Happy October, Mill Pages family. October is no August, but it’s still a pretty awesome month. Not only does it feature the objectively best holiday of the year, but it also includes my own personal wedding anniversary. You could say I’m biased.
So, what’s on my mind as we enter October? If I’m completely honest, I’m not happy with my own progress. I’m hitting my writing goals by the skin of my teeth, and I’m used to having a much healthier buffer.
“What’s up with this?”, I asked myself as I looked at my work-in-progress novel the other day. I’m down to the wire. Did I set my goals too high, or has something gone wrong? It’s easy to say “I’m depressed and my job is hard, therefore I’m not getting my work done”. That’s 100% true, too. If I were to leave it there, that would be totally valid. Depression is real, work has to come first, and sometimes, we heap a little too much on our plate.
Personally, I’m not satisfied. I still want to hit those ambitious goals that I set back in January. So I have to ask myself this – what will I do to make sure I do? The first step is accounting for the things which caused me to stumble this month. The main culprits are all too familiar to the writer world: depression, procrastination, and exhaustion.
Depression is nobody’s fault, and it’s something that myself and many of my loved ones struggle with. How to counteract depression is…an impossible question. Everything is individual, so I have to develop my own individual strategy. I’ve made a simple choice: More time set aside for writing, and more of that time scheduled for outside of my house. That means away from my couch, away from my video games, and away from my cats. Did you know that you can sit on the floor and pet a cat for an hour, just so you can avoid looking at the blank sheet on your word processor? I do now.
Oh, and I’m throwing an awesome Halloween party. Thought I should mention that, too.
Now let’s talk about what actually went down in September:
- Act II of the current novel complete….Barely. A completed goal is a completed goal, but this was too close for comfort
- Shake-ups at work. I have a hard job already, so my department being a rotating door is a major source of stress.
- Mental health struggles are not quite out of control, but more than I would like or am used to. My regular coping mechanisms aren’t really working, so I need to focus on finding something that works better. I want to see progress, not further regression. Thankfully, I have a wonderful support network and a wonderful doctor, so I’m optimistic that I can improve the situation now that I’ve come to realize that it needs to be improved.
That’s about all I’ve got for you. I’ll let you know how it goes next month…including the Halloween party!