I’ve been really swamped at my day job for the last few months, and, surprise, my routines have suffered. But a huge project I was working on just ended, and things should revert to something like normal. But the end result is my writing practice has suffered. I have still sent my newsletter each week, even if I have sent it late twice. People were kind enough to not remark on that.
In the neurodivergent world, we have a saying that, “Fed is best”. Sure, it might be nice if you made a wholesome, nutritious, well-balanced meal for your kids with organic ingredients. But if you just don’t have the spoons, or the finances, or the time to do that, it’s better to feed them frozen fish sticks and boxed macaroni than to let them starve because you don’t have the bandwidth to do what you want to do.
Like many folks with ADHD, I feel a great deal of internalized shame about how I show up in the world. I have let many people down, many times, over the years because of my struggles with executive function. So I am always very aware of deadlines, and they both are essential for my functioning and a source of a great deal of anxiety for me.
In the past, if for some reason I couldn’t hit send on a newsletter on Monday, I just skipped that week. This made me feel shame twice – once for missing the deadline, and another for sending nothing. But, the reality is that even my most ardent fans – both of them – are not sitting there, staring at their inbox on Monday morning, waiting for my email to show up. It will be OK if it showed up Tuesday morning. The world won’t end, and most folks don’t even notice.
Fed is best.
I have been writing publicly for decades. Because of platforms shutting down, industry consolidation, and unpaid web hosting bills, some of that is no longer online. Besides, as the newspaper of my youth used to say, “If you haven’t read it, it’s still news.” So I’m republishing things that aren’t available elsewhere so I can link to them in the future and make them available for a new generation of readers. They are on a section of the blog tagged as “The Vault”.
Some of it has held up remarkably well. I am doing some light editing to bring things into current style requirements, but mostly I’m leaving it alone, so I can have a conversation, as it were, with the Hugh of 20 years ago.
I’m trying to learn ways to streamline my inefficient, cobbled together over decades workflow. The pandemic broke many things, including most of my coping mechanisms. The combination of that, plus having a job where I am not 100% in control of my time (I know, poor baby) means I have had to reconfigure lots of things over the last year.
Like, for almost 20 years I have written blog posts in MS Word, then copied and pasted them into WordPress. This is terribly inefficient, and pretty much means I have to be at my desktop to write. But it has worked for me all these years. I saved those files to Dropbox, so I could edit them either on my desktop or laptop, but it was still clunky.
Recently I have begun using Google Docs for my blogging (and other writing). I have used Google Docs for years, but primarily as a means of collaboration. But I am trying to simplify workflows and the number of programs (and subscriptions!) I use.
This add-on for Google Docs allows you to write, format and even put pictures in a Google Doc and then import it to your WordPress backend as a draft post. Note: It says it’s for WordPress.com, but if you use self-hosted WordPress and have it tied to a WordPress.Com account (as you do if you use Jetpack or Askismet) it will still work. It’s a game-changer.
I’m working my way through the Rivers of London novels of Ben Aaronavitch. He writes London mysteries with some light fantasy mixed in. A friend recommended it and I’m hooked, I think.
I’m also dipping in and out of Orwell’s Roses, by Rebecca Solnit. Hope and beauty during the rise of totalitarianism? Yes, please!
And I’m car shopping. I hate car shopping. I hate everything about it. Exactly zero part of it gives me joy. In fact, it fills me with anxiety. I picture this going very wrong and then I have a car I hate and yet still owe money on for years.