What Downtime Looks Like to Me

After today I’m taking some downtime. I’ve been on a dead run for several weeks, and I finally have a little time between projects. Releasing a new book roughly every two weeks, a monthly zine, and a weekly podcast is work. You can clock me for the quality of these efforts, but I do it all myself, and I manage to squeeze a modest living out of it. The next several projects are all set up, and will hopefully fall like dominoes, so I can start spending a little time on a larger, long-term project that I want to release by the end of the year.

One of the reasons I currently feel like crap is because I haven’t been sleeping well. It has nothing to do with how hard I’m working, or the number of hours that I’m putting in. The issue has been chronic pain, and the downward spiral created when the pain is exacerbated by the lack of sleep, and the lack of sleep is caused by the pain. I need to constantly reassess my capabilities, and adjust my schedule to fit. Being an entrepreneur, though, means that I need to be turning out work to keep the bills paid. This isn’t a complaint. If I had to work a normal day job, I doubt I could get any sort of accommodation for my health. I am grateful that I’m able to be self-employed so I can address my own needs on my own terms, and still get the bills paid. 

It gets progressively easier, though. I’m building something, and every project adds to my body of work. I can see progress over time. My days are getting incrementally shorter, my income is growing bit by bit, and it’s less intense than it was a couple of years ago. There is a plan, and it proceeds apace.

This alleged downtime means that I’m not doing any writing, editing, layout, or business-related tasks for a few days. That’s good. I am going to try to catch up on some correspondence, work on the next round of immigration paperwork, and run a few errands that I’ve been putting off. I need to thoroughly clean the apartment before the weekend, because people are coming over for a creative project I’m not sure I can talk about yet — not my project, Katie’s. That’s bad (not Katie’s project, the other stuff), because it’s not exactly a vacation.

I’m also going to sleep late, spend at least half a day sitting in a cafe, and visit a few museums. Katie’s going to be in and out, so I plan on watching a couple of movies that aren’t her thing. If the neighbors continue to be quiet, I’d like to lay in bed and read. It’s been a while since I was able to just dive into a novel and read it from cover to cover, but I doubt I’ll have time for that. At some point I’d like to take a vacation and spend a week sitting outside, in nice weather, reading a massive novel.

If you’d like to express concern that I’m working too hard, please support my various projects. The new issue of HUBRIS: The Journal of Cultural Horror comes out later today. There was a new installment of the Foragers Guild Guide series last week, and there will be another next week. The Proof of Life podcast is into its third season and still going strong, allowing for variable definitions of strong. Tell your friends, leave good rating and reviews, and help spread the word. The better these projects do, the more downtime I have for self-care.

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