The blog of D Kai Wilson-Viola

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

Two steps back, or gathering strength #Mondayblogs #selfcare #chronicillness

Two steps back, or gathering strength #Mondayblogs #selfcare #chronicillness

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 taking this time, other than lying in the dark grumbling, to think about books. And where I go with my websites. And what I’m writing for Nanowrimo this year!

Exciting stuff

Exciting stuff

Csi2

Image via Wikipedia

It’s not all gloom and doom in my household.

One of the big projects I’m launching post graduation is my new press project.  It’s two parts at the moment – with the whole thing being ran from one site – Occam’s Library is my e-book print arm, and covers working on the Kindle, and the Nook and other projects that involve the ‘simplest’ solution, while Schrödinger’s Library is the print project and will be lagging slightly behind this one.  I think that the overall project needs a proper name, so for now it’s falling under Lime-in-the-coconut , which was my original co-op press project.  So all and all, it’s very positive.

But – I need a bit of help.  To make a press really work I need to have people to read the stuff we’re putting out.  For now I’ve got some very specific books in mind for going out, so please don’t query me to take your book.  What I need instead is…well, a couple of things really.

One is to follow @occamslibrary on Twitter.  The second is to join up to my writer’s fan page.

Occam’s Library’s first release is going to be Glass Block – it’s been variously described as ‘Law and Orders down and dirty with a dystopic CSI, discovers blood borne viruses that creates vampires, werewolves and other wibblies and has a love child’ or ‘absolutely insane, off the hook, gimmie more!’.

I describe it as a sci-fi/horror/slipstream thriller that constantly leaves you guessing, and introduces you to Elliot Peters, one of the main protagonists in the green-room in my head.

The second book out is a guide to social networking and blogging – it’s in the process of being renamed because we didn’t like the name it had – it walks you through, step by step, what you need to do to set up your blog to work with social networking, and how to leverage it effectively, including planning things like promotions, blogging calendars ‘etc’.

The third book out, near Christmas, is yet to be decided.  It’ll either be Pictures In the Dark (a bipolar’s guide to good mental health), or Near Earth.  And of course if things pick up, or there’s a demand, there’s something like 12 other books in the Glass Block series waiting to be edited and released, plus dozens of other universes and other fun stuff that’s sci-fi, horror or a mix of both.

For those of you that don’t see anything you’re interested in yet, Green room in my head talks about all the different genres I write, while Writers-bookshelf is going to gear itself more towards the theory and practice of publishing, but I write and have written in just about every genre known to man and woman kind, including erotica, so there really is something for every type of reader out there available.  You gotta tell me though – which is the other area I need help.  I’m legendarily indecisive, so I’d love to hear what you want to see.  Got a favorite genre?  Really interested in what I’m talking about?  tell me!

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30 posts later – where I am, where I’m going etc

30 posts later – where I am, where I’m going etc

I noticed this morning that I hit the magical 30 post mark, from the 30 posts in 30 days (in my case, really it was 30 posts in 45 days!) and wanted to do a quick round-up, along with some observations.

First up – I suck at timetables.
Actually, more accurately, I suck at working within timetables, when there is lots going on around me.  In the last month I went back to Uni for a new term (my last one), I moved laptops to a much sleeker, faster, sweeter piece of kit (which leads me to a point I’m going to make later), and I finally discovered that my love for writing definitively needs fiction to keep the flames burning.  And that simply reading it for now isn’t enough.
I also discovered that 30 billable hours equates to much *much* more than that, and I procrastinate too much, which lead me to another project idea for this month/next month.   I discovered that I’m not in the best shape mentally, or physically, and that I really need to find and adhere to boundaries.  That means less answering email on my phone when I should be chilling out, and more spending my time working on the things – all of them – that makes me happy. Journaling, despite being suggested, isn’t something I can get into any more – I had a horrible time of it when my then psych council got his hands on one of my stories and tried to commit me because it was about suicide, and jumping out the windows of my flat.  I know mental health care has moved on in leaps and bounds since then, but there have been other incidents where people have used my journal against me.  Next best idea is to go back to fiction :).

