This week was a work travel week. So to quote kindergarten teachers everywhere at snack time:
You get what you get and you don’t have a fit.
March is a glorious month. Not only is spring in the air in my part of the world, but all members of my immediate family have birthdays during the month. We call it Fowler March Madness. There are also two other great days in Magnificent March. First, there’s my wedding anniversary, which is quite important, of course.
But’s there’s another special day. It occurs on the second Sunday of March – the day we turn the clocks back on hour. Daylight Saving (no S!) Time. Most people hate the thought of losing an hour of sleep, but for me, a short night’s sleep is a small sacrifice for the extra hour of daylight after work. Back when I chased the mistress, this meant I finally had time for nine holes after work again. DST feels like coming out of hibernation and the world is right again.
This year, despite COVID beginning to disrupt the world, I felt a huge surge in physical and mental energy after springing forward. I felt the pull to write again, and I wrote more than I had in a long time, and way more consistently.
I had hopes that I could put the work in on my writing and have some kind of big breakthrough. Despite that effort, I’m not sure that has happened. I feel better about some aspects, so maybe the change is gradual and I cannot see it yet.
On a positive note, I did finish the first draft of my next fiction book during the energy burst, but the next phase on my way to publishing has been super tough. It’s almost like the old marathon cliché, which goes like this: a marathon has two halves – the first 20 miles and the last 6.2 miles.
That might seem non-sensical to a non-marathon runner. How can the first 75% of a race be equal to the last 25%? Well, the saying isn’t referring to time, but rather to the effort required to run a marathon. I can tell you, though, it is a darn good comparison to the effort required for delivering a completed book. In a marathon, the first twenty miles are pretty easy (first draft) but those last 6.2 miles are a mental and physical struggle (rewrites/editing/everything else).
Apparently, I had forgotten this about writing and self-publishing. Kinda like at mile 18 of every marathon where I ask myself “Why did you sign up for this again?”
Unfortunately, most good things must end and this applies to DST, too. This year the end came 10 days ago (as I write this) and ever since, I feel like I need to go to bed at 7 pm. I’m already tired of arriving home from work in the dark. Being on the Eastern Shore area of Maryland this week, which is even farther east than my South Carolina home, I saw the official sunset was 4:54 PM! Talk about depressing. The sun was down before I even left work!
I’ve also noticed that my energy window closes with DST. This year, maybe the two and a half months of half marathon training has something to do with it, too. It’s probably not full-blown SAD – seasonal affective disorder – yet, but by February, it might be.
What all this means is that I missed my goal of finishing up the book by this time of the year, and I have momentarily lost most interest in finishing it at all. It doesn’t help that work has been really mentally draining, and I’m traveling again (a travel ban might have been the only good out of COVID).
So, while I’m resigned to the fact that I missed my 2020 window for finishing, don’t worry. I haven’t abandoned the book. I’ve come too far.
What I need to do is go back to the proverbial drawing board. So many challenges of life have changed recently – work pressure, family commitments, and, of course, back to standard time – and I need a new plan. What worked in the early summer isn’t working now.
So, here’s my current dilemma: How to re-energize and finish the book while providing readers with a weekly blog post.
I have some ideas, so please hang in there with me.
Thanks for reading,