I must rethink my schedule for writing Iterations of Zero.
The reason I need to do this is that writing IoZ is interfering with the speed of my fiction writing, and fiction is my primary utility function. Unfortunately, since I write my fiction in the mornings, and do my original blog on Thursday mornings, writing this blog on Tuesday mornings (as I am now) further interrupts my weekly fiction flow. I have one day on, then one day off, then one day on, then one day off, then one day on for fiction during the working week. When I go into the office on Saturday mornings, I also write fiction then, and that’s good as far as it goes, but skipping days during the week slows me down and breaks my flow.
Of course, I’ve said to myself, and to you, my readers, that I could write at least a page of fiction on Sundays, as well. I said that writing fiction on Sundays would be easier than producing an IoZ post on Sundays, and I still think that’s true. Unfortunately, “easier” is apparently not easy enough, and I’m not getting much writing done on Sundays, if any. I aspire to the Stephen King/Ray Bradbury ideal of literally writing every day, of course, but when one writes in one’s spare time while also working full time, with a long commute…well, the time takes its toll on one’s will, and on Sunday mornings I tend just to want—perhaps need—to vegetate.
If I were writing full time, and only writing, then I think I could swing it, but unless and until I achieve that blessed state, I need to adjust. “Know thyself and act accordingly,” great Socrates exhorts us, and I try to comply when I’m able. Obviously, I don’t quite know myself as well as I should, because if I did, I wouldn’t have to keep reassessing and changing things, but hopefully I’m getting to know myself a little bit better all the time.
So, if I must prioritize, I will choose my fiction over my nonfiction, heartrending though that can be. I need to maximize the continuity in my fiction writing, with as few instances of “day off/day on” as I can. Therefore, at least tentatively, I’m going to switch away from writing IoZ every Tuesday morning. That way, I’ll at least get in a good four to five days of fiction writing a week instead of three to four, even without Sundays.
There are, however, still numerous topics on which I want to express my thoughts, from politics to philosophy, to science, to math, to mental health and the lack thereof, and every random, walk-in topic in between. Though the list of my stories waiting to be written is long, the list of potential Iterations of Zero posts is even longer (though the total volume of work will no doubt be much shorter). I need to work out some method of getting it done without impinging on my fiction.
The inspirations for IoZ posts can strike me nearly any time, (though, amusingly, they often occur when I’ve had large doses of caffeine—I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing overall, but it at least gives me useful knowledge of one possible trigger that I can squeeze when needed). In the past, I’ve jotted these thoughts down in the notes section of my smartphone—the list has lasted through three successive phones, growing as it’s gone along—and I need to get back into that habit. Writing down article ideas both stores them and makes them concrete. Then, when I review these ideas frequently, with new thoughts occurring as I do, the articles compose themselves in my head as I go along, usually making the eventual writing much smoother.
All of this would be easier to accomplish if I could just master the art of getting enough sleep. I’ve always tended to be an early riser, even when I was a teenager, but waking up at one or one-thirty in the morning—after going to sleep at perhaps eleven, and sometimes later—is just ridiculous. It’s clearly not the case that I’ve simply had all the sleep I need; if that were so, I’d feel rejuvenated and enthusiastic when I wake up at those times, whereas normally I groan inwardly and curse my perverse sleep cycle. I’m usually able to sneak in at least a little more sleep before morning, in fits and snatches, but it almost never feels like enough.
Oh, well. No one ever promised that this “life” stuff would be easy, did they? At least, no one ever promised me such a thing, and I suspect that if someone promised you such thing, they were trying to sell you something, tangible or otherwise.
I would welcome any advice, recommendations, personal experiences, etc. that might point me in a good direction with respect to writing my IoZ posts on a weekly basis without interfering with my fiction. Any advice on getting better sleep would also be welcome, but remember: I don’t really have trouble getting to sleep, just staying asleep. Maybe I should simply meditate on those occasions when I wake up early…but thinking to do that requires a presence of mind that I often don’t have at such moments.
I’m certainly not giving up. I mean to solve this problem or die trying, so I expect I’ll figure out something that works. In the meantime, of course, you could all help by buying and spreading the word about my works and increasing their popularity to the point where I’m an international best-seller and can write full time.
That’s not too much to ask, is it?