Specifics though

  • Of the 30 posts I had planned, I’ve still got 14 drafts left.  I’ve also added to that and have ideas for about another 60 blog posts – or partial posts.  If I got them scheduled and farmed to the right blogs (because some of them might not belong *here* when I’m done) then I’ve got content for two blogs for a month, or several blogs for several months depending on posting schedules.
  • I’m so not over my blogging apathy.  I still find it difficult to interact on Livejournal, where I started to blog – I don’t know if it’s transient but it’s lasted about eight months so far and hasn’t abated any.  I work a full-time job, study practically full time for Uni, write when I can, plus I’m the primary parent for a nine-year old with emotional difficulties (she’s getting MUCH better), and an eleven year old that is an amazing wee guy.  And then I fit my relationships with friends, family and my fiancée into that massive mix.  It’s not an easy balancing act, and gets harder in November, when I run the Nanowrimo, and in April for ScriptFrenzy.  I think it’s a symptom of my life being too busy, but it could just be that I’ve outgrown how I used to blog (24 blogs, updated on a three-day schedule).  It could just be that I’m burned out still – and that I need more time to myself.  It could be that it’s just one of those things.  The 30 day challenge brought me back to a lot of that, but  there’s still a lot to be said for needing more time to fall in love with blogging all over again.
  • I really don’t write enough fiction.  I’m not editing at all – I’ve got this one task in my task manager that keeps getting bumped to next week to actually sit down and write Glass Block – which lead me in a very circumlocutory way to a project I want to try.  More about that below though.
  • Emotionally, I’m not over any of the miscarriages I’ve had in my adult life, but of all of them, this last one was the hardest.  I think it’s a mix of us both being on board with the idea fully, and the traumatic way we found out I wasn’t pregnant, plus the hospital stuff afterwards, but now I’m not doing well with any of that stuff.   The last one resulted in the problems we had when I moved and the referral through the Crisis team in Gloucester (who, really I can’t praise enough) to the Recovery team and my wonderful worker, whom I really *really* miss.  This one seems to be worse in some ways, because I’m still feeling it all and I’m ON medication.  Time will tell I suppose.  December doesn’t seem that long ago, but that morning in the hospital feels even closer to me still.*

Moving on

I guess the positive in that phrase is that I actually know where I’m going and what my plan is.  Well, kinda anyway.
There’s two immediate projects I want to get out of the way and through before I decide what I’m going to do with myself full-time from now on.  Lots of the projects I’ve got in mind are just going to have to wait till after I’ve graduated – realistically, I don’t have time to blog in all the places I want to, but I will soon.

But the two big projects.
I want to show the impact social media has on someone’s day – so I’m going to do a Friday *with* full social media interaction, and a Friday without.  The Friday *With*, I’m going to use Facebook and Twitter through my laptop – without I’m going to check in on my phone.   To get to that point though, I need to rebuild my tweetdeck and reader set-up, plus update what I’m looking at because I’m pretty scattered all over the place right now.

I’m going to journal what I’m doing, and track the time using an app that I’ve long since gotten used to called ‘Rescue time’.  I’ll log my full day on (and off) the computer, and post the results and some conclusions I’ve drawn at the end of it.  It’s a teeny tiny project, but it’s one of those wonderful things that others can attempt to duplicate and they too can talk about what they found, so it’s going to be interesting.  I’m going to stick that happy little project up on Work at home Writers, because it’s primarily about productivity.

The second is a little more hazy now.  I’ve got to get the books I’ve written into Scrivener, and then move on from there, but I’m deliberately declaring Sundays ‘fiction day’.  I’ll most likely have to skip a couple of them to get my dissertation finished, or when there’s a massively pressing deadline, but if I’m so reluctant to write non fiction, it’s maybe for a different reason and I want to test that 🙂  For that second, specifically, I need lots of encouragement.  I am deliberately removing billable hours from my schedule, and guilt aside, I’m not sure that I’m even particularly confident in my fiction abilities any more.  So if you could hop onto one of the social media areas where I talk writing, cheer me on at Writers-bookshelf or otherwise play ‘cheering squad for me’ I’d love it, I really would.

