June 17th, 2019

I hate being ill.

Since I got my act together, I have gotten used to my new mode: I say I am going to do something, then I do it. Being ill, well it complicates that. This is because I am stubborn and far too optimistic for my own good, so when I set a goal I make it ambitious. I then push myself really hard to reach it, and then I achieve it. Cue the fireworks.

…Except when I am ill, I cannot guarantee I will be lucid enough for, well, any of that. Take last night: in my journal I wrote that I was going to aim to be up for 7:30, leave the house at 7:40 and get an hour of walking in, followed by 20 minutes of writing before I move on to my desk. Great on paper, but it took me well over an hour to get to sleep, and it was late as it was. I just about made it in on time leaving at my normal cue.

So what do I do about being ill? Well, my usual plan is to ignore it until it goes away and pretend for the most part nothing is wrong. As much as I dislike following male stereotypes this is one I can’t really shrug off. Ignoring it does not seem to be doing me any wonders. My next instinct would be to rest it off, and that is what I spent this weekend trying to do.

Whether I had too large a deficit to erase with one restful weekend – well, one restful Sunday but it’s a start – or I am actually ill-ill I do not know. I doubt the latter as I don’t feel that bad, but bad enough that I can’t fire on all cylinders. I am aware of having 58 days to write approximately 45,000 words of content. That’s more than I worked out in my head that I had, but it’s tight, and I need to get back to peak to hit it.

So solutions time. I think the best thing I can do is give up writing at lunch today and go for a walk instead. If I use the bulk of my break for it – say half an hour – then I will be able to get my brain flowing enough that I should at the very least get through work without any further hiccups. That alone would be a huge victory as I could keep my brain working just enough to write at 5. It’s Monday so staying at my desk until 6 should be no problem.

The next thing I need to do is be asleep by 10. No really, by 10. I have had enough of compromises that see me asleep by ‘gone-12’, and it has to stop. What I would really like is if I could show a feed of my sleep on here, so I felt the same kind of accountability I do for my writing, but I don’t think outside of upgrading my membership – expensive – or building my own WordPress hosted internally – too much hassle right now – that I can do this.

On that note, I have an interesting idea. I have 13 spare days to finish WHT in. I don’t like the idea of punishing myself for failing to write in a day, but I had a curious thought as I worked out how many days I had left for what I wrote above. What if I treated those like lives? So I have 13 lives, and if I don’t add a thousand words to WHT, I lose a life.

Sounds a little grim, until you consider the silver lining: once I hit a thousand, if I keep going, I can log that many words as extra. It doesn’t offset a day’s 1K quota, but if over three days I produce 4,000 words of WHT, it stands to reason I would gain a life. Because really they’re not lives in any traditional sense anyway, they’re:

DaysUntilAugustThirteenth – Words/1,000

If I gain an extra 300 words one day, 100 a few days later and have a handful of 50s here and there, over a month I might gain an extra life without any extra consious effort. To be honest I have likely done this in places as it is. So the main things I need to do today are as follows:

  • Go for a walk at lunchtime.
  • Design myself a WHT “Remaining Lives” card.
  • Write WHT at my desk at 5pm.
  • Go home and eat on time.
  • Be in bed at 9pm.

Ill or not, that is doable. I will kick myself if I somehow screw up a simple list like that.

Oh of note, I said before I would link to the short stories I had been producing; for now, I am going to stop doing that in case I decide I want to rework them into an actual mythos later. You’re not missing out on much; the stories have merit, but they were written to hit target rather than to be the best they could be. That’s still miles better than not writing at all, so I consider that a win.