accelerate or decelerate ourselves with a limited amount of success, but the speed we do things at, at our base rate at least, is probably something we’ll never change. Some of us rush headlong into everything and batter through life as fast as we can, hungry for as many new experiences as we can pick up, and tired at the end of each day because we’ve packed in so much.
Others go as slow as possible, savoring every step, and realising, deep down, that they can’t do everything they might want to.
My problem is I want to savor everything, but I want it all. I have too many hobbies, and too little time on my books for new stuff. I book far too much into my life, mostly because I can. My laptop became both my freedom and my curse, because now, there’s a whole world of reading and writing out there, and I get nothing done.
Facebook is a horrible blessing. I can meet and hang out with so many wonderful people, and keep an eye on my friends, and there are some really cool games on there, but, lets face it, I’ve got a nasty habit of refreshing my page again and again, and then wondering, at 2pm, where my day went.
Worst of all, I’m a person that moves through life with a momentum that pulls others along behind me. And lately, I kinda feel like I’m out in the middle of a great big ocean, with no chance of finding the new land I was aiming for. But it feels like I’m stranding other people now and I don’t like that feeling.
Momentum is working out where you’re going and I think that’s the biggest thing for me right now. I need to work out which map I’m working from – someone else’s or my own. If I’m working from someone else’s, where can I adapt it so it’s all mine – or if I’m going to dive on in headlong and do it all myself, I need to work out where I want to go – there are *so many* choices right now.
What I do know is tomorrow begins my ninth Nanowrimo. I’m really looking forward to it. It gives me another month to work out and plan the roller coaster that is about to be my life. One way or another, things will start resolving and working out the way I want to.
Plans are coming soon, though. I’m happy to report there *is* a plan, but it’s difficult to see whether it’s the right choice right now. So I’m going to have a bit of fun with my writing for a bit, and see where that takes me. It’s too easy for me to lose sight of what I wanted to do when I started out online – which was writing. I’ve gone all over the web since, looking for something that’s ‘all me’ but what I am, underneath it all, is a writer.
I’m not really ready to *launch* the blog yet, as in, I’m not ready to start talking about everything that I need to, because I’m still getting a grip on the change in schedule that just, quite suddenly, dropped in my lap, but I wanted to intro myself, and say ‘hi there!’
So, most of you know who I am, but just in case, my name is D Kai Wilson. I write under several dozen names, though mostly it includes Kai and ‘Wilson’ or ‘Viola’. You can read more about the rationalle behind that on my ‘about – personal’ page later, but I’ve got a couple of entirely off the wall pen names.
8 years ago, I took part in a project called ‘The Nanowrimo‘ – and became an ML for them at the same time. Myself and a lovely lad called James ran that first year in Edinburgh, where I lived at the time, and it was a blast. And during that year, I wrote what became an obsession for me, that’s spawned a series of seven books directly and two spin off sets.
The building pictured to the right is Teviot House – a couple of the Nanoers were roleplayers, with a group called GEAS – John being one of them – who then introduced me to Gregor and others – from *there*, I went through some really interesting times – got really sick, and met the man I’m marrying. We’ve since moved 100′s of miles south and quite a bit west, but I’ve got some very fond memories of that time, and the books that started it all. Yeah, that’s right, Nanowrimo changed my life .
Eight years of edits, massive life changes, and seven other Nanowrimos later, and here we are. I have a contract (this really should be surrounded by flashing lights), and now, I get to talk about how this works. All of it.
‘Glass Block’ isn’t my first novel. it’s not my first book. I’ve been writing since I was 4 (I just turned 32), so this has, quite literally been over 20 years in the making. I’m so excited, but it’s not entirely unexpected. I know a lot of people compare it to winning the lottery, and it is, and yet it isn’t. There’s a lot more work for a start.
So, there’s going to be a couple of great things I hope to do with this – I want to talk about editing manuscripts, and working with an editor and publishing house through the whole process, writing more books. Y’know – the works.
I’m also hoping that we can get other authors roped into talking about stuff – and working through everything that we’ve got, going on and more.
But, for now, I’m just revelling in the glow of having my first contract. I’ll get to share more when it’s all settled – but for now, I’m just so goddammed excited!
Ok, I know, I’m supposed to blog more than once a week, once a month, once in a blue moon, but it’s been kinda hectic lately. I’m still getting used to lots of things, but basically, since my last posting, I’ve sorted out my gap year funding for Uni, have handed in several essays to support my gap year, then even started back to my +1 year.
It’s been mad here – the youngest has changed schools – again – to a specialist unit. The eldest tried out for grammar school. My partner still loves his job, I founded an entirely new company, doing the same stuff (writing!), and for the first time in my life, came off incapacity benifit. I’ll probably talk more about that whole fun experience later (and I mean fun in the exciting sense, not the sarcastic :D)
Other than that – I’m still slowly expanding my library of ‘I wrote this, I really should share’. Slo-o-o-w-l-y, but faithful readers will know that this is the time of year that this changes.
Yep – it’s NANO time! Woooohoooo!