Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Once upon a time, I was horrendously inflexible as a writer. The ideas would supersede everything, including good sense, and in those days a great deal of spontaneity and honestly was lost. However, in the last few years, relaxing away from the rigid forms that a past would often forcefully impose as being right has begun to bear quite fragrant and juicy fruits.

Someone I respect a great deal has also pointed out in the last week that I can commit myself to too much too quickly, and often end up spreading myself quite thin, a sentiment that was echoed by my family after the poetry meltdown in late June. As a result of all of these disparate factors, this week has steered me into a new form of discipline.

Welcome to a game plan that understands that less is more.

The format for the Patreon, which was started without really knowing where I was heading, only that I needed to be online and offering content during Lockdown, has now established itself. A poem a week, a piece of long form fiction and some flash fiction. A LANzine and two newsletters per month. All of this can (and is being) organized far enough in advance to not overwhelm.

There are extra bits, which will sit in the IoW Website, but can easily be slipped into the schedule. It also keeps space free for other ventures: everything placed in a sensible, thoughtful manner. Some stuff won’t happen, and quietly other things will be removed from view, making this whole journey as stress free as possible.

I’m really happy with the way things are working out.

Today I have two grown up Zoom meetings: both will be significant steps forward in real life attempts to become a creative. I hope one day to pick up Patrons from outside the Internet I consider my home, and to do that the content will not be enough. There has to be more depth and breadth to my output. Patreon, like it or not, is only a smaller part of a larger whole.

Being my own boss however is the best feeling in the World.

White Noise White Heat

Yes, this is an exercise post.

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On the treadmill, last night, running calmly whilst everybody around me was frantically pushing themselves, it is apparent that the thrall of my exercise class no longer exists. Yes, of course, I could have been that person. It would have been quite simple last night to throttle up and smash 80%. I didn’t want to. 

Earlier in the day I’d done one minute challenges: two different exercises, five of each, and then whatever was left in a minute after they were done was mine for recovery. Last time this happened (July) the starting combo (box jumps, burpees) I’d managed two sets of before being unable to continue. Yesterday, I did ten minutes without a rest.

An awful lot has changed this year for the better.

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Here we are therefore in a land where 100 press ups yesterday plus a full Blaze class isn’t making my arms hurt at all this morning. They may hurt tomorrow, of course, but for now everything is gloriously unaffected. It makes the teeth trauma so much more manageable too, lovely way to just switch off and stop obsessing about what bit hurts now. That’s better, by the way, but honestly far too slow to heal.

Then there’s an epiphany from this morning: as long as there is something to distract from an obsessive need to poke and prod myself every five minutes, of course it will get better. If I sprained an ankle I’d bear the pain and then work to recover. The same should be true of my teeth, or my written ability… or indeed anything at all.

If it matters enough, stop moaning and do the fucking work.

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However, judging other people by my own standards has to stop. That might be the harder ask, long-term, only because it serves as a great way of reflecting the heat off yourself. If you can learn to stop biting your nails, to file them so that stay a decent length, so much else of the minutiae is possible. There just needs to be a place for it.

The key now, undoubtedly, is fitting everything into the spaces provided.