Welcome to September. A few days late, but time is still weird so I’m not going to worry about it too much.
July was another slow month. It wasn’t bad, exactly—it was probably the most productive and creative month I’ve had since this whole thing started—but it didn’t live up to my hopes going in.
It’s not really an issue with the work I’ve been doing. It’s that there’s still a disconnect between my plans and expectations and the reality of the situation. My good days have gotten so much better than they were back in April or May, and my bad days aren’t nearly as bad as they were (I don’t spend nearly as much time staring into the void these days), but still.
June wasn’t the most productive month, even by pandemic standards.
But I’m ok with that. I needed the time to regroup and reset so I can get out of the weird holding pattern of the last few months and get back to work.
Over the last few weeks, one of my writing friends and I have been talking (emailing) about trying to do creative work right now, in this world. About how difficult it is to get into the flow of it, and how deep work is almost impossible. Routines are shot to hell; writing time is being swallowed up by new chores. Money’s tight, and art feels a bit frivolous. Tempers are fraying, ennui is setting in, and it’s just really hard to think of good stories right now, ok?
Is it just me, or is the year moving really quickly? But in a weird way: there’s part of me that feels like January and February took forever, but then I freak out because how is it March already?
It’s probably just me.
I’ve got to rebuild routines that the holiday season shattered, and find my way back into stories I haven’t thought about in a month. I have to navigate a minefield of existential crises, brought on by that same new year/birthday season. January is dark and rainy or so cold I can’t even bring myself to walk to the coffee shop to interact with someone that isn’t my cat. If it wasn’t for those big goals and dreams, I don’t think I’d be able to make it through the month.
I thought that October was going to be busy, that there were a lot of things that would get in the way of my creative goals.
It turned out to be even busier than I expected: I’ve only had one full week without interruptions (even today they’re testing the fire alarms in my building, which is always a joy—that’s why I’m working on this blog post instead of fiction), I’ve had inconvenient (but not serious) health issues crop up, and it’s just been generally difficult to stay motivated.
But I did it.
September hasn’t been terrible, and after July and August, I’ll take it.
But I do need to get past ‘not terrible’ and start making real progress again.
I ended last month’s creative review by wondering if it might be time for a reset. I knew I had to figure out some stuff with how I manage my time, and I had to figure out what I was going to do about Violet Lane. From a technical standpoint, I was happy with the photos I’d been taking, but from a creative standpoint, I was getting bored.
I must have forgotten about all that as soon as I wrote it, because when I sat down to write today’s review, I was sure that this funk I’m in has only been a couple of weeks. Not a couple of months.
I have no idea what’s going on with July. It’s been one of those months that’s simultaneously been dragging on forever and is disappearing in a flash. But July is almost over (however that happened), and I guess it’s time to think about how it went.