Something’s gone wrong, or has at least changed – if not really, entirely for the worse. In some ways, I’ve experienced a reversal, a sort of reversion to an old problem. From problem to problem, I guess, then back again. The new (old) problem is a lack of focus. I’m scatterbrained.
Much of the time, I don’t even have the focus required to work at all, or to blog, or get much of anything done. For much of the last couple of months, though I’ve spent more time playing video games than most anything else, I’ve even had trouble keeping focus there – generally unable to play for more than a couple of hours at a time before my mind wanted to bounce to some other thing. Yet here and there, for a few minutes or an hour at a time, I have been doing work.
One of the problems with this is that nothing is getting finished, which I may address separately, but looming larger to me right now is the ridiculous number of different projects I’m working on (or procrastinating) in these little bits and pieces. I’ll work for an hour, or a chapter, on the vampire novels I’ve been working on for the last year, then later that day (or the next day – the next time I get any work done) I’ll be spontaneously working on some other thing. Outlining a new serial thriller, writing a chapter of my book on publishing, researching or brainstorming for a story I’m developing about an end to senescence, coming up with apps I want to develop on iOS (beyond the interactive comics I initially had in mind), et cetera. I made a list tonight (partially so I don’t lose track of all the different work I’m doing) and have found at least nine different projects I have at various stages of development. (Not including writing things like this blog post, or any thoughts about getting back into visual art.)
At the same time, and almost certainly related, I’ve been experiencing significant irrational emotional distress. Feeling good and bad at the same time. Happy and grateful for all the good things in my life; years of happy marriage, paying down our debt & being financially comfortable, being in the best shape & health of my adult life, free to do the work I want to do on the schedule my insanity allows without external financial or emotional pressure, and so on. Simultaneously I’m going through extremes of emotional overeating, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, full-body physical pain (yes, this is a symptom of depression), bouts of mania, antisocial urges, and a wide variety of effects relating to my libido, among other expressions of my depression. It’s all quite difficult to be going through.
Good mixed with bad. I stated earlier that this was, in a way, a return to an old problem, and that’s true. Working on more projects at once than I knew how to keep up with was something I struggled with in the middle of the last decade, though I don’t recall having quite so many different (big) things going at once. Then there have been periods where I didn’t have any projects going. Even most of last year feels a bit that way, though I know I was doing the work to prepare myself to write my vampire duology, I also look back and see eight-plus months where I didn’t produce anything obvious: No big word counts, very few paintings, no new audiobooks… Except I’m looking at it from my (most self-effacing) perspective, when I see it that way. In reality I put out multiple new books in the Spring, my podcast didn’t fall silent until Summer, I published my first book by another author in the Fall, and then immediately started the writing part of the work on two new books. Which was mostly one project followed by another. Now I’m back to a weird state of being unable to keep my mind from bouncing between quite a lot of things all at once. Good to have so many things going, but also bad that I can’t seem to keep focus on (and sooner finish) any one of them. Good to find myself so inspired by my life and the world, so full of ideas. Bad that I still feel (mostly, I’m working on it) like I don’t have a cause or a “purpose” or some deep passion driving me and driving my work – I’m not trying to “say something” most of the time, certainly not in any overall way, I’m just … expressing my ideas.
Good and bad. Challenged and successful. Engaged and distracted. Frustrated and content. Happy with my life and on the verge of suicide. All mixed up and exactly how I’m supposed to be.
Also: I’ve begun to suspect that perhaps I secretly live somewhere on Mars, or that I’m natively Martian, or something like that. Left to my body’s natural cycles, I seem to slip around the clock. In the past I’d estimated it was nearly one extra hour per day, that perhaps I was simply running 25-hour days – yet my actual experience seems to tell me it isn’t whole hours. I don’t reliably gain seven hours every week; It’s somewhat less. Mars has a day approximately 24 hours and 40 minutes long. I intend to develop a system for calculating and tracking Martian daylight & seasons in parallel with my own wake/sleep cycles, to see whether there is any correlation. If/when I figure out where on Mars I am (or that I’m actually running at some other regular rate, or a wildly irregular rate, which I also strongly suspect) I’ll be sure to post an update.