Balance.

Earlier today, I sulked about how I wasn’t as far along in my grand plans for this month as I wanted to be, especially with writing. I’d wanted to have Wolf’s Bane finished by now, or to at least be tackling two chapters a week. I can hack out a fast word count for a rough draft, but editing a story is an entirely different beast, and I haven’t figured out a way to speed up that part of the process.

So I bitched about it to friends, and admitted to feeling like a loser because some writers work at a steady pace every day while my natural method is more like a cat throwing up a hairball: lots of false starts and then a gut-wrenching hworf to get something out. Chapter by chapter, it’s like this. Short story by short story. Rip and Tear took nine drafts before I had something solid. Each chapter of Wolf’s Bane goes through four passes to become coherent. It works for me because acing a story on the very first try is an exercise in futility on my part. The last time I tried that, I fell into a writer’s block that lasted for years. What I do now works really well and is even productive—I’ve written four short stories, rough drafts for two more, 50K worth of Wolf’s Bane, and 10K worth of that werewolf detective story since the beginning of this year—it’s just that I always want to do MORE. 

This is why writers are so neurotic; even when we do better, we remain unhappy because we could do better still. It’s the whole tormented artist thing. But you know, I’m not a machine. I’m just flesh and blood, a chick who love writing werewolf erotica. I need to rest. I need to eat and mentally recharge. Sometimes I just need to watch my gentleman lover play an incredibly cute, gorgeous, grisly metroidvania game (srsly, check out Hollow Knight if you’re into that sort of thing) because my brain is all out of words for the night. Sometimes I can’t do MORE or BETTER, but just the best that I can.

And that’s how I’m slowly inching toward a more balanced life even as my work schedule becomes increasingly busy, because the other option is to become an alcoholic, and I’m not looking to end up with hepatic cirrhosis by the time I’m forty.

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