Sisyphus Effect

My year started with a nice calm, rational post about goals.

We’ve transitioned from calm, organized plans to

TOTALLY FREAKING OUT.

Time is a funny thing.  Nothing can change and then everything can change.  You can go from feeling like you have all the time in the world to none at all.

I live my life at somewhere around 120% all the time, and mostly I’m very good at it.  It means I operate like one of those plate spinners, with plate after plate spinning, spinning, spinning.  And things balance, and go FINE…until something gets ADDED…and then everything threatens to crash and break.  Okay, maybe it’s just my brain that feels like it’s going to break.

This is totally in conjunction with the First Stage of Revisions: Epic Despair.  This is a normal phase, just like the typical stage of grief.  Usually for me, this phase lasts a couple of days and I move on.  It’s lasting longer this time because I happened to finish DOTH during the holiday and everyone had family and life and other obligations (and catastrophic computer failure) that precluded them from getting right on the critique (because, sadly, they don’t exist in my pocket exclusively for my use, though wouldn’t that be a nice fantasy?), so it’s like…peeling off a bandaid slowly instead of yanking it (and a layer of skin and hair) off at once and getting it over with.  I’m quite stuck in the wailing and gnashing of teeth phase.  I’ll be fine.  I always am.

But on the eve of going back to work, diving back in to the evil day job, winding up the project from hell there, starting on the next phase, writing a new class that must be done by end of semester, writing a class for writers on formatting ebooks (which I don’t HAVE to do I suppose, but if I don’t, someone else will, and I’d just as soon be the one being paid to teach about this because once it’s created, it’s done and easy), trying to get 3 titles written to self pub, and probably doing pretty epic revisions on DOTH because it’s the most epic thing I’ve ever written and I haven’t pulled it off yet.  I hadn’t planned on the latter being so extensive or time consuming (which is totally discouraging after spending more than a year writing it in the first place).  There are two more books following it in the trilogy, which will be even more complex.  And I’ve got at least 6 other novels I want to write that I will get to…I have no idea when.

I have this terror that I’ll lose them in the interim.  I mean, we’re talking years here.  And not even counting the prospective bunnies that will breed this year (I had 7 last year alone).  I can make blueprints and notes all I want, but there’s always fear that the awesome will just…evaporate.  Which is not to say that I’ll never have any other great ideas.  I don’t worry about THAT.

But I always have a fear that I’ll be years behind my goal, that there are always things conspiring to keep me from doing what I want to do and I feel like a bird beating itself to death trying to get out of a glass cage.  I think of it as the Sisyphus Effect.  And it’s exhausting.  And infuriating.  Because, no matter, what, apparently I have a gut belief that the world should be reasonable and go take care of its own damn self so I can write.  But my boss, my students, and the rest of the world at large apparently won’t do that, and there are these stupid things called BILLS that have to be paid…I’m just tired of having to put what I want off.

Excuse me, I have to go make a spreadsheet (AKA A Geek’s Anxiolytic Drug of Choice)…

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7 comments

  1. Oh my dear Kait, I am totally geeking with you. I have a spreadsheet of novel titles, general plots, specific events to happen in each, etc. I fear I’ll lose them too – not only to a memory lapse but to computer failure, so I have the spreadsheet backed up on three different online storage clouds. And on a memory stick. I want to do the things I want to do for a change, too. Sometimes I wish I’d married for money instead of love… ;-) All we can do is keep striving, keep writing when we can, and try to keep from going insane (I’m failing in that last one…).

  2. I totally and completely know how you feel, especially when it comes to having so many ideas and not having enough time to get them all down on paper. What I wouldn’t give to be writing full time! But that’s just not possible for me right now and we have to just work with what we’re given. Good luck! I know you’ll be fine. :)

  3. I was explaining to my husband my writing goals for 2013. When I finished, I said, “Wow, that’s a lot, isn’t it?” Somehow when I spoke it aloud, I realized that my plans might actually be more like genie wishes. But I’m rubbing that lamp anyway and getting everything I can get done this year!

    Best wishes for your goals, Kait! I love your goals and your spirit! (And I would totally love that class on formatting ebooks.)

  4. You do so much, you make me tired just listening to it. I honestly don’t know how you keep up the pace. It’s understandable that, at some point, you have to freak out a little bit. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. The evil day job seems to always stand in our way of doing the things we want. That’s enough to freak out over. I know you’ll get yourself all organized and calm again. You always do, right? And DOTH will be full of awesome. You know it will.

  5. Yes! I know how you feel! Which is worse, cos I compare myself to you and I don’t even books published yet! I’m even further behind… All I can do is make more lists/schedules, and edit as hard as I can…

  6. But on the bright side, you taught me a new term! I had to look up Sisyphus to understand the reference, lolz! Pushing a rock uphill — yeah, that definitely sounds like what you’re doing! Really, it sounds like what any of us with ambition & motivation are doing. So thank for putting a name to that feeling.

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