Rob’s Update: Restart

Greetings all

It’s been ages since I did an update. This won’t even be a regular one, with the quote of the week and all that, but rather a get-things-going-again update.

Somewhere along the line in August I got knocked completely off-kilter. Whether it was fighting the black dog made me fatigued or fatigue making me fight the black dog, I don’t know for sure. I suspect it was a bit of both, feeding back on each other. A feeding of sorrows, I suppose.

It’s clear to me that I have to manage my headspace to keep my production consistent. Some of that is being realistic about my day-to-day goals. I aim for 1000 words a day, which is not usually a problem for me. When I have a plot in my head, I can reasonably expect 2-4000 words per day for weeks on end. I did that in the spring and felt great.

What happened between the spring and now? Well, my summer schedule was crazy. Between Lilies, LibertyCon, Pennsic, and other events, I was on the road more days than not from early June to Memorial Day. Despite that hectic schedule, I didn’t allow myself a respite from writing. I had several deadlines during the summer for my own stuff that I didn’t get to.

I met nearly all of the deadlines for other publishers, but none of my own. As I got behind, I got down on myself. I kept pushing through with a few words here and there, but it’s been an uphill climb in the last two months.

The good news is that I’m back on the upswing. I’ve been consistently writing for two weeks now and building back on the other things involved in being an independent writer, such as this update. I’ve also been examining my processes and am making some changes.

First, next year I’ll be cutting down a bit on long-distance events except during the summer. I’m not cutting them out completely. I’m still going to FantaSci and ChattaCon in the spring and in most years, I’ll also do Gulf Wars. There are also events within a few hours that are easy. However, I’ll be generally avoiding the bigger three-week long trips that are efficient, but exhausting. During the summer, I’ll do those trips and write when I can, but not setting myself deadlines that get into my head when I don’t meet them. Deadlines for other publishers are fine, as I said I generally met those, but I’m changing those to land in the fall, winter, and spring.

Second, I’m getting back on a regular schedule of blog updates. Mondays I’ll be doing a magazine review, Wednesdays will be interviews, and Fridays I’ll send out my update. I noticed last fall that structure helped me keep consistent, and consistency is hard for me.

Third, I realized of late that social media in general kicks me down, so I’m drastically cutting back from Facebook. I’m still there, and will probably check my notices every couple of days, but not really scroll down the feed. I still have Facebook Messenger, because that’s such a convenient tool. Feel free to connect with me there. I’ve got a MeWe profile, but I don’t really check it that often. Same for Instagram. I’ll post in all those places, especially when I have my three weekly normal blog posts, but otherwise I’ll just be in and out.

I am more active on Twitter, oddly enough, mostly because there’s some fantastic sportswriting there and I’ve always kept that feed pared down to specific things I wanted to see. I do, however, like to say whimsical things to the internet, so I hope you follow me there. Also, I’m going to start putting those comments on my blog, as I can do posts there just as easily on my phone as I can with Facebook without wading through the mess there.

I appreciate all you being patient these past couple of months. Tune in tomorrow as I review the “Worlds of If” from October, 1971, which includes Stainless Steel Rat story and a Retief story.



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