February Updates

Last week I wrote about not being hard on myself. Stressed out, tired, cold: I felt very down.

Not a huge amount has changed, but I thought this week I’d focus on things that I am doing. They may not be big to others but I’m not an Influencer (gag) I am just a very small fish trying to keep swimming.

  1. Getting out of bed in the morning
    There’s no boss holding me hostage: I could very easily stay wrapped up in the blankets of a morning without any immediate consequences. Depression is a steady presence in my life; holding it at bay is often a job in and of itself for me.
  2. Still Submitting
    One of the obvious drawbacks to the 100 Rejections in A Year challenge is the sheer uptick in rejections coming in. Last year I had 3 short stories that I submitted 16 times (I just counted). If you’d asked me I would have said I submitted dozens of places but I didn’t. Just 16. (I got one acceptance so that’s 15 rejection emails total for the year. But man did it feel like more.) This year I have submitted 16 times and it’s still the first week of February! I have 9 rejections under my belt already! I used to get upset when I had two rejections in a week and now I am finding myself trying to figure out what my record for 24 hrs is (so far: 3). One upside: each individual rejection is stinging a lot less. Partly because of the repeated exposure, partly because I am already thinking ahead to my next Submission Monday and the joy of colouring in squares towards my goal. But while it stings less it still smarts, and I have 91 little soul-bites to go. Which reminds me: I haven’t set a reward for myself for when I beat the challenge. Hmm. Thoughts?
  3. Writing short stories again
    Another upside of the 100 Rejections is that I took stock of what I have to send out (3 short stories and 2 novels to query) and I realized that’s not going to get me to my goal in a timely manner. So I’ve set about writing short fics again. I haven’t done that in ages and it’s letting me stretch muscles I’ve been ignoring. I get to try new things and level up old skills, and maybe, maybe, I get to sell something along the way.
  4. Updating this here blag
    Giving myself a weekly routine helps a lot. Rain or shine I need to think about what I will write for Tuesday’s update. Put my butt in the chair, etc. Maybe I don’t always succeed but I am trying, and that counts as a success for me too. The new website for Michaela Mowbray is technically live but I don’t have enough content for it yet to feel like promotion, so I need to incorporate that into my routine too. Maybe Thursdays? I’m also reaching about about guest posters for Things I Wish People Would Ask Me At Parties, which I still really enjoy the idea of, and I have someone lined up for next week (exciting!) and for March and April.
  5. Learning to write up my tootles more effectively
    I signed up for a Udemy course on travel writing (there was a sale). I’ve typed up my bullet journal notes from my trip with cutie and my Dad around Japan last March; I want to wrassle them into better shape (proper stories, not just a relay of information about what we did) and post them to my Michaela Mowbray blog. Taking the course will be fun, I think, and it’s another new skill I get to learn.
  6. Keeping on top of chores around the house
    This one relates back to number 1 above, which is not letting myself fall into disarray just because no one is holding me accountable. It’s really easy to let myself slide and call it self-care, but the difference is that self-care is about relaxing and recooperating, and “not doing the chores because I don’t wanna” is not relaxing. It means being an adult with myself and taking that extra 15 minutes of willpower to do the vacuuming so that I can relax later without staring at tumbleweeds of cat hair. Or cooking dinner and feeling better about what I am eating/not spending money on delivery. These things are important to me; I feel better for having done them, even if I do feel crappy overall.

Everyone’s idea of what it means to just keep swimming is different, and different things need to be celebrated. Should be celebrated. We’re hardwired to compare our progress to others, even as it makes us unhappy; but I’m slowly learning to make my own progress, to keep my eyes on my own goals. It’s slow and it’s hard, which is why I am looking for successes where I can.

What are you proud of this month? What was something you didn’t think you’d do but you did anyway?

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