A Certain Sustaining Fire

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)

As I crawl back to some form of normal creative pacing after the last few weeks, I got annoyed with how I spent some time.  When I found myself too tired to write, I’d do some graphic experiments with photoshop.  Was this a waste of time when I could write?  Why did I do it.

Then it struck me, it wasn’t a waste of time at all.

The creativity for my projects was dampened by being overloaded, but my graphics experiments were expressions of creativity that wasn’t snuffed out.  It wasn’t as demanding, but it was a sign that my creativity was still there and active – it was just playing more than working.

It was a flame that kept itself going, if not as bright as I wanted.  There was the chance it would blaze forth yet again (and it has been, slowly).

I realized that when you’re a creative under stress, any creative output of any kind is probably good.  It keeps the flame of creativity going – and reminds you it’s there.  There’s still part of you being you.

It’s easy to write off things like writing silly stories or making goofy modifications to family photos, but those are creative acts.  They’re just play, and when you’re tired play can both energize you and bring yu back to yourself.

As a creative, give yourself time to mess around – there are days it will be all you can do.  But it keeps enough of you going so you can create what you want to, eventually.

Steven Savage

Steve’s Update 7-24-2022

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)

“Think Agile, Write Better”: Is making much more progress!  I’d tag the first draft at about 75% done.  However as I write it I’m adding new content and rethinking some formatting issues.  So if you beta-read (HINT), the final result might get some notable changes.

The Way With Worlds series: The new covers are moving forward now that I’m back to doing one or more a week.  They’re pretty easy – but that lulls me into a false sense of security when a weird formatting anomaly (usually fonts) shows up.  Otherwise I’m figuring disaster response EOM September, and one more book in December – probably something not related to disasters.

The Seventh Sanctum rewrite: Well this is one thing without much progress, beyond some setup option research.  Basically I need to get about 4-8 uninterrupted hours to make this launch work.  The next two weekends look promising.

Plus there are giveaways!

Steven Savage

Tired Is OK, Tired Is Not OK

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)

If you subscribe to my newsletter you know I’ve been exhausted lately.  The decrease in blog posts and the less enthusiastic updates may have also tipped you off.

So anyway, I’ve been exhausted.  Work, various world crises, allergies, friends and family with COVID, and so on have really piled up.  I’m not saying I’m unique – I’m not – I’m just noting that “yeah, stuff got to me.”

For a while I kept trying to force myself to get active, and as you can guess it failed.  Finally, I had to accept that it’s OK to be tired.  I’m pretty sure some of you out there need to realize that as well.

Look, the state of the world has been dismal and we’ve got plenty else piling on.  I’m trying to catch up on Monkeypox and heat waves, it’s a bit much.  I get that you’re probably tired, and know what it’s fine, you’re human.

I am annoyed that things I want to do aren’t done, but I’ve accepted it.

The funny thing? Now that I’ve been able to admit I’m just tired I’ve tried pushing myself to see what I can get done.  This isn’t done out of guilt or anything, it’s done as a way to see if pushing myself is therapeutic.  I’m actually getting more done!

This isn’t out of guilt or self-loathing, it’s a test of a treatment.  It’s going pretty well!  Though some of my other treatments are things like sleep in more.  However, I’d never get to trying to deal with my tiredness without accepting it.

Next time you’re feeling tired – which might be now considering the state of the world – it’s OK, accept it.  That’s the way for you to start to treat it, because you won’t fix it by ignoring it or berating yourself.  You have to start where you are.

Where you are may be really damn exhausted.

Steven Savage