Condition update

It’s been a month and I want to discuss my status as promised.

I’m doing better.  Less stressed, more stable, and been able to do some writing.  I still find myself broadly blocked on TGAB and not able to write at what I consider an industrious pace, just bits and drabbles here and there.  My plan is still to resume publication as soon as I feel I can sustain a consistent output, which is not yet.  We’ll have to see how it looks for me at that point but as I said before, that may not be on TGAB, if this universe needs more time to rest before I can give its conclusion the attention it deserves.

I’m grateful to everybody for being patient about all this, and most importantly I want to express gratitude to my Patreon backers and the individuals who have sent me donations in the last month.  That is my only income and you’re what’s keeping me solvent.  I’m really sorry to make you pay for me to in essence take a vacation, and I am resolved to make it up by getting myself back in good enough mental shape to give you the best stories I can when I’m fully back at work.

This has been a very revelatory month for me–productive in at least one sense, even if I wasn’t getting any writing or publishing (to speak of) done.  For one thing, I discovered I have basically every common symptom of adult ADD, and learned that the condition is strongly correlated with bipolar disorder, which I’d never heard before.  So, good to know, I guess.  I’ve been doing a lot more introspection and come to some realizations about my mental condition and patterns, and conclusions about how I need to modify my approach going forward.  I don’t want to bog everybody down with tedious navel-gazing, just know that I am actively working on being able to proceed as a writer without having any further episodes like this one.

My current project, which will be my focus for this month, is to write steadily–not to produce lines, at least at first, but with caution and self-analysis, and develop a new understanding of my limits.  In essence, I mean to practice regularly and find out how much I can consistently produce without straining my mental faculties again, then see if that amount changes as I continue to benefit from resting my burned-out circuits. 

At this point, I’m still very much shooting in the dark despite my increased self-awareness, because the biggest problem with functioning as a mentally ill person is the human mind isn’t wired for self-analysis, and it’s prohibitively hard to suss out what’s going on under the hood.  I’ve gained a new insight into what’s happened in the past, but can’t predict very well how things will develop in the future.

My current plan is to be back at work by January.  Maybe by Christmas, I’d like being able to make that goal at least.  I don’t want to either procrastinate or push too hard, and it’ll be tricky to find that balance, but I will continue to be in touch about any changes, developments or insights as they happen.  For now, I still need more time to recuperate and also understand my limits better so as to be able to proceed consistently once I’m back in full swing. 

I appreciate all of you.  Thanks for reading; I really hope you’ve enjoyed the last few years of fantasy adventures and I fully intend to provide many more to come.

15 thoughts on “Condition update

  1. I’m here for the long haul. Your writing is worth it. There’s not much I can do except be patient, trust that you will resume writing, and toss a couple bucks you’re way in the meantime, so I shall do so!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Take whatever time you need, I didn’t even realize it’d been a month already. Your readers will continue to be here, whenever you’re ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Listen, until recently it was understood that you could work at a job and still take a paid vacation every once in a while. Absolutely take some time off on our dime if that’s what it takes to be well. We’ll be here when you get back.

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  4. Most companies offer at least 3 weeks vacation time each year, not including sick days. People at my company take 5-7 weeks of vacation, and sometimes go on sabbaticals. So basically you shouldn’t worry about taking time off TGAB, and honestly I think you should just take it easy and enjoy the holidays, then see how you feel in January.

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  5. Hi, I just wanted to say 2 things,
    First: Don’t feel ashamed for needing a break, everyone needs to take some time away for themselves every so often.

    Second I recently unsubbed on patreon and I just want to make it clear that was completely due to a change in my circumstances (I need to start saving more money due to upcoming events) and not at all due to your hiatus. As far as I’m concerned take whatever time you need.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Take your time if people will wait a decade for the next a song of ice and fire book we’re happy to wait all the time you need to finish something you’re publishing online for free.

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  7. “I’m really sorry to make you pay for me to in essence take a vacation”
    … I’ve heard some weird things about the US, but in other countries, what you’ve described is literally what employers do for their employees. This is totally normal, it’s called annual leave; larger organisations actually declare shutdown periods at the end of the year, partly so they’re not liable for increasingly large amounts of leave that they’d need to pay out when an employee quits.

