Low Oxygen Environments and You

Here I am, again, and here you are, again. Welcome, welcome. I write to you, today, from the past. The not-to-distant past, but the past, nonetheless. From yesterday, as a matter of fact. And from somewhere above thirty thousand feet. (In the air, from the past, and on my hand brain? It’s practically a modern technological miracle!) Dave, dear readers, is getting a break. Mrs. Dave is taking some time off so I can go play, san pint-sized tyrants. I’m not hyperventilating, it’s just that the air up here is thinner than I’m used to, living at sea-level, more or less. It’s all right: soon I’ll have something slightly soporific at hand. It doesn’t matter that we went wheels up not long after noon. I’m time traveling, and that puts the usual rules in abeyance. And I’m not driving this thing.

I’m — honestly finding myself at a bit of a loss, up here, so high above the earth. I’m uncertain what to discuss with you all. My time this weekend is spoken for (hence the time-capsule-esque creationing), but without the pressure of a deadline, my mind isn’t ticking quite as quickly as I’d like (though that could be the reduced oxygen atmosphere in this tin can). In point of fact, all my usual fonts of inspiration are far, far below me, and I’m unwilling to cough up the exorbitant fee to access the wonders of the information superhighway from this far into the atmosphere. It’s practically Dave Unplugged, today. Untethered, wild, free! (Help me)

I’m doing a thing that (ahh, my beverage has arrived. The sheer genius behind putting ethanol in a caffeinated decoction is almost as blinding as the Sun with nearly seven fewer miles of atmosphere between us than usual) is significantly out of my ordinary. For the past almost three years, I’ve been The Guy for first Wee Dave, and somewhat later for Wee-er Than Wee Dave Dave, as well. On a daily basis. And for the next two weeks, I’ll just be Dave. Daddy is taking a back seat. I dunno. I feel weird. After a gathering of a chunk of my generation of Clan Dave (said weekend plans) I’ll be couch surfing at Chez Beautiful-but-Evil and just writing. A thing which has not happened in years. I’m somewhat trepidatious, to be honest. I’m concerned that I’m so far out of my routine that my creative gears are just going to grind. We shall see.

But what about routines? I’ve talked about them before. Mostly about how it’s good to form them around your writing, and about how much I wish I could make that happen in my own life (some experiments still in progress. You’ll find out results when I publish), but what about the breaking of routine? When should you step outside of your ordinary and do something different? Well, let me ask you this: how do you know when your routine has become a rut? No, I’m really asking. I chafe at the necessities of my daily activities. I generally want to be doing differently (with the added assumption that said differently would also be better, natch). I want more time available for the things I want to do. My children demand otherwise, usually, and so I grit and bear it, and keep feeding and changing them, etc. I’m looking forward to gradually realizing I’ve developed a routine in which I produce fiction more than I lament my general lackafiction situation. I’m given to understand parents stop being tired after a decade or so.

As something of an aside, I’ve been finding the semi-conscious state engendered by a teething infant useful for solving the conundra my characters create. Add a dash of sleep deprivation, and a decided lack of caffeination, and I may have resolved some long-standing blocks. We shall see. I’ll let you know next time.


  1. Good sir, I feel you pain. Dealing with my own little it’s quite trying at the best of times. Good luck on your vacation and may it be productive.

  2. I started writing again when my littles were about ten. I know that’s not helpful. I was part time in the day job at that point, and wrote ridiculously slowly.
    Weirdly, it’s been since they went off to college and I went back to full time that I’ve discovered routines that work for short bursts, especially during NaNo. 100 to 700 words before work. 700 to 1000 at lunch. The rest after dinner.
    Then I left the FAA and started working at home, which is very variable. January was slow and I did a lot of necessary research for the WIP. Weirdly, since it felt like I was sitting around reading all day, even though it was non-fiction, I got kind of dreary. Then work picked up. Now it’s quiet again (thank goodness!), and I’m going back to the routine that worked for me before I left the fulll-time job. 700 words first thing in the morning, even before I get to check email. 700 to 1000 after lunch. The words do add up this way, and I don’t spend three hours writing 500 words.

  3. I feel confident that the true lairds of the Hoyt manse shall endeavor to stand in for your own sorely missed littles. Felines are like that, ever giving, you know.

  4. That is the best “deadline approaches and I’ve got NOTHING” post I have ever seen. ~:D Way to go Big Dave! Have fun on vaykay.

  5. Hmm. Does that “hole up with other writers and write” thing work? I’ve heard the “hole up with no internet in a cabin / hotel and write” for pushes to get a book done and out, but will the social aspect strike sparks and lead to more stories, or provide too tempting a distraction?

    …I mean, letting me loose around somebody else’s research library…

  6. I find vacations can be very good for writing, or very bad. It depends on the number of interruptions during the day, and how well or poorly I sleep at night.

    1. My “vacations” tend to be idea factories more than writing opportunities. OTOH, I go on vacation to get away from keyboard and Day Job, rather than to carve out writing time and recharge the inner writer, so YMMV.

Comments are closed.