* I don’t talk about what went on – and would appreciate that people don’t pursue this one reference to it with me.  I’m not interested in baring my soul about it and while I appreciate it’s an area that women really don’t talk about enough, I’d rather err on the side of not talking about it.  That said, I’d rather people knew why I was prickly, than simply smack them upside the head.

Shameless self promotion – books, sites and how to encourage me ;)

Shameless self promotion – books, sites and how to encourage me ;)

One of the off list conversations I had with the people who were asking me about my stuff, and encouraging me not to be shy is to ask to have you guys urge me.
So I bowed to peer pressure, in a positive way. The following ways are the absolute best ways to get me to – find out about the books I’ve mentioned in the past, urge me to write them, and get access to them, and the writing process before/after/getting your mitts on them. Having a strong fan base will also help me convince publishers that I’m a great bet after the first ‘oh, this is good’.

I’m considering whether I should work to a self publishing schedule for some of my books – I’m not sure whether I should keep slogging on with Elliot Peters and his stuff or just get it out there so that those that want it can get their hands on it, while those that want to wait till it’s backed by a publisher can still support me by passing the book onto others.

Facebook

I’ve got a page for my main book stuff – and as the books come out, I’ll create a page for the big ones – and a short story overall page for the shorter ebooks.  You can sign up at D Kai Wilson-Viola’s Facebook Page.  As a quick side note, I won’t add people to my main Facebook page if you’re only interested in my books, or I don’t know who you are.  This is not to say I won’t welcome you on my fan page, but I have lines that I tend to defend.  If you know me from somewhere and think that I should add you, it goes faster either way if you tell me where we know one another from – but I’m always happy to gain new ‘fans’.

Twitter

I have two main twitter feeds – Kaiberie (my personal one) and BooksbyKai – where I’ll talk writing/publishing/share notices and reviews.  I add people back as long as they aren’t constantly offering information on making money 😀

Blogs and websites

I’m currently in the process of redesigning my website, so for now, I can’t point you at anything – but what I can do now is point you at my writer’s blog – at writers-bookshelf.

Anything else?

I’d love to hear if there’s anything that you would like to hear or see?

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The 30 day V7N blog challenge and going forward

The 30 day V7N blog challenge and going forward

The last few days saw the ‘end’ of the V7N blogging challenge for many of us – a 30 day (starter at least) blogging challenge ran by the amazing Cricket Walker.

But really, it’s just the beginning, because most people that had signed up for the initial challenge have gained freinds,  got more in our reading lists that we know what to do with, with lots of inspiration and more.

One of the best things I’ve really loved about it is finding new people to read without being ‘advertised’ to – I also loved all of the comments I’ve picked up.
I was supposed to keep going this week, but I’ve been horribly ill and incredibly busy – writing somewhere in the region of 22k for one client in the next week alone has meant I’ve felt pretty much burned out with writing, so I’m sorry that I’ve been MIA for the last few days – one of the biggies I’m putting in place is, as soon as I get over this bug/pancreatic problem (we’re hoping for the former rather than the latter!) I’m going to be back on the game, blogging more and taking part in *two* new challenges.

The first is an additional stint with the ’30 day challenge’ where I’ve committed to blogging on one of my blogs, daily, and getting my blogging network blog all set up so people can grab me as a guest blogger and see what I’m already writing and offering out for syndication.
The second is ‘learn 21 things in 21 days‘ – for which I’m going to keep generally blogging here about the things I’m learning, motivations and more, and for the second half of that challenge, I’m going to blog at Writers-bookshelf about self publishing and what I’m learning about that – including all of the stuff I’ve got on my roster for learning about publishing on the Kindle and using Amazon’s new services to set up my blogging stuff – all in all it’s going to be a blast!

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