mental health

Crunch

If you’re remotely involved in the arts circles on Twitter, you probably (A) saw and read the Polygon article on Crunch or (like me) (B) saw everyone talking about how bad working yourself to sickness is and were confused why this was being discussed but agreed.

Eventually, I did find the Polygon article and read it. And I 100% see why everyone one is denouncing it – as they should! But I also absolutely understand and agree with the writer in a lot of ways.

He describes crunch as the time when a team works ridiculous hours 7 days a week to get. shit. done. For me, crunch is grinding 10-12 hrs a day on writing, house chores, freelancing (attempts), homework, volunteer projects, whatever else I can come up with.

Crunch is an addiction. Working for the sake of working, blocking out the rest of the shit in your life and throwing all of your being into working on something. Even if there is no reward, even if you end up pissed and “why did I do that” in the end, you can’t and don’t worry about that in the middle of it. Crunch is something I have turned to when the world is just too fucking much and I don’t want to deal with anyone.

My writing doesn’t get better. My homework isn’t improved. Nothing is better with Crunch. If anything, things are worse when I come out of this kind of grind and it just makes me want to go back into it.

I wonder how much of this is based around my bipolar depression or if it’s centered on my perfection/control issues and my personal valuation of self-worth = productivity.

I am worth something only if I am productive and accomplished.

It’s a shitty fucking attitude to have and one I’m desperately trying to unlearn. But it’s that exact attitude that had me doing insane amounts of shit for 2 weeks before a con and losing my shit at friends once I got to the con. Friends who helped me go to the con in the first place. And it soured some of the weekend for me and I looked like a jackass.

Look, I get the appeal of crunch, especially as a 20-something living in an era where working insane hours for minimal pay is expected. I’m trying to develop a writing career and have seen more than my fair share of unpaid internships in cities like NYC or Chicago that have a high cost of living. It’s expected. I feel expected by the industry (not people) to be grateful for the opportunity to work at all for a great company for no compensation while having to figure out how to fund my life (rent, food, etc).

There’s more to dig into that later as a mentally ill spoonie who’s dealing with essentially a disability at the moment. Lots of layers of expected input, etc.

My point is this: even as a person with a shitty attitude about my self-worth linked to my production, I can recognize that Crunch and getting wrapped up in Crunch is an addiction. Something to mask my feelings of depression or inadequacy or fear with. Working yourself to sickness (or permanent injury or worse) is just plain not worth it.

It shouldn’t be so damn radical to take care of yourself and then your work.

submissions · writing

Call for Submissions Roundup #1

Hey y’all! I’m challenging myself to submit, publish, and earn money off of my writing this year so I’m compiling a list of places I’d love to see my fiction in.

Let me know if you are submitting somewhere else that would be a good fit for this list or are searching for submissions yourself!

Grindr has started a new magazine called INTO and the editor is looking for LGBTQ stories

Call for Submissions at Nobilis Erotica. $25 for audio rights to SF/F erotic short stories.

Call for submissions: Erotic Teasers anthology for Cleis Press – $100 and 2 copies of the book on publication

Call for Submissions: Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 – $200 and 2 copies of book

Call for Submissions: Fire: Demons, Dragons & Djinn – $50 CAD & 1 copy of book

 

Twitter Thread Tuesday

Twitter Thread Tuesday

If you’re like me, Twitter is one of the first things you check when you wake up. And go to lunch. And when you’re bored. And before bed. And any other time you’re in need of something to do.

I follow a ton of interesting people over a few accounts and wanted to round up some of the best threads I’ve followed this week.

A fabulous thread from Justine Larbalestier about Why Are You Writing? and earning money from your writing.

From Eve Ewing on claiming the word “creative” rather than our actual job title (like “writer” or “designer”).

Chelsea Cameron has a damn good point about not worrying about what other people are writing.

Let’s talk about writing Romance from Tess Sharpe. (If you missed it in the last few days, there was a fantasy author that basically claimed writing romance was “easy” so, naturally, plenty of romance authors challenged this.)

Fonda Lee wants you to know that your Goodreads rating is not your writer GPA.

Ashia Monet gives her thoughts on writing POC in YA fantasy.

Remember to support these wonderful writers sharing their thoughts on Twitter! Check to see if they have a Patreon or Ko-fi link and tip them!

 

mental health · writing

Fuck This

You know that concept that if you write every day, you’re a “real” writer? I hate this fucking concept so much and yet it still lingers in the back of my mind.

I’m dealing with a kinda big health problem and looking at probable surgery. I’m in a downswing/depression slump mentally. A bunch of other stress. The last thing I want to do is write.

I don’t want to write for this blog. I don’t want to grind for customers for my editing biz or work on pitches for freelance writing. I don’t want to do anything at all and its the most frustrating feeling in the world. I worked for months to get meds right, to get my health back in line, and it feels like every time something smooths out, something else has to fall apart.

Anyways, I have anthology submission deadlines coming up that I want to meet but am honestly unsure if I’m going to be able to. Writing is far more effort than it should be fore me right now and, to be frank, I don’t miss it.

And that makes all of this worse.

monthly reading

July Reading List

Y’all, I didn’t finish shit in June so I’m (still) reading these books in July! Somehow, we’re a week into the month and I haven’t read anything still.

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I blazed through Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses along with the following two books last month and have jumped into her other series right away. Her prose is strong and detailed and I’m already a major fan.
  • The Killer Wore Leather by Laura Antoniou – I have read one or two of Antoniou’s  Marketplace series and had to pick up this murder mystery novel. If you’ve ever been involved in the BDSM community, particularly Leather and Leather contests, this is definitely one to grab.
  • My Life in France by Julia Child – I absolutely love the movie Julie & Julia so when my grandmother gave me a copy of Julia’s book, I was immediately s

What’re y’all reading? Cultivating any of those LGBT+ author lists I’ve seen popping up lately? Recommend one or two of them?