To What Do I Owe the Pressure? #weekendcoffeeshare and #SoCS

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m looking at my caffeine intake as a little bit more than just enjoyable, this week. You see, on Thursday night, I had a migraine – one of the worst I’ve had in the last few years. Caffeine tends to help, but this one was stubborn and nauseating, and no fun in all kinds of ways (it’s hard to find the fun when breathing makes your head throb with such sick fierceness, you’re sure you really wouldn’t mind if it went ahead and imploded, because at least then the pressure would be off…)

If we were having coffee, I’d realize by now that that’s not the best way to greet you while you’re standing on my blistering and chaotic enclosed porch, and I’d belatedly stop holding the door open, usher you into air-conditioned comfort, and ask you where you wanted to sit. I’d also apologize for being low on anything you might want to sweeten your beverage with – my Accomplice will be re=provisioning us when he gets home from working in a broiling kitchen. It’ll probably be a tremendous relief for him to wander the air-conditioned store aisles.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the headache didn’t exactly go away, but it’s been no more intense that moderately annoying and uncomfortable, so there’s that.

There was also inspiration in the midst of the pain.

If we were having coffee, I’d share how I realized that I was imposing arbitrary pressure upon myself, because I had a preconceived notion of how I was going to achieve my novel-length writing goals.

I am letting go of that, and finding new ways to look at and move forward with less stress and more acceptance of my humanity and limitations. It feels good!

If we were having coffee, I’d notice that you’re looking a little confused. Maybe I wasn’t as clear as I could be. It’s like this:

  • I want to write three new novels in my Kifo Island Chronicles series this year.
  • I’d slated April for the first, June for the second, and July for the third, to coincide with both CampNaNoWriMo sessions, and JuNoWriMo.
  • It was a great plan – except that I didn’t take into account my last-minute decision to go for a “value-added” Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, and submit a longer version of my Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction vignettes on (another long-time goal has been to share some of these Trek stories I’ve been scribbling in notebooks, then shoving into cupboards, since I was 13 years old.)
  • Perhaps predictably, some of these stories went into thousands of words, and, in order to post them on time for each day’s story, I also had to do a decent job of rough revisions.
  • That took over, and I didn’t get quite to the halfway point of A Rising Tide, the April Kifo Island project.
  • Now it’s nearly June. I’m just past the halfway point in ART, and I’ve been writing a Story a Day this month, exploring the characters and elements of the next two novels, The Far Shore and Tsunamis. I’ve just gotten underway with the planning; the plotting comes after a good deal of character work, for me.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that, up until the migraine from Hades put me out of commission for a few hours, I was very stressed about all this. The pressure in my head was a potent signal of the pressure in my mind about all the things I “had to” get done.

If we were having coffee, I’d grin and tell you how happy I am that I realized it was all too much, and too rigid.

Now, I’ll be counting the words I need to finish ART as part of my JuNoWriMo 50K word count. That means I can be moving forward with the goal, and with the planning and plotting, without driving myself into further migraines, or even grumpiness. If I plan on having the plotting done right around the time I finish the current draft; I can start writing that one within a day or two of finishing ART (I do need a bit of a breather to reset between drafting projects. Then, once I’ve settled into The Far Shore, which I’ve slated as my June project, I can start the character work for Tsunamis.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I still expect to finish three novel drafts by the end of July, but that this feels like a much saner way to do it. I’d exhale deeply and fully, take a good clean breath, and ask you what you’re working on, and if you’ve ever let self-imposed deadlines make you as crazy as this one made me!

If we were having coffee, I’d remind you to check out the other wonderful #weekendcoffeeshare posts at the hashtag, or by visiting Diana at Part-Time Monster. I’d also say that this post is part of #SoCS (Stream-of-Consciousness Saturday). The prompt was “press” as a word or part of one. You can find the rules here, and other posts at Linda G.Hill’s blog.

If we were having coffee, I’d walk you out to your car now that the heat of the day is easing a little. I’d point out the lovely rhododendrons, and promise to have sweetening supplies the next time you pop by! Until then, some musical sweetness to cap off your visit…



    • I tend to be fairly mindful of these things, but I can get swept up in the “I set a goal and now I have to keep it, because I set it” mentality.

      But the dates of completion were always arbitrary. There’s no harm, and potentially a LOT of good, in taking some deep breaths along the way. So I get there a bit more slowly. I’ll enjoy the journey all the more….

  1. I remember working in a broiling kitchen during the summer months (and the stream coming out every time I opened the dishwasher didn’t help).

    Glad your headache is better even if not completely gone. And that you’re taking some pressure or yourself.

    • Summers are hard for him. I wish I could make that better, but it’s a tiny kitchen, and not much can be done…at least he can go into the walk-in for a minute or two on occasion…

      Mild headaches are so common for me I scarcely notice them anymore. It’s the ones that escalate that get me. I’m glad it’s faded, and the clarity has led to a feeling of being free to play.

      BTW, I should have your chapter out to you by the end of tomorrow, at the latest. Just need to add the comments, but, with a write-in tonight…it may not happen today.

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