    What I’m saying is, enjoy the time off :p

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If you think you have adult ADD or BPD I highly recommend getting an assessment and treatment. I got my own diagnosis of ADHD almost a year ago and despite everything that’s happened this year my mental health and motivation have both been so much better than the years prior. Even when I cant do anything about having a bad mental health day or not being able to focus on something I want/needed to do and knowing it’s my ADHD and not me has been am enormous help.
    As for TGAB, I think we’re all happy to follow and support while you get yourself on an even keel. We enjoy this world you’ve created but not enough for it to be worth wanting you to harm yourself to push it out faster!
    If you do work on another project for a while, please do link it here so we can read that too 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The biggest asset in avoiding a bipolar episode is sleep.
    Sleep Deprivation is something ADD folks tend to do. Its the “nature of the beast”, as has been said. This can aggravate mood swings, which can devolve into an episode.
    So get at least 6-7 hours a night, if not the full 8.
    Best of luck and hope to read more of your work when you’re ready for us to see it.

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  10. As one of your Patreon supporters, I want to be clear that I’m not trying to pay you X¢/word, I’m giving you money because I want to support the health and well-being of one of my favorite authors, and right now that means paying you to take time off. My own employer literally just paid me to not work and catch my mental breath for a while, and I don’t see why being self-employed should be any different. Take whatever time off you need, and I don’t want to see you back here before January unless you’re super gung-ho about getting back into it, and honestly believe that that energy level is sustainable.

    As for future writing directions, I’d much rather you take a break from TGAB than force yourself through a block to write a (likely-lower-quality) ending. I’d suggest doing small projects (novel-length or even shorter?) rather than starting something large- that will both give you more distinct stories as palette-cleansers, and give you multiple well-defined end-points at which to evaluate how you’re doing and what you want to work on next.

    Regardless of what you end up publishing next, I’m looking forward to reading it!

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    1. You have gifted us with a world inhabited by so many complex and diverse persons. You owe us no more than that. This isn’t to say I don’t look forward to more of your work. Just that it should be on your terms and support your wellbeing.

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  11. Maybe instead of trying to do the next chapter, do an editing pass over the current book? might knock something loose.

    Or maybe ignore random advice from the interwebs.

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  12. I’ll be getting a very large pay increase soon, one that will allow me to afford supporting you. I will do so and will continue to do so for as long as I can. The only thing I ask is that you take as much time as you need. I understand that there is difficulty, even genuine and very realistic concern, that you will lose some of your patrons for taking too long. I hope you understand that I will be a patron who will support you no matter how much you publish. If it takes you six months to start putting things out there, that’s how long it takes you.

    If you want to start releasing things to keep the wordless patrons you’re worried about interested, may I suggest a less planned sort of release? Something like short stories, some kind of vignettes or something taking place in the various projects you may shift your focus too? With a very wide release schedule (one a month, maybe?) you can afford yourself all the time you need for the study and self analysis of your condition while writing. And I don’t suggest that’s all you write, definitely, but rather let that be all you release.

    I’m a big proponent of hoping you’ll start working out a writing schedule that involves writing more then you release on the regular, even breaking up chapters if you need too, in order to create a backlog. On top of regularly scheduled breaks, such a back log, and such a production cycle, will go a long way toward offering stability for you. You can even plan vacations, shorter breaks, and so on with such a schedule. It’s what a lot of authors do that manage to be pretty successful. (Daughter of Lilies, Namesake, and Will Save World for Gold to name a few.) And while he is not someone to look to for long term planning advice, in terms of release, the Zombie Knight author proves that releasing a single page worth of story at a time is still a successful enough way to get viewers.

    I recognize that you have a lot to juggle. I hope it all works out, and understand the fear that it can all crumble. (I understand that feeling very well.) But as someone who found stability only through the aid of another, I hope enough of your fans feel the same way I do and keep on supporting you.

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