Lo-fi writing as a spoonie is a perfect arrangement for me. The two go together like a hand in glove. I am incredibly fortunate that my current profession works so well with my physical and mental limitations.
I Can Work From Home
The first benefit of being a lo-fi writer is that I can work from home. I’m not using up spoons on a commute to the office. No spoons are being sacrificed to pointless meetings, idle chat-chat, and the other social niceties that I’m not against but use up a lot of my energy.
It also means that I don’t have to deal with other stressors, like noise. There’s no worry about whether someone burned popcorn in the microwave again, or if my lunch was stolen, or finding a seat in the cafeteria. No, I’m not a fragile snowflake, but all of these things use spoons or fractions of spoons, and it adds up quickly.
I Can Pick My Projects
In addition to selecting things that are creatively fulfilling, lo-fi writing as a spoonie means I can pick projects that suit my capabilities. Things that aren’t going to stress me out. Deadlines that allow a comfortable amount of time for completion. Topics that aren’t going to cause me anxiety as I dive deep into research.
The lo-fi part also means that I can let go of wanting a project to be perfect. There’s an acceptance that it might have some flaws. It doesn’t need to be perfectly polished. It needs to be as good as I can make it, of course, but there’s far less pressure to burn spoons for negligible gains that other people won’t even notice.
I Create My Own Accommodations
I can create my own accommodations, in terms of both working hours and workspace setup. If my chronic pain issues wake me up at 4 am, I can limp out to my desk and get some writing done. Almost every afternoon I take a nap, because even when I’m sleeping well I tend to be worn out by 3 pm. All that matters is that I hit my deadlines. I can work as I can, and rest as I need.
My desk is set up the way I want it. I create my own standards for my surroundings. This also means that if I need to take the laptop and go sit in the comfy chair in the living room, I can. If I need to make some coffee to offset my executive dysfunction, or have a snack, it’s not an issue. Which brings me to my final point:
No One’s Measuring My Toilet Breaks
Let’s talk about one particular position I held in the corporate world. Without disclosing too much, I was an investigator. My job included phoning witnesses to get recorded statements. I would contact police for incident reports, and other government agencies for public information. Then I had to draw conclusions on the information gathered and write reports. Because I was good at my job, I closed a lot of my cases. I did it quickly. When I was caught up, I helped my teammates out and closed a lot of their cases, too.
My boss was concerned about my bathroom breaks. Again, I was doing all of my work to a high level of quality and efficiency, and picking up the slack for my coworkers who had fallen behind or were getting close to important deadlines. But the big worry was how many times I got up and walked to the toilet, and how much time I spent there.
I have chronic pain issues. A lot of that is my hip. I can’t sit comfortably for more than about an hour. After that, to manage the pain, I need to move around. The nerves in my hip area affect… other things. So two 15-minute breaks at very specific times doesn’t always work for me.
Yeah, in spite of how productive I was and the quality of my work, what mattered most what that I take my break at exactly 10:45, not 10:43. And that I not take an extra 4 minutes to go to the toilet in the span between the break and my lunch hour. Oh, and be back in exactly 15 minutes on the scheduled breaks, not 11 minutes and certainly never 16 minutes.
There’s something invasive and dehumanizing about having a manager holding a printout asking “do you know you spent a total of 37 minutes going to the bathroom yesterday? And 32 minutes the day before that?”. I never want to deal with that nonsense again.
Lo-Fi Writing as a Spoonie
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About Simplify – Create – Thrive
About Berin Kinsman
Berin Kinsman is a writer, simple living minimalist, and spoonie. By day he works as the owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.