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writing (or not writing) fics!

I've been trying to give myself the time, space and mental 'spoons' (energy) to write a bit. After all, after seeing the GP for myself and talking about counselling( long waiting list) or a very, very low dose of antidepressants (quarter dose, still couldn't cope due to ME/CFS!) I should do something for a little respite from the relentless 24/7 of Bk being ill, being at home, around, needing me, needing an education that is so damn exhausting and hard. You think she is okay, you think she is articulate and confident and coping and thn along comes the small things and you go, wow, she really is that far on the spectrum isn't she. and she's a teenager, nearly 15 and fond of shouting 'I'm 15 not 2' which shows I get the balance wrong in my own exhaustion - because like a 2 year old she needs that much support and prompting on all the little things. I try, I do, and then I forget 100% explicit directions. So, break, pen or keyboard and losing oneself in a (borrowed) world of my creation.

With each season my Alternate Universe that breaks away at the end of season 4 slides further and further through the multiverse. And that's okay. and you think that as BK loves it and it was originally created for her five years ago she would leave me to write but no, I get constant interruptions unlike a few years ago when I could leave her to a Barbie DVD and some art and plug myself into my music and type. Now I'm in th flow and thik she is watching something on iplayer or writing her own spies or vampires or whatever and wham, 'Muma!!!' and she is asking stuff, demanding stuff (sometimes falling over, walking into walls and furnture of puking, but I won't complian about that...)

I have rested my brain, I thought, I have given up formal classes with her and decluttering her stuff. I have made some spoons. But no...

Last week we had 10 days away (more in another entry) and in the caravan I wrote almost a chapter of Poisoned Minds in long hand and then, in Brighton for tha last 3 days away, wrote the hook for the next chapter but one. In my head yesterday I had the beginning for the one in the middle fo these 2 but didn't have time to write it down and now it has been deleted by parenting stuff!

Space, space, that it what I need, and time. Tuesday I banged out 1000 almost of the fairy fic, to keep my hand in as it were, Poisoned Minds tonight, I thought, but BK wrote a piece and for most of the time she was at her drama I was editing the doc she emailed to me with red punctuation, capitals, spelling and suggestions (you could call it marking, we don't). With that a making supper and hanging washing, whumph, my 2 hour respite was gone.

Yesterday, coffee alone in Wallingford before weeks shop at Waitrose. Cool. Poisoned Minds. But Take 2 trucks are there filming a Christmas special with Harry Hill and Take " are Lewis' production company and after one painful sentence I can't do it, ir feels awful and scary, playing with their toys while they are literally metres away!!!! (btw, money situation so poor after improntu hol, after trip to bank, no shopping at all, living of freezer and tins left!)

Today, 1000 words on fairy fic, check out my friends here, eyes and brain hurts, want to comment more, want to read your entries, but I am so tired and fuzzy now with brain fog, I am writing this and scared to start on Poisoned Minds, even though I am now finishing it in long hand with my bloved Shaeffaer fountain pen until it is done, and then I will type and post chapters as they are typed.

The thing is, Posioned Minds has received literally over 4000 hits since I last posted a chapter and that many people waiting is scary. unless 4000 people hit on it and hated it. But why? Why so many if they are not reading all 15 chapters? Confused. And scared. And feeling pressured to finish. Of course, when I started, I had every intention of getting at least 2 chapters out a month, if not more, and with the amount of time I had free, and the stress-free time, that was doable. I didn't know how seriously ill my daughter would get, how much physical care she would need, how much emotional support, how little time alone I would get as until recently with these new drugs, she couldn't make it to drama, and was going to one in every four of her tutorials and when she tried to go back to activities and classes I had to/have to travel with her in case she falls/collapses/blacks out. It is so scary for us and nothing I would like better is to escape from the reality of how seriously ill she is for a while in a fic she would later love to read. But I stupidly have a neurological illness of my own that makes every damn thing exhausting, from brushing my teeth to hugging my daughter, leaving me nothing, no energy to watch TV, read, or write. So, if you are one of the guys waiting for another chapter of Poisoned Minds, I am so sorry. i so want to write ti, but life is exhausting and hard and my daughter comes first, even without a break, I become a horrible grumpy asparagusmama with her :(

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
flowerpotgirl
Oct. 16th, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC)
Pretty sure people didn't wander into the Sistine Chapel and say 'get a move on, mate, I'm dying to see your picture'. Quality takes time.
You give your work away for free and we're lucky to share it, so try and avoid beating yourself up about delays. I've read stories with longer breaks, just means sometimes re-reading all or part of it to get the flow, hardly a hardship with a good fic. And your chapters are longer than some stories (mine), so that will take time.
Believe you me I understand how life can be all about the daily round. I have a long list of story ideas which I can't write at the moment, but I keep adding to it because otherwise the idea won't let me go and then sometimes I can't sleep.
But give yourself a break for needing time to recover after a trip away and a pat on the back for the writing you have done.
I know it is more writing, but have you thought about writing about how things are, maybe for an autism or ME association? It might be therapeutic to get some of your thoughts and feelings ordered for something like that whether you ever send it or not.
The theme for my week, from carers' conversations and personal experience, seems to be reflected in a quote from, of all places, NCIS on TV today - I think it went "I cried because I had no shoes and then I met a man who had no feet" and was said to be an old Polish proverb.
Sometimes you have to scrabble around a bit to find the blessings to count and 3 hours telling an OT all the things I can no longer do does not help, but I am trying. People who give me worlds to explore in their writing count as one, so thank you.
Hugs and more hugs.
asparagusmama
Nov. 3rd, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
Ah, but things and much slower then, the pace of life, the understanding that you couldn't just immedately ger off your sick bed or face a discimplinary...

I know, but it is May since I lasted posted, and it's had over 5000 hits since then, which is scary, and none of the new readers comment. When it was a few readers, say 50, and 5-10 regualrly commenting, I did feel people were happy to wait, but this... this is scary. And BK has just betaed chapter 16 of Poisoned Minds and said 'more'! so the demands are not just internal :)

They say looking down and not up is the key to happiness. When BK was 3 the health visitor refered us to this group of mums who still breast fed - now I still gave her one feed at night to both make her sleep and also becasue she was allergice to cos and goats milk but thses mums were scary hippie extremists, demand feeding quite big children, bit like the mums I know meet at home-ed gathrings - but the point is, we arrived early and wer shown up to the first floor of a three story detached house where all the furniture was expensive designer or antique. We had just got our council house a few weeks before and had very, very little (a mattress, and hanging rail, a wickerwork sofa from someone's conservatory, and some bookcases, as books are important, and I hadn't been able to unpack my books since BK and I were homeless when she was 10 months old) and I said to BK, "I've been thanking God for our new home but other people we look at what we've got and say we've very poor" and she looked at me if I was mad: "We're not poor mummy, we have clean water!" and I should try to remember that a bit more. Imagine being this ill, a single mother, with a disabled child, in Africa or Banglasdah or somewhere! Yes, sometimes it is hard to scrabble around for blessings, but we can look to other places and it becomes easy. Thanks for reminding me.

Hugs back xx
complexlight
Oct. 17th, 2014 07:26 pm (UTC)
I'm with flowerpot on this one. We write fanfic for a hobby. Writing it is meant to be enjoyable and/or to enhance our life in some way. We generously post it on the internet for other people to read - but they're not paying, there's no contract - we don't owe anybody anything.

You're absolutely right - BK and your health matter far more than a chapter of a story - even a really good chapter of a really good story, that people want to read.

Given the circumstances, I think it's amazing that you've done the writing you've done, and if any of your readers can't appreciate that, then that indicates some kind of lacking in them - not you.
asparagusmama
Nov. 3rd, 2014 04:43 pm (UTC)
For me it is a bit more than a hobby, it's my only permitted private me time where I can fully escape, but I take your point.

It's more, I think, that suddenly I have all thses readers. When, say 20-50 people were reading all I posted and 5-10 kindly commenting, it was lovely, I felt no pressue, I wrote when I could and posted when I could, but 5000+ now, with not one of thses new readers commenting, what will they think? Will they forgive typos or the chapter being less than the others because I'm so tired?

At the moment I feel awful, as I've decided although BK's health and meds and sleep is a priority, since it is such a struggle and she retrains nothing, her 'education' isn't. She can take GSCEs later, or we can look at apprenteships. If her health improves, okay, CID might not be possible, but TVP itself will take her with no exams in uniform. I'm just not worrying about her future too much until we get diagnosis and treatment. And surprisingly, all those at the meeting today agreed with me, although I didn't put it so starkly, obviously :) So, I am writing again, small bits, in cafes while she is at drama classes and classics, and typing up a bit at home, sometimes, and not worrying if she is not doing any history, science, geography and RE withe me and if she is reading that teen fantasy yet again, so what, it takes her mind of how ill she is (she has just betaed Poisoned Mind's new chapter btw and screamed 'more'! so you see, there is pressure to write here too, even though caring for her means I can't sometimes. Vicious circle!)
complexlight
Nov. 7th, 2014 03:43 pm (UTC)
This really makes sense to me - education can be postponed and picked up again later; BK's and your healthcare and wellbeing can't, so they need to take priority right now.
asparagusmama
Nov. 11th, 2014 08:34 pm (UTC)
Exactly! :) it really has made it easier for me to cope, as I've stopped feeling guilty about not doing anything with her at home and how many sessions with her tutor I can't get her too.
owlbsurfinbird
Oct. 18th, 2014 07:20 pm (UTC)
I'm with flowerpot and complexlight (do you get the sense that you have a Greek chorus going on here?)

if any of your readers can't appreciate that, then that indicates some kind of lacking in them - not you.

This is so, so important and so very difficult to internalize. (I'm going to write this down for myself right now.)

Since your 'spoon' is your writing--if you can't manage to immerse yourself because of BK's demands on your time and energy, then drabble. Or write poetry. Maybe think of the little bits of writing as 'mental balm.' Or 'baby spoons.' Make notes on what you'll write when you have time.

Or here's a thought: start something totally new. Forget finishing what you've already written for now and move on to something completely new and different. For yourself, not for BK. Something that feeds your soul now, whatever that might be.

You know you'll finish Poisoned Minds later, at some point. When you've written something good like that, something that people like and want to read, they'll wait for it. Look at George RR Martin.

Forgive yourself for not working on Poisoned Minds. Your readers probably subscribe--they'll get an email when you post a new chapter and they'll be grateful that you did so. They aren't going to check a calendar, tap their foot, and say, "What's with her? She hasn't posted for months!" They'll probably be simply grateful that you've posted----something. No matter what it is or how long it is.

I didn't write fiction at all when my kids were younger--I was exhausted/frustrated/heartsick--you name it. For you to have the energy to do so with all of the health/financial/logistical issues you face is simply amazing.

Please be as kind to yourself as you are to your child and to everyone else. :-) And continue being AWESOME. (Have you ever heard of the DFTBA movement from Nerdfighters? "Don't Forget To Be Awesome." Started by John Green, who wrote: The Fault in Our Stars, which turned out to be much bigger than he ever thought. Anyway. DFTBA.)

asparagusmama
Nov. 3rd, 2014 04:35 pm (UTC)
Well, you've read my something completely new and now I have a new chapter of Poisoned Minds almost ready to post (still a bit acared to post it after 5000+ hits now since last chapter).

The fiction actually gave me time for myself and sleep - BK never stayed still and would bounce about not taking her sedative until I bought the box set of Lewis seasons 1-3 when she was 7 or 8. In those days a combination of hyeractive kid and exhausted mamma meant we slept together on a nest of quilts in the front room. Lewis wnet on and in the early years yes, it might have taken 3 episodes to get her to sleep, but we were lying still. Even today the music on the front page of a Lewis DVD makes me feel warm and cozy, as it did in those early years, when I had dosed and woke to it playing,BK sound a asleep and going to SLEEP THROUGH the whole night left :) When we had no TV I made up the stories I am still mining to write even today, 5 or so years on :) And when I started to type them, because she got to read them, she left me alone to write. It was the first time she would watch a DVD, colour in or make things or play with Barbies without my constant imput. No one on earth can love Lews as much as I for what it gave me - sleep, space and me-time for th first time since she was born early at 36 weeks.

I am trying to be kind to myself - it was an intention I have tried to bring home with me from the caravan.
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