Thank you all for your patience. I write this to you from my pit in the basement. No, really, my office is full of stuff. I’ve spent the last two weeks digging out from under years of stuff and moving, and it’s only now that I’m coming to understand what a burden that actually is.
A little history, before I get into things. I chased and chased Mrs. Dave until she caught me. Many of you know the story, but suffice to say I can do subtle, much to my surprise. However, this was while we were in the same geographic location. And then we got stationed in different places. She went to Georgia (the state, not the … er, state (yeah, yeah, but nation is different. Kinda)) and I went to Hawaii. By that time, we’d been dating for most of a year, and we didn’t wed until most of two years after that. Even then, she didn’t join me in
durance vile tropical paradise until a further two years had passed. By that time, we each had most of a household worth of stuff.
Because I’m full of awesome like that, she arrived to a set up apartment, a measly thirty to forty minutes commute from her command. (It was about the same to mine. Best I could do.) And then her household goods shipment arrived. Suddenly, we had two households worth of stuff in one appx. 800 ft^2 apartment. Joy. We got rid of a bunch, gave some away, donated more, threw away some, but were still over-stuffed. Overstuffed chair: good. Overstuffed apartment: less than good.
Since then, we’ve moved three times, one of them across an ocean and a continent. We landed in a bigger place than the previous ones, but still hadn’t taken the time to fully unbox and sort through all the things. Mistake? Yes, as it turns out. Because of the way these things work, Mrs. Dave immediately dove into the intricacies of a new command. New quals, new jobs, new collateral duties, new people. I, uh, I wrote. Some. (Not enough) Then Wee Dave came along, and from that moment, I’ve gotten very little accomplished that wasn’t explicitly Wee Dave Related Work (WDRW, for the uninitiated).
Well, time has marched on. The Creature has leveled up: Wee Dave is officially a toddler. He climbs up and down the stairs, walks (albeit like the tiny drunk person infants often resemble) more than he crawls, and in one particularly surprising episode, opens the front door unless the deadbolt is thrown. He knows how to plug cords in after he’s unplugged them, though we appear to have convinced him that plugging not-cord-things into the power sockets is Unauthorized.
Speaking of time marching on (and precipitating events, though I wasn’t), we’re going to be in the East Part longer than we’d first thought. Turns out there are Naval Regulations against moving active duty servicemembers until a year after the birth of a child. Working Title #2 will be joining us in a fully separate sense sometime late in January, so we’ll be around here for a while, yet.
While this is a joyous happening (I swear I’m not terrified. Mostly), it has precipitated introspection at the soul-searching level. Also, I’d like Wee Dave to be able to get into trouble downstairs, though I’ll get to that in a bit. Essentially, some changes need to be effected. If I thought I was getting nothing done with one small creature around, what’s it going to be like when I’ve got two under my
dark tutelage care?
How does this connect in with the Dread Pit of Stuff to which I alluded earlier? I’m glad you asked! For many reasons, not least of which is the military only paying to move a specific weight of goods, it’s become more than clear (existentially akin to knurd, for those following) that we needed a Reckoning. A winnowing, if you will. Time to cull the herd. And as our time (Mrs. Dave’s and mine) has been effectively commandeered, it was most fortunate that Mom and Pop Dave came to town for a couple of weeks of Grandsquirm Time.
While Mom Dave rocked Occupy Wee Dave, Pop Dave and I spent the time digging out from under The Pit. Was it a complete success? Not total, no. But. It was a start (and what a start it was) and we now have a more livable lair. (To the admitted detriment of my office, at least temporarily. It is to sigh.)
Um, Dave, this is MGC, not Life According to Dave.
Right you are! Writers, I’ve seen more than a few amusing signs, memes, and mottos in my time. You might recognize: “A clean desk is a sign of a sick mind.” I freely admit that I used to swear by this. Not anymore! Seriously, the emotional and psychological weight of unfinished tasks is a stressor I do not need and do not want. I highly recommend taking the time to clear your slate of these unfinished tasks, hanging over your head like a low orbit bombardment fleet. They really put a damper on all the things. Especially the creative ones.
I get an itch when I try to work these days. It’s become so much a part of my process that I barely notice it anymore, but it degrades my ability to do anything related to writing. It’s the “you have more important things to be doing” itch, and the only relief comes from doing those “more important” things. Are they actually more important than writing? Not really. Writers write, and if you (I) don’t write for long enough, your (my) skills degrade, the muse stops talking (though there are other reasons for that) and you (I) stop being a writer. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to used to be a writer.
The way out – at least for me – is a matter of systems (hey, a thousand words in and I finally get to the point. I must be a novelist or something). I’m finding I need to set up systems that assist me in accomplishing my goals with the fewest distractions. At this moment, for example, I’m upstairs, where the mess in my office isn’t more than that selfsame itch I mentioned earlier. It’s still a distraction, but I’m actually getting something done (albeit done with much tardiness), and I’m not neglecting my responsibilities. Though I am finding myself conscripted to play peekaboo on the stairs or read Mr. Brown Can Moo with some regularity.
Any number of professional writers (the ILoH, the BbESP, our Dave, the Impaler, both Redheads of Doom, and whatever Brad’s going to turn into now that the House Done Burnt) advocate writing every day. Actually, pretty much all successful writers say it’s the only way to go. I expect I’ll agree, as not writing every day hasn’t helped me much, at all. Life, however, has a way of getting in the way, as most know. If you don’t have your systems in place to maintain momentum, creative work is one of the first things to fall apart. Me, I’m working at putting a bunch of those systems in place, as life is about to get a great deal more complicated. What helps you maintain discipline?