Sometimes Status Quo is A-Ok

Of late, I’ve been in a regular groove regarding my work. I have been taking care of various and sundry business things required by a publisher on Mondays, and then spend however much discretionary time is remaining working on side projects or, more accurately, projects I file under “not of immediate concern” or “paramount importance”. It is foundational work I do as I ever keep my eyes on the horizon. Some things take longer to work on than others, and if it’s something requiring playtesting, it needs a certain amount of time to percolate and work through the hands of the playtesters to see what needs corrective measures. As you know and I’ve said before, we like to make haste slowly, but we don’t operate in a vacuum. I have a general sense of how long things take to get done, so it’s necessary to spend some time on this stuff now. Plus, it’s fun and exciting to mix it up a bit and work on something different, to keep from falling into a creative rut. No matter what I’m working on and how much I love all the properties we’ve developed, too much ice cream can give you a brain freeze, and a nice, cool drink of water cleans the palate and refreshes the taste buds. We don’t want to suffer brain freeze, no do we?

Today, however, I thought I’d mix things up and go ahead and leap onto one of the next projects of immediate concern, an Iron Dynasty supplement. I’ve been typically working on Iron Dynasty materials Tuesday through Thursday and I’ve been in a regular rhythm. I decided I’d break things up a little and leap into Iron Dynasty today and possibly take a break on Wednesday or more likely Friday. In other words, I was saying my side project day for later in the week.

How foolish was I to dare disrupt the status quo? Short answer: quite foolish.

My circle of folks knows today is a day I’m more receptive to phone calls or handling business things and it seems I should count my website in that manner, for when I deviated from the program, it demanded some of my attention. We had a technical snafu with our website, causing our shop to be temporarily in limbo. This problem is in the process of being resolved even as we speak (and may be resolved when you read this in some future space-time continuum). It siphoned some of my time and, invariably, my creative juices were flowing through a distracting filter of “a pending issue”. I like to have a clear mind when I’m writing, and the ability to block out distractions is a skill harnessed, nurtured, and cultivated, but on Monday, I’m Mr. Receptivity. On Mondays, I allow myself to prowl the internet a bit, prowl around my pdfs for ideas, read through rules, and so on. On Monday, my mind is, as I’ve learned today, without a firewall, and any old bugbear can just strut right past the sleeping guardsmen (ferocious fellows the rest of the week) and set up camp right in the village and begin devouring all my ideas, or at least setting fire to the village elder for a lark. Having your village elder on fire and screaming makes it difficult to get on with the process of writing.  I eventually managed to tell him to stop, drop, and roll, but by the time I did, a large chunk of the day had slipped by on its leaden heels. Today was a very long day, but when I look at my word count, I am not as far along as I am on those other days of the week, or as far along as I invariably am on the “creative junket Mondays” I’ve been having.

What am I telling you? Sometimes, routine is good. As it stands, this grand experiment may end up netting me no extra time for any creative junkets, as it is just possible my Monday just became an extended Tuesday and the rest of the week is staring at me with its cold, uncaring eyes. Don’t get me wrong. I love working on whatever I happen to be working on at any given time, but I hate wasting time and missing an opportunity. As the day comes to the end, I have the sense I did both to a degree. If I want to turn lemons into lemonade, I got some good work done, got some material for today’s RWR, and I was again reminded routine can be a good thing, even when it comes to something as irregular as the writing process might appear for those not trained in its arcane ways.

Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